Local elections

Labour snaps up SNP seat

You might have missed it, but there was another by-election on Thursday.

It got somewhat overshadowed by the one in Newark, which is perhaps understandable. But in its own way it was just as intriguing.

The by-election was for a seat on South Lanarkshire council. The result saw Labour make a gain at the SNP’s expense. Here are the details:

Lanarkshire by-election

The result represents a swing from the SNP to Labour of 3.5%.

It means Labour now has all three council seats in the ward of Clydesdale South, and has boosted its overall majority on South Lanarkshire council.

The SNP’s share of the vote was down 9.7% on the result in 2012. The Tories’ share actually rose by 7.5%, also at the expense of the SNP. As for Ukip, it added just 34 votes to the number it got last time.

South Lanarkshire council covers four parliamentary constituencies. Three are currently held by Labour, while the fourth – Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale – boasts the only Tory MP in Scotland: David Mundell.

Thursday’s council by-election fell within one of the Labour parliamentary constituencies: Michael McCann’s seat of East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow. But the party will be eyeing Mundell’s seat next year all the same. His majority in 2010 was only 4,194. If the swing to Labour in Scotland is higher than that in the rest of the UK – which can often be the case – the Tories could find themselves once again without any Scottish MPs, as happened in 1997.

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