The SNP has today celebrated wins in six by-elections across Scotland. Overall the SNP won almost 45.9 per cent of the vote across all seven of yesterday’s by-elections – representing a 5.7 per cent swing from Labour. By contrast Labour’s vote fell by nearly 5 per cent.

In the Glenrothes West and Kinglassie by-election in Fife, Julie Ford was elected for the SNP with 55.3 per cent of the vote – an increase of 8 per cent since a by-election in the same ward just one month before the 2015 general election. In the Irvine Valley ward of East Ayrshire the SNP candidate Elena Whitman secured election with 49.8 per cent – with Labour in third place behind the Tories. In Stirling East there was a swing of almost ten per cent from Labour to the SNP to elect Gerry McLaughlin as councillor. In the West Lothian ward of Linlithgow, Councillor David Tait was elected with 44 per cent of first preference votes.

In Aberdeen, Alex Nicoll was elected in the Midstocket-Rosemount by-election – where the SNP received over 40 per cent of the vote and Labour finished in third place, and Michael Hutchison was elected in the George Street-Harbour ward with 51.2 per cent of the vote.

Commenting, SNP Business Convenor Derek MacKay said:

“I congratulate the SNP’s six new councillors on their stunning by-election success. They join talented SNP groups across the country who are working hard to improve their local areas – I am sure they will make a substantial contribution to this work.

“These results show that despite a change of leader both north and south of the border, Labour’s support in Scotland continues to fall. We have seen this week that Labour is a bitterly divided party whose position on fundamental issues such as Trident, austerity and devolution remains as confused as ever – it is no wonder that people in Scotland don’t even view them as a credible opposition – let alone a credible party of government.

“These results are the latest sign that after eight years in government the SNP still maintain the confidence of people across Scotland to represent their communities.  We take nothing for granted – we will work hard between now and May next year to ensure that we retain this trust and secure the re-election of an SNP government that is delivering for the people of Scotland.”

Editor’s note – the 7th council seat was retained by the independents in Moray. They act together as a group, with the Tory, in the administration.