SNP holds South Ayrshire Council seat in by-election

The SNP narrowly held onto the seat vacated by Corri Wilson's election to Westminster. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

The SNP narrowly held onto the seat vacated by Corri Wilson's election to Westminster. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

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THE SNP narrowly held a seat on South Ayrshire Council in a by-election after Corri Wilson, now SNP MP for Ayr, Carrick & Cumnock, stepped down as a councillor.

The win came despite coming behind the Conservatives in the first round.

The situation was similar to that which occurred in the previous election in 2012 when the Tories had a larger vote share than the SNP in a contest for four seats.

First-preference voting in the by-election was: Conservative 1,527, SNP 1,507, Labour 642, Independent 218, Green 76.

Turnout was 34 per cent, with Councillor John Wallace being elected after 4,0006 votes were cast out of an electorate of 11,638.

Large swings of between 13 per cent and 25 per cent from Labour to the SNP have been seen in most Scottish council by-elections since Labour was reduced to just one MP north of the border in the general election.

But last week’s polls saw reduced swings of 6 per cent and 8 per cent, while Labour also had a success in taking a council seat from the Greens in Edinburgh.

Elsewhere, voters in Labour’s north London heartland have given the party solid backing under its new leader Jeremy Corbyn in a council poll.

Labour held two seats on Haringey Council in its first test at the ballot box since the party’s leadership election.

Its vote share remained much the same as in the previous elections in 2014 at more than 60 per cent. However turnout was very low.

The council borders on Mr Corbyn’s Islington North constituency.

The by-election in the Noel Park ward was sparked by the resignation of a Labour councillor who later died.

Voting was: Labour 1,005, Liberal Democrat 247, Conservative 178, Green 124, Ukip 48, TUSC 38.

Turnout was 18 per cent.

Voting in the Woodside contest following the death of another Labour councillor was: Labour 1,279, Liberal Democrat 435, Conservative 141, Green 122, Ukip 95, with turnout at 23 per cent.

The latest council by-elections also saw the Tories hold two seats - on South Cambridgeshire District Council (Bourn ward) and on Richmondshire DC (Richmond East).

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