SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon’s father has lost out to Labour in a council by-election - although the SNP did win another seat in Scotland from their rivals.
Robin Sturgeon had been standing for the party his daughter leads in the Irvine West ward of North Ayrshire Council and secured more first-preference votes than Labour’s candidate Louise McPhater.
First-preference voting was SNP 1,164, ahead of Labour on 1,029, the Conservatives on 639, Socialist Labour on 131, the Greens on 94 and the Liberal Democrats on 48.
Despite that, Labour won the seat from the SNP on second preferences.
The by-election was sparked by the resignation of Ruth Maguire after she was elected as SNP MSP for Cunninghame South in May.
Ms Maguire tweeted afterwards that she “couldn’t be prouder” of Mr Sturgeon and the local SNP team, adding it was “not our night but a hard fought, positive campaign as always”.
Ms Sturgeon, the SNP leader and Scottish First Minister, commented in response: “I’m proud of him too. Very.”
After the election, Ms McPhater said she is “now looking forward to getting the sleeves rolled up and getting stuck in at the council to stand up for my community”.
She stated: “The people of Irvine West have put their faith in me and I can’t thank them enough.
“From my background as a community worker I know that too many, particularly the vulnerable, in our communities feel powerless. I am going to be a strong, loud voice for those people on the council.”
Meanwhile, the SNP took a Renfrewshire Council seat from Labour in a by-election in the Renfrew South and Gallowhill ward following the death of a Labour councillor.
First-preference voting was SNP 1,309, Labour 1,012, Conservatives 366 and Liberal Democrats 53, with Jim Paterson elected.
South of the border, in the only other by-election taking place, Conservatives were reported to have comfortably held a seat in the Ombersley division of Worcestershire County Council in a contest following the death of a Tory councillor.