SNP lose Moray Council seat in by-elections

THE SNP lost a Moray Council seat in the latest by-elections, confirming a continuous trend of vote-share falls for the party since last year’s agreement on holding an independence referendum in 2014.

Independent John Cowe won at Heldon and Laich at the fifth stage of a daytime count under what was effectively the alternative vote system.

The result is the fifth council contest in Scotland since the referendum deal and all have shown a drop for the SNP – averaging 7.9 per cent. It lost seats in three of the by-elections.

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An SNP spokesman said: “While the SNP secured a seat in this multi-member ward in 2012, coming second place on the single transferable vote method, the by-election was for one seat only on the alternative vote system when we again achieved a strong second place. Therefore, the results are not comparable.”