SNP celebrate byelection win as support doubles

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by a Newsnet reporter

The Scottish National Party’s Louise Glen-Lee has become the party’s newest councillor, winning a by-election for the Oban North and Lorn ward on Argyll and Bute Council as the party’s support doubled.

In the previous council elections in 2007, the SNP received 22.4% of votes cast in the ward.  Yesterday’s result saw the party increase this to 44.1%.  Although as is common in council by-elections, voter turnout was relatively low, the result will be deeply disappointing to the Unionist parties who are continuing to haemorrhage votes and vote share and encouraging to the SNP who are still attracting disaffected voters from the other parties.  The vote was particulary poor for the Lib Dems and Labour who both lost a significant number of voters, mainly to the SNP.

In a separate closely fought contest for Inverness South, the SNP also secured victory after transfers from their Tory allies came to the Lib Dems’ aid in the final round.  Again turnout was low.  

Congratulating Cllr Glen-Lee on her victory, SNP Campaign Manager for the 2012 Local Elections, Derek Mackay MSP, said:

“This is a great result in Argyll and Bute, and I am delighted for Louise who will make a superb local councillor for her community.

“Our support has more than doubled which reflects the confidence communities have in the SNP both locally and nationally and, therefore, this result is a great boost as we work to win in local authorities across the country next year.

“In Inverness South, right on Danny Alexander’s doorstep, just 7 votes separated the SNP from the Lib Dems after transfers from their Tory allies came to the Lib Dems’ aid in the final round.

“It is clear that the 2012 elections give Scotland the chance to take the next step forward.  Across Scotland SNP local authorities are delivering for their communities.  They are building council homes, investing in enterprise, supporting local services, investing in early years support for our youngest and working with police to protect our communities.

“People know that the SNP is on their side which is why we are already the largest party in local government.  A strong team of SNP councillors will give our country added momentum to drive forward and win the Independence referendum.

“In this year’s elections we won a majority of seats and became Scotland’s first majority government.  In next year’s local council elections we can bring the same energy, the same improvement and the same opportunities for the future to people across the country.”

Cllr Louise Glen-Lee, added:

“I want to thank everyone who came out to vote and particularly to those many folk from the various communities across Oban and North Lorn who have given me their support.  I am looking forward to the challenges ahead with relish and I give a pledge to work strenuously on behalf of my constituents regardless of who they voted for.”

Oban North and Lorn
2011 2007
votes % votes % change
SNP 1081 44.1% 1019 22.4% 21.8%
Labour 0 0% 0 0% 0%
Conservatives 505 26.6% 387 8.5% 12.1%
Lib Dem 260 10.6% 665 14.6% -4.0%
other 603 24.6% 2488 54.6% -30.0%

 

Inverness South
2011 2007
votes % votes % change
SNP 885 34.0% 1058 27.0% 7.0%
Labour 304 11.7% 671 17.1% -5.4%
Conservatives 290 11.1% 413 10.5% 0.6%
Lib Dem 747 28.7% 902 23.0% 5.7%
other 277 14.5% 877 22.4% -7.9%