Labour won yesterday’s by-election for a seat in the Govan ward of Glasgow City Council, taking the seat from the SNP with a majority of over 600 votes – and leaving the SNP without representation in the four-member ward.
With 43.4% of first preference votes, Labour’s John Kane succeeds the SNP’s Allison Hunter, who died in July after a long battle with cancer. Fourteen candidates contested her former seat, including single-issue candidates standing up against the bedroom tax and the Scottish Government’s controversial Offensive Behaviour at Football Act.
Gordon Matheson, who leads Glasgow City Council’s majority Labour administration, said the “dramatic result” showed that “support for the nationalists has slumped in Glasgow”. He also said that “Councillor John Kane joins a strong Labour administration which continues to focus on the issues that matter to people, not the abstraction of separatism.”
The SNP’s candidate, Helen Walker, came in second place with 30.1%.
A spokesman insisted that “the SNP vote held up” and attributed Labour’s gain to the absence of the vote splitting between “official Labour candidates and rebel Labour candidates” at the 2012 election. He added: “Hopefully turn out in future will be above the disappointing 20% in the by-election. The late Allison Hunter will be a hard act to follow and we wish councillor Kane well.”
The “No Bedroom Tax” candidate came third and the Conservatives in fourth.
The Scottish Green Party came in sixth place with one fewer first preference than Ukip, while the Liberal Democrats achieved eight place. Other notable results include the Communist Party of Britain beating out a struggling Solidarity into eleventh by 35 votes to 28, and the eurosceptic Scottish Democratic Alliance taking last place with only a single vote.