East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow election result

VOTERS in East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow have had their say at the ballot box...and Labour's Michael McCann secured the seat.

LABOUR'S Michael McCann claimed the East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow seat with 26,241 votes.

McCann claimed a 14,503 majority over the SNP's John McKenna although Labour's majority was cut by 3,000 votes.

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The new MP used his acceptance speech to attack his rivals who he claimed had smeared him throughout the campaign.

He said: "The Tory, SNP and Greens have conducted a smear campaign against me but the people have spoken.

"We have been above all that and I will represent not only the 26,241 people who voted for me but the whole constituency."

Mr McCann added that he had earlier received a call from former Prime Minister Tony Blair wishing him well.

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SNP runner-up John McKenna (SNP), who polled 11,738 votes, received a mixture of boos from the Labour camp and cheers from the rest of the hall when he said: "The people in this constituency will be watching Michael McCann and I will watching every step of the way for the next five years.

"I would like to thank the more than 3,000 extra voters who voted for us."

In third place was the Conservative candidate Graham Simpson (6,613 votes, up from 4,776 in 2005), ahead of Liberal Democrat John Loughton (5,052), Scottish Green Party candidate Kirsten Robb (1,003) and Independent candidate John Houston (299).

But the big winner was the electorate itself with a turnout of 66.68 per cent, with 51,032 votes cast out of the 76,534 total electorate.

For full election coverage, see this week's Carluke and Lanark Gazette which is in the shops now, priced just 48p.