Labour hails ‘seismic’ Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election win

Scottish Labour candidate Michael Shanks has overwhelmingly won the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election after the party recorded a huge 20 per cent swing from the SNP.
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Mr Shanks won with 17,845 votes, with the SNP’s Katy Loudon second on 8,399. The Tories lost their deposit, with Thomas Kerr finishing on 1,192. Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate Gloria Adebo and Scottish Green Party candidate Cameron Eadie secured 895 and 601 votes respectively.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: “This is a seismic result. People in Rutherglen and Hamilton West have sent a clear message – it is time for change. And it is clear they believe that this changed Labour Party can deliver it.

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“I have always said that winning back the trust of people in Scotland is essential. Tonight’s victory is the culmination of three and a half years of hard work and humility on that journey. I am grateful to everyone who has put their faith in us today – we will work every day to repay it.

“Voters across Scotland and across Britain want a government determined to deliver for working people, with a proper plan to rebuild our country. They want to move on from two SNP and Tory governments that offer only more division, more chaos and more infighting.

“The country deserves a government firmly on their side and focused on their priorities – and Labour will deliver that for them.”

Mr Shanks said afterwards it was the “honour of his life” to be elected as MP for the area.

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Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar posted on X, previously known as Twitter: “What a result! Congratulations to Labour’s newest MP-@MGShanks. He will be a great servant of his community. To everyone who helped make this happen- the Labour family & the families of Rutherglen & Hamilton W- thank you! We will deliver the change our country so deeply needs.

“This seismic result shows Scottish politics has changed. Scots are tired of two tired, failing and incompetent governments. Scottish Labour is now the party of change and tonight demonstrates Scotland will lead the way in delivering a Labour Government.”

First Minister and SNP leader Humza Yousaf posted on X: “A disappointing night for the SNP. I want to thank our exceptional candidate @KatyLoudonSNP and our activists for their incredible efforts. Let me also congratulate Michael Shanks on being elected. Circumstances of this by-election were always very difficult for us.

“Collapse in the Tory vote, which went straight to Labour, also a significant factor. We lost this seat in 2017, and like 2019 we can win this seat back. However, we will reflect on what we have to do to regain the trust of the people of Rutherglen & Hamilton West.”


Michael Shanks (Lab) 17,845 (58.55%, +24.08%)

Katy Loudon (SNP) 8,399 (27.56%, -16.64%)

Thomas Kerr (C) 1,192 (3.91%, -11.06%)

Gloria Adebo (LD) 895 (2.94%, -2.25%)

Cameron Eadie (Green) 601 (1.97%)

David Stark (Reform) 403 (1.32%)

Niall Fraser (Scot Family) 319 (1.05%)

Bill Bonnar (SSP) 271 (0.89%)

Colette Walker (IFS) 207 (0.68%)

Christopher Sermanni (TUSC) 178 (0.58%)

Andrew Daly (Ind) 81 (0.27%)

Ewan Hoyle (Volt) 46 (0.15%)

Emperor of India Prince Ankit Love (ND) 34 (0.11%)

Garry Cooke (ND) 6 (0.02%)

Lab maj 9,446 (30.99%)

20.36% swing SNP to Lab

Electorate 82,104; Turnout 30,477 (37.12%, -29.36%)

2019: SNP maj 5,230 (9.72%) – Turnout 53,794 (66.48%)

Ferrier (SNP) 23,775 (44.20%); Killen (Lab Co-op) 18,545 (34.47%);

Nailon (C) 8,054 (14.97%); McGeever (LD) 2,791 (5.19%); Mackay (UKIP)

629 (1.17%)

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