Conservative Frank Smith has been elected to Perth and Kinross Council following Thursday’s Almond and Earn by-election.
Former Craigie Hill golf pro Mr Smith claimed victory with 1,819 votes, over 400 more than the second-placed SNP, which previously held the seat.
The win strengthened his party’s minority administration control of the local authority.
And the victory earned the Conservatives earned a clean sweep of the ward and made Almond and Earn the only one in Perth and Kinross held entirely by one party.
Compared to their results at the full local government elections in 2017, the Conservative vote fell by just over 8%, and although the SNP vote rose by 7.7%, the Tories were ultimately comfortable in their victory.
Ballot boxes were opened shortly after 10am at Bell’s Sports Centre as counters tallied up the votes from Thursday’s council by-election.
The confirmation of Methven resident Mr Smith’s victory, ensured by receiving 51% of the votes cast and winning outright on first preferences, was made by returning officer Barbara Renton around an hour after ballot boxes were opened.
Frank, who has previously worked for Spectraglass and ran a golfing shop at St Catherine’s Retail Park, said: “I’m absolutely delighted.
“I have to say thanks to the team and I can’t wait to get started and meet everyone, and fulfil what I set out to.
“I’m an environmental guy. I want to see the mess that’s been made by fly-tipping stopped and bring back that pride, creating a togetherness.
“I also want to help the hospitality sector as much as I can, in a bid to attract visitors to this area when it is safe to do so.”
Friday’s announcement confirmed that the Tories have won three of the five by-elections held in the current council term.
Also vying to represent the ward, which spans from Madderty to Abernethy, in the council chamber were the SNP’s Michelle Frampton, Labour’s Craig Masson and Liberal Democrat Claire McLaren.
The SNP were hoping to secure victory and retain the seat.
The by-election had been sparked by the death of long-serving councillor Henry Anderson after a battle with coronavirus.
3,573 votes were cast altogether, with turnout confirmed as being 45.2 per cent.
In total, 17 spoilt ballots were recorded.