The SNP are celebrating once again after successfully defending their Fife Council seat in Glenrothes.
The party’s Julie Ford was declared as the fourth ward representative for Glenrothes West and Kinglassie, securing victory despite hopes from the Labour Party that it would see a “Corbyn bounce” in one of its old stomping grounds.
At a tense Fife House on Thursday night, Ms Ford defeated her Labour rival, Alan Seath, by 1,028 votes, with the two parties now having five members each on the Glenrothes area committee, the town’s main decision-making body.
Amidst joyous scenes as her victory was announced, Ms Ford said that she was delighted to have been elected.
Speaking to The Courier, she said: “It’s an amazing feeling. It will all kick in in the morning.
“It’s a big responsibility to be a councillor but I know I can do it and I want to thank all the voters who supported me.”
Key to Ms Ford’s election was a large team of activists.
Acknowledging their contribution, she added: “They were incredible. At times we had 10 people at a time campaigning and there were people taking annual leave to help out.”
The ballot had been prompted by the resignation of the town’s MP, Peter Grant, as a local councillor.
The SNP currently controls the town’s local area committee, though only due to the casting vote of former party member Bill Brown, who is now an independent representative.
Four candidates contested the election, with Labour’s Alan Seath standing in the ward for the second time in six months.
Hoping for a “bounce” following the election of Jeremy Corbyn as party leader, the Labour vote actually fell significantly from six months ago, when the SNP also won a by-election in the ward.
Reflecting on his second unsuccessful campaign, Mr Seath said: “It’s just a sign of the times in the battle between the SNP and Labour.
“But we will fight on and it was a good campaign and I had plenty of support from the party.”
Meanwhile, both Lorna Ross, the Scottish Green candidate, and Jonathan Gray, Conservative, secured just 113 and 234 votes respectively.
Turnout was dismally low, at just 27.1%.Result: Julie Ford (SNP) – 2,235 Alan Seath (Labour) – 1,207 Jonathan Gray (Conservative) – 234 Lorna Ross (Scottish Green Party) – 113 Turnout – 27.1%