Despite a disappointingly low turn out the SNP’s Niall Coleman has retained the seat of Bonnybridge and Larbert for the party in yesterday’s Falkirk council by-election.

The turnout of just 26.5% was considerably down on the 45.1% who voted in the original election last May. In total 3,355 votes were cast with 30 ballot papers being rejected with the following results:

CandidatePartyNumber of First Preference Votes% Share of VotesChange in % Share of Votes Since May 2017 Election
Niall ColemanScottish National Party (SNP)129538.6%+ 4.9%
George StevensonScottish Conservative and Unionist108832.4%+ 8.1%
Linda GowLabour and Co-operative Party81324.2%+ 8.5%
David RobertsonScottish Greens1243.7%- 0.1%
Stuart MartinUKIP351.0%+ 1.0%

As you’ll notice the SNP, Labour and the Conservatives all increased their share of the vote.  This is due to the fact that in last year’s election an independent candidate, Billy Buchanan, stood and was elected in third place to the council with 20.2% of the vote. Buchanan, who has found himself the center of controversy on more than one occasion during his time on the council, famously holds anti-SNP views therefore it should be of no surprise that the majority of the vote he received previously was split between the unionist parties this time round.

The by-election followed the sad death of Mr Coleman’s father, Provost Tom Coleman, after a short illness last November.

Speaking after the declaration Mr Coleman said “As a lot of you know it’s been a difficult time for me and my family so it’s appropriate that I thank Calum for being an election agent, and a very good one at that and all the team that have helped, including activists from all over Scotland. It’s a legacy for my dad. Lastly and most importantly I have to thank my family.”

The result means that the SNP group continues to lead the council with a minority administration.

IndyScotNews congratulates Niall and his team for last night’s victory and you can do so too by leaving a comment below.

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