TORY MSPs have congratulated Labour on taking a council seat from the SNP in South Lanarkshire.

Labour’s Kirsty Williams won the race to replace former SNP councillor Ali Salamati in East Kilbride West after he resigned his position on the Unionist-run council in May due to his other work commitments taking him overseas.

Once the votes were counted, Williams came out on top with the Tories’ Bill Dorrian coming in second place.

The SNP – who fielded Robert Gillies as a candidate – were relegated to third position.

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The local authority is run as a minority Labour administration propped up by votes from the Conservatives and LibDems, although the SNP emerged from the 2022 elections as the largest group.

Tory MSP Murdo Fraser decided to seize the opportunity to highlight a “big win” for Labour alongside a “chunky increase” in the Tories’ vote share.

He then pointed out the votes added together represented 70% of people voting for Unionist parties in a hark back to the Better Together days of the 2014 referendum.

Jamie Halcro Johnston also applauded Labour on an “expected win”, as poked fun at the SNP slipping into 3rd place.

Fraser said on Twitter: “ Big win for Labour here, but also a chunky increase in @scottories vote share, pushing SNP into 3rd place.

“Pro-UK votes 70%, anti-UK votes 30%.”

Labour increased their first-preference vote share by more than 13% while the Tories were up more than 6%.

The SNP suffered a 8.3% dip, attracting just over a fifth of the vote for first preferences.

Johnston posted: “Expected win for Labour and congratulations to their new councillor.

“Big increase for @scottories vote (up over 6% - well done to local team) but devastating for the SNP as vote plummets by over 8%.

“Happy ‘hundred days of Humza’, folks.”

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Williams also beat contenders including Cameron Eadie from the Greens, LibDem Jake Stevenson, independent Kristofer Keane, and Jonathan Jack Richardson from the Scottish Family Party.

After the 2022 election, the ward had one Labour, one SNP, and one independent representative. It now has two Labour councillors and one independent.

According to South Lanarkshire Council, the ward had an electorate of around 13,350 people. The turnout was just 25.7%.