THERE are 14 candidates standing in the hotly contested by-election in Rutherglen and Hamilton West.

The Westminster seat was left empty after voters in the constituency backed a recall petition to remove Margaret Ferrier as the local MP. 

Ferrier, a former SNP MP, was suspended from the party and House of Commons after breaching Covid-19 travel rules during the pandemic.

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The ballot is now due to be held on October 5, with both the SNP and Labour bidding to win the seat.

But they aren’t the only parties standing candidates in the election.

Who is standing in the by-election?

There are 14 candidates in total standing in the by-election, in alphabetical order: 

  • Gloria Adebo (Scottish Liberal Democrats)
  • Bill Bonnar (Scottish Socialist Party)
  • Garry Cooke (Independent)
  • Andrew Daly (Independent)
  • Cameron Eadie (Scottish Greens)
  • Prince Ankit Love, Emperor of India (Independent)
  • Niall Fraser (Scottish Family Party)
  • Ewan Hoyle (Volt UK)
  • Thomas Kerr (Scottish Conservatives)
  • Katy Loudon (SNP)
  • Chris Sermanni (Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition)
  • Michael Shanks (Scottish Labour)
  • David Stark (Reform UK)
  • Colette Walker (Independence for Scotland Party)

Alba did not stand a candidate after urging the SNP to join the party and put forward a pro-independence candidate under a Scotland United banner.

The SNP declined the invitation. 

The by-election was confirmed after MPs passed an SNP motion requesting a vote be held, a process known as moving the writ.

South Lanarkshire Council’s returning officer then confirmed the proposed polling day of October 5.

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This means the vote will be held between 7am and 10pm on that date, the earliest the by-election could be held. 

Voters who want to take part in the ballot must be registered by Tuesday September 19.

It will also be the first election in Scotland where controversial voter ID will be used, after the UK Government introduced the Elections Act 2022.

Voter ID was used at the English council elections but is only required in Scotland when Westminster elections are held. 

The National:

The Rutherglen and Hamilton West seat has changed hands between the SNP and Labour at each of the past three general elections, with the current ballot hotly contested between the two parties. 

In 2019, the SNP took the seat with a majority of 5230, meaning Labour only needs a 5% swing to take the constituency.

It will be the first big electoral test for the SNP under Humza Yousaf’s leadership, with the First Minister accusing Labour of acting as if they already have the seat in the bag.

It will also be a key poll for Labour leader Keir Starmer and his party’s messaging in Scotland ahead of the next General Election, set to be held before January 2025.