VOTER turnout in Rutherglen and Hamilton West is less than 40%, it has been confirmed.

At the vote count in South Lanarkshire Council's headquarters in Hamilton, election staff confirmed that only 37.9% of the electorate turned out to cast their ballot.

There is a total electorate of 82,104 in the constituency, but only 30,531 voters took part in the Westminster poll.

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A Labour source could be heard saying that the turnout was better than expected.

Earlier, an SNP source told The National they would be surprised if the turnout was above 40%. 

The National:

The SNP's candidate Katy Loudon arrived on the counting floor just after the voter turnout was announced. 

It is not the lowest turnout for a Westminster by-election in Scotland but is still much lower than the last General Election in 2019.

At the Airdrie and Shotts Westminster by-election in 2021, where the SNP's Anum Qaisar was elected for the party, there were only 21,852 votes cast, a turnout of 34.3%. 

During the last UK-wide vote, when Margaret Ferrier was elected to the seat, 66.5% of the electorate of 80,918 cast their ballot.

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At that time, Ferrier won 44.2% of the vote with 23,775 votes – a majority of 5230 over Labour.

During the preceding 2017 snap General Election, when Labour's Ged Killen won the seat under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership, the turnout was 63.5% out of an electorate of 80,098.

SNP sources are already conceding that Labour have likely won the seat, with Michael Shanks set to be Scotland's next MP.