IT’S been a “disappointing night” for the SNP in the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election, Humza Yousaf has said.

The First Minister spoke out after Michael Shanks (below) was elected as the constituency’s new MP on a 20.4% swing from Labour to the SNP.

The National: Scottish Labour's Michael Shanks won the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election

Shanks was declared the new MP for the area after defeating the SNP’s Katy Loudon by 17,845 votes to 8399.

The SNP leader thanked candidate Loudon and congratulated Shanks on his victory.

READ MORE: Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election – see the full results

“Circumstances of this by-election were always very difficult for us,” wrote the First Minister on Twitter/X.

The 2019 General Election saw Margaret Ferrier win the seat – but she lost the whip and was ultimately forced out of the Commons by a recall petition after breaching Covid rules.

Yousaf went on: “Collapse in the Tory vote, which went straight to Labour, also a significant factor.

READ MORE: Scottish Tories fume as BBC error wipes them off map of MPs

“We lost this seat in 2017, and like 2019 we can win this seat back. However, we will reflect on what we have to do to regain the trust of the people of Rutherglen & Hamilton West.”

SNP depute leader Keith Brown praised the "positive, energetic and engaging campaign", while noting it wasn't the result that had been "hoped for".

He went on: “As the Tories face the prospect of losing all their seats in Scotland, with a devastating result that saw them lose their deposit, it's Sir Keir Starmer’s pro-Brexit Labour Party that benefitted from support from Tory voters.

”It’s undeniable that the Westminster cost of living crisis was the top issue for people on the doorsteps and it’s now imperative that the UK Government finally wakes up to deliver meaningful support ahead of another potentially crippling winter.

The National: Depute leader Keith Brown on stage at the SNP independence convention at Caird Hall in Dundee.

“I’d like to pay tribute to Katy Loudon, who has been a superb candidate who brought the positive SNP message to doorsteps every day, and to her campaign team who have engaged with thousands of people over the course of the campaign.

“The SNP will work hard to ensure we are earning, and re-earning, the trust of the people of Scotland in this seat that has switched between the SNP and Labour at every election since 2010, and across the country."

Earlier in the night, as SNP sources predicted defeat for the party, one told The National that a loss should be a "kick up the backside" for the leadership ahead of next year's General Election.

After the results were announced, Alba's Westminster leader Neale Hanvey issued a statement urging Yousaf to take "full responsibility".

The National: Neale Hanvey

The MP called out the SNP for refusing to accept Alex Salmond's proposed Scotland United approach, which would see a single pro-independence candidate fielded in each constituency. 

"Humza’s decision to go it alone has meant this election centred on the many difficulties the SNP find themselves in, and as a result they have been punished and allowed Labour to win the seat," he said.

"This is not as much a victory for the Labour Party to claim credit for but rather an election engineered by the SNP and a defeat caused by Humza Yousaf that he must now take full ownership of. If this is continuity, then continuity won’t cut it."

Elsewhere, the Greens – who received 2% of the vote after running a candidate in the constituency for the first time – used their statement to call out Labour.

“I congratulate Michael Shanks on his election," said candidate Cameron Eadie. "He has made some big promises and I hope that he lives up to his word and stands up to the Labour leadership on the brutal two-child benefit cap that they have promised to uphold, as well as the disastrous Brexit that they have pledged to continue.

“Scottish Green voices have never been so vital. We will build on this important result and continue to fight for people and planet."