SCOTLAND’S Net Zero Secretary has “guaranteed” her party will reflect on the reasons for its defeat in the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election last week.

The seat vacated by former SNP MP Margaret Ferrier after a recall petition was won by Labour’s Michael Shanks with more than double the votes of SNP candidate Katy Loudon.

Both First Minister Humza Yousaf and SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn have said the party will need to assess what went wrong in the South Lanarkshire seat ahead of the general election expected next year.

READ MORE: SNP maintain narrow lead over Labour in YouGov General Election poll

Net Zero Secretary Mairi McAllan said the by-election was fought under “exceptional circumstances” owing to Margaret Ferrier’s breach of Covid regulations that led to her being kicked out of the SNP and, eventually, her seat.

But she added: “I understand that, as a party, we have to think very carefully about what (the by-election loss) says to us.

“We are not a party who ever take our success or our support from the people of Scotland for granted.

“We’re in the very early aftermath of it, but I can guarantee everybody that the SNP will think very carefully about that and about how we regroup and re-emerge from it.”

READ MORE: Humza Yousaf: SNP have a 'credibility issue' with voters

Her comments come as a new poll has found a narrowing gap between the SNP and Labour.

The YouGov survey, carried out on behalf of the Scottish Fabians, a Labour-affiliated organisation, found the SNP were on 33%, Labour were on 31%, the Conservatives remained on 20%, the Scottish Greens were on 6% and the Lib Dems were on 4%.

With “don’t knows” removed, the gap between Labour and the SNP in Scotland narrowed to just one point, with 33% of voters backing the SNP at Westminster and Labour on 32%.