THE East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow constituency has its first ever Tory MP after Lisa Cameron defected from the SNP.

After the news broke on Thursday morning, Conservatives including Prime Minister Rishi Sunak welcomed their newest parliamentarian – who brings their total number of Scottish MPs up to seven.

Labour were quick to claim that the defection proved the SNP and the Tories were similar parties, while First Minister Humza Yousaf said he was not at all surprised by the news.

“To see somebody who claims to have supported Scottish independence cross the floor to the Conservative and Unionist Party betrays the fact that she probably never believed in the cause in the first place,” the SNP leader added.

But while the politicians are having their say, we went to East Kilbride to find out what Cameron’s constituents thought about the defection.

@scotnational SNP MP Lisa Cameron has defected to the Tories, #giving East Kilbride its first ever Conservative MP. Here’s how locals feel about that 🗣️ #scottishpolitics #snp #tories #eastkilbridetiktok ♬ original sound - The National

What we found was a mix of anger, apathy, and – from Labour voters – optimism.

“How dare she?” one constituent asked, adding that she was “so disappointed” that someone elected to represent Scotland and independence could defect to the Conservatives.

Another said the idea that they were now represented by a Tory was a “load of crap”.

Others told this paper that they struggled to understand Cameron’s move because it is hard see which values the SNP and Tories share.

“I don't see what values you would have if you're a member of the SNP that's transferable over to the Tories,” one person said, adding: “Basically because they don't have any.”

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Several people said it did not matter to them who their MP was, either because they did not engage with politics or – as one woman said – because “one is as bad as the other”.

But Labour supporters in the constituency were happier with the news, predicting it could help them win in what is predicted to be a tight race between the SNP and Labour in the area at the next General Election.

The East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow seat – and its East Kilbride predecessor before the boundary review in 2005 – had been Labour for decades.

Cameron was elected for the SNP with a majority of 13,322 votes in the 2019 General Election.

Standing on the Conservative ticket, she is all but guaranteed to be ousted in the next Westminster vote.