THE SNP have lost a council seat to the Scottish Conservatives in a by-election.

The Tories’ John Bathgate became the newest councillor for the Jedburgh and District ward on the Scottish Borders council after a vote held on Thursday.

The election took place after the resignation of the SNP’s councillor Pam Brown in 2023.

READ MORE: Joanna Cherry: Rules will be set aside when it suits the establishment

Bathgate won on first preference votes with a total of 1377 (58.5%).

The SNP candidate, Phil Dixon, came in a distant second with 410 votes (17.4%).

Labour’s Kaymarie Hughes came in third with 241 votes (10.2%), the LibDems’ Ray Georgeson won 166 votes (7.1%), and the Scottish Greens’ Charles Strang won 135 votes (5.7%), BallotBox Scotland reported.

According to the Scottish Borders Council website, the Tories were the largest group with 14 councillors before the by-election. The SNP had nine councillors.

After Brown’s resignation and Bathgate’s win, the Tory group is now 15 councillors while the SNP have eight – meaning they are still the second-largest party on the Conservative-run council.

Posting on social media, Tory minister John Lamont celebrated the win.

“@ScotTories GAIN Jedburgh, St Boswells and district from the SNP,” he wrote. “ “Huge congratulations to our new councillor John Bathgate!

“John will be a fantastic councillor and I look forward to working with him to deliver on the top priorities of local people.”

Scots Tory leader Douglas Ross posted: "Congratulations to John Bathgate, our newest councillor!

"This is a fantastic result, which shows that in key seats right across Scotland it is only the Scottish Conservatives who can beat the SNP and shift the focus onto local priorities."