A BY-ELECTION in North Ayrshire has dealt a further blow to the SNP.
The SNP held the Dalry and West Kilbride seat until Joy Brahim resigned from the post in May this year.
But Conservative candidate Ronnie Stalker returned almost twice as many votes as SNP candidate Robyn Graham yesterday, sending shockwaves through the once staunchly pro-SNP constituency.
Mr Stalker has now been elected as one of the councillors for the ward after securing 2,016 votes while Ms Graham received 1,292.
North Ayrshire Council’s ruling Labour administration was also dealt a huge blow with candidate Valerie Reid receiving just 305 votes.
Scottish Liberal Democrats’ Ruby Kirkwood amassed 58 votes and James McDaid of the Socialist Labour Party secured 57 with independent Jim Willis taking 42 votes following the vote yesterday.
The make-up of political allegiances at the local authority is now closer than ever with 11 Labour members, 9 SNP councillors, 8 Conservative members and 4 independent councillors and 1 Alba Party member.
The poor result for the SNP comes months after Ellen McMaster, North Ayrshire councillor for Ardrossan and Arran defected from the Nats to join the Alba Party in March.