SNP holds Airdrie and Shotts with reduced majority

Victory: Anum Qaisar-Javed

The SNP held the Airdrie and Shotts seat in yesterday’s by-election on a reduced majority.

Anum Qaisar-Javed polled 10,129 votes, ahead of Labour candidate and local councillor Kenneth Stevenson who received 8,372 votes, a majority of 1,757.

The by-election was held after sitting SNP MP Neil Gray resigned in order to stand in last week’s Scottish Parliament election.

Mr Gray had a majority of 5,201 in the 2019 general election in 2019 but SNP rules meant he had to quit as an MP in order to stand for Holyrood.

Ms Qaisar-Javed’s victory brings the total number of SNP MPs in the Commons back to 45.

She is a 28-year-old modern studies teacher who was a Labour activist until the independence referendum in 2014. She is the second Muslim to represent Scotland at Westminster.

Conservative candidate Ben Callaghan secured 2,812 votes, with Liberal Democrat Stephen Arrundale fourth with 220 votes.

Turnout was 34.3% – lower than the average of 46.5% for a by-election in the last parliament.

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