THE SNP were celebrating yesterday after winning a hat-trick of new councillors in local authority by-elections.

The party enjoyed a double success in Fife, winning the Dunfermline Central seat from the Conservatives and also taking one in Rosyth after increasing their vote share there by 16.5 percentage points. Further north, a third new SNP councillor was elected to represent the Inverness Central area on Highland Council.

Derek Glen was selected to represent the Dunfermline Central ward, taking 33.2% of the vote, up by 9.1 percentage points. Former councillor Sharon Green-Wilson won back her seat in Rosyth with 42.8% of the vote after slipping to fourth place in 2017. The wins push the SNP majority on Fife Council to six, with 30 councillors.

Meanwhile Emma Rodwick won in Inverness Central where the SNP’s share of the vote was up 12.3 percentage points to 45.2%.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “What a result! That’s 3 out of 3 SNP victories in yesterday’s by-elections.”

Drew Hendry, the party’s candidate for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey in next month’s General Election, said the local authority results show voters are getting behind the SNP.

He said: “This hat-trick of stunning election victories shows that voters are backing the SNP to beat the Tories, escape Brexit and put Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands – not Boris Johnson’s.

“The SNP has a clear, strong and positive message, and as the main challenger in every Tory-held seat in Scotland, only a vote for the SNP on December 12 can lock the Tories out of government and ensure the people of Scotland have a choice over our future.

“A vote for the SNP is a vote to stop the Tories, get away from the Brexit mess and protect Scotland’s right to choose our own future, so we can build the fairer, more equal and prosperous country we all want to see.”