SCOTTISH Labour have won a by-election in North Lanarkshire, after the former SNP council chief resigned triggering a by-election.

We told how senior SNP councillor Jordan Linden resigned after an allegation of sexual harassment in July last year.

The hotly contested council seat saw Scottish Labour candidate Anne McCrory win the ballot for Bellshill with 1440 votes (51.8%), while SNP candidate Joseph Budd came second on 753 (27.1%).

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The results translate to a 13 percentage point boost for Labour, and a 13.7 percentage point loss for the SNP.

In the local council elections last year, Linden won the seat with 1300 votes, to Labour’s 1162.

The Scottish Conservatives returned the third highest number of votes, 236, followed by British Unionists, 120, Alba, 107, and the Scottish Greens, 44.

While the result is undoubtedly disappointing for the SNP, as it is Humza Yousaf’s first electoral test since becoming leader and amid the ongoing finance probe, we previously told how a political analyst warned that a loss in the seat should not mean “writing political obituaries yet”.

There were a total of 2778 votes cast in the by-election, with results declared at 11.30pm on Thursday night.

A total of 41 ballot papers were rejected, with turnout at 22.7%.

Des Murray, returning officer and chief executive of North Lanarkshire council, said: “I would like to congratulate Anne McCrory on her election, and I look forward to seeing her at the next council meeting.”

Scottish Labour politicians and supporters celebrated on social media as the news of the win spread.

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Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said: "Incredible result! Congratulations to  @ScottishLabour's newest Councillor, Anne McCrory."

Monica Lennon, a Scottish Labour MSP, said: “Congratulations to Anne McCrory on winning the Bellshill by-election.

“Thank you to everyone who put their trust in our fantastic @ScottishLabour candidate- Anne will work tirelessly for the whole community.

North Lanarkshire Labour councillor Frank McNally added: “An tremendous win for the brilliant Anne McCrory and @ScottishLabour in the Bellshill By-Election, with 52% of the first preference votes - a 13% increase “A massive well done to Anne, @LabourCallum and all of our activists for their hard works over the last several months!”

Scottish Labour said: “Congratulations to Councillor Anne McCrory for her win in Bellshill, and well done to the team who worked hard campaigning!

“The people of Scotland are ready for change - and Labour will deliver it.”

McCrory’s win now gives Scottish Labour 33 councilors on the authority. The SNP currently have 25, after eight councillors formed a new party, Progressive Change North Lanarkshire.

There are also five Tory councillors, four independent, one Scottish Green and one British Unionists.