THE Scottish Tories have won a new councillor after a by-election, replacing the SNP representative who had stepped down.

Alan Lamont won a seat in the Girvan and South Carrick ward of South Ayrshire Council after the results of the fourth round of counting were announced in the small hours of Friday morning.

He replaced the SNP’s Peter Henderson, who had previously led the council, who retired for health reasons in June.

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Lamont’s win gives the Tories a slightly firmer grip on power in the local authority, which they have controlled since Labour refused to enter a renewed coalition with the SNP after the 2022 council elections.

The Conservatives now have 11 seats on the 28-member council, forming a majority with the support of the four independents.

The SNP group has been reduced from nine councillors to eight.

Lamont was close to being elected at the first stage of the count, with 1315 first preference votes – 47.5% of the total – against the SNP’s 779 votes, with Labour on 499, the LibDems on 108 and Alba on 70.

Ballot Box Scotland said independents had won 37.2% of the vote in the ward in 2022.

Video footage was posted from the count on X – formerly Twitter – by Kevin Dyson from the BBC Local Democracy Reporting Service.

He wrote: “Conservative Alan Lamont is elected at the fourth stage. Interestingly the second preference votes saw Conservatives pick up 151 to SNP’s 150 from those who chose Labour with their first preference.”

The win was celebrated by Scottish Tories on social media, with MSP Murdo Fraser writing: “Boom! A stonking victory for @ScotTories candidate Alan Lamont in Girvan with a huge increase in vote share, proving that we are the alternative to the SNP right across Scotland.”

Lamont saw off challenges from SNP candidate Joe McLaughlin, Nicola Saxton for Labour, Jamie Ross for the Liberal Democrats, and the Alba Party’s Denise Sommerville.

He will serve the Girvan and South Carrick ward alongside his Conservative colleague Gavin Scott and long-serving independent councillor for the area Alec Clark.