WITH less than 24 hours before the polls open in the constituency, both Labour and the SNP took to the campaign trail on Wednesday.

The contest was called following the recall petition which ousted former SNP MP Margaret Ferrier, who was kicked out of the party after she was found to have breached Covid laws at the height of the pandemic.

Labour and the SNP have been the front-runners in the campaign, with their respective candidates Michael Shanks and Katy Loudon vying for the job.

READ MORE: Rishi Sunak takes aim at Nicola Sturgeon at Tory conference

The SNP candidate Katy Loudon visited The Hillstop Community Cafe, who have requested assistance from Labour-led South Lanarkshire Council when it comes to their cost of lets for weekly sessions.

Loudon joined Christina McKelvie, MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse, in a letter to council leader Joe Fagan.

Loudon said: “The Hillstop Cafe, which has been crucial in supporting the communities worst affected by the Tories’ cost of living crisis, is exactly the type of enterprise we should be supporting and emboldening.

The National:

“That they’re struggling with their bills represents a failure of the Labour council administration to properly support communities and their valued local services.

“The council has the power to lend real assistance to the cafe, and in turn the volunteers and community who rely on it, and it should exercise that power as a matter of priority.”

Speaking to journalists in Cambuslang, Anas Sarwar said: “We’ve had seismic by-elections before, and it’s fair to say that the Labour Party in recent times has been on the wrong side of those seismic by-elections.”

Sarwar pointed to the election of SNP stalwart Winnie Ewing in Hamilton in a 1967 poll, as well as the Glasgow East by-election the party won in 2008.

READ MORE: Chain of Freedom draws in support from Europe support

“I believe this has the potential to be a seismic by-election and then as a launchpad as we head towards that next general election,” he added.

“We approach that with excitement, we approach that with confidence, but we do it with a hunger and desire to recognise that we have come a long way in terms of persuading people that the Scottish Labour Party is back, and we’ve still got a long way to go to earn the trust of the Scottish people, and I’m absolutely determined to do that.”

Loudon, who spoke to journalists in Hamilton during a campaign visit with SNP depute leader Keith Brown and MP Kirsty Blackman, was asked if she is confident of a win.

“Yes, yes, I’m feeling confident,” she said, “we’ve been working really hard, we will continue to work hard right up until 10pm tomorrow.”

Asked what gives her such confidence when Sarwar also appears to be looking forward to a win, Loudon said: “It’s coming from the conversations on the doorstep.

“I wouldn’t be in this election if I didn’t think I was the best candidate to represent people here.

“What drives me is making sure that people in this area get a fair crack of the whip.

“That’s the message I’m taking out to people and that’s what people are looking for, and they’re responding to it well.”