AN independent councillor has been elected to the Highland Council after a by-election.

Laura Dundas was elected to represent the Tain and Easter Ross ward following the death of the previous councillor Alasdair Rhind.

She won at stage seven of voting and won 895 first preference votes. Closest behind her was the SNP candidate Gordon Allison who won 630 first preferences.

Dundas was also up against another independent, a Tory candidate and representatives from the Greens, the Scottish Libertarian Party and the LibDems.

The electorate was 7179 and the number of ballots was 2507, making a turnout of just 34.9%.

Rhind sadly died at the age of 65 earlier this year, according to Ballot Box Scotland.

READ MORE: Tributes paid after shock death of Highland councillor

He had been a councillor for nearly 25 years, first elected in 1999, and had served continuously except for a brief spell out of office following the 2017 council elections where he lost his seat to another independent.

But he almost immediately re-entered the Highland Council when the LibDem councillor Jamie Stone was elected to Westminster to serve as the MP for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross.

Stone vacated the seat and Rhind was re-elected in the resulting by-election.