Scottish Borders by-election

Voters are heading to the polls in one area of the Scottish Borders to take part in the by-election.

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Result is a "victory for independent politics"

Outgoing Leaderdale and Melrose Councillor Nicholas Watson says the result in the by-election shows that voters are looking for more local representation, after his party colleague Iain Gillespie won his seat.

Mr Watson has moved to Cumbria to continue working as a clock maker and farmer.

"It is gratifying to know that the Borders Party isn't just about me and my colleague Sandy Aitchison, it is also about an idea whose time has come, people are fed up with national politics in local government and people really want to put in local government, they really want to revive independent politics."

– Nicholas Watson, Outgoing Leaderdale and Melrose Councillor

Scottish Conservatives: "Voting system worked against us"

The Scottish Conservatives missed out on the Leaderdale and Melrose by-election seat.

Candidate Rachael Hamilton topped the ballot on the first preferences transfers under the Single Transferable Voting system, but lost the last stage to The Borders Party's Iain Gillespie.

“While I am obviously delighted to have come so close to getting elected, the system in this instance has worked against me.

"To receive the highest number of first preference votes sends a positive message about the amount of Conservative support in Leaderdale & Melrose.

“It is a shame that the voting system has cost us, and that despite being most people’s preferred candidate transfers have meant that we have missed out. It does show however that despite results elsewhere in the UK, the Conservatives are making gains here in the Borders."

– Rachael Hamilton, Scottish Conservative Candidate


Leaderdale and Melrose councillor elect "delighted"

Outgoing councillor Nicholas Watson congratulates Iain Gillespie Credit: ITV News Border

The result means The Borders Party maintain two seats on Scottish Borders council.

Iain Gillespie says he was surprised but delighted by the result:

"It has always been my attitude that the Borders Party are there for the Scottish Borders people, and hopefully this is building on the success of Nicolas Watson and Sandy Aitchison and hopefully it will go on from there.

"We are not a political party, we have no place in Westminster or Edinburgh, and simply my interest was and always has been the Scottish Borders."

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