The SNP has held a seat comfortably in the first local by-election north of the border in 2017, which saw Labour's share of the vote fall.

The contest in the Kilmarnock East & Hurlford ward of East Ayrshire Council comes ahead of full council elections in Scotland in May in which Scottish Nationalists hope to make significant gains.

First-preference voting in the poll caused by the death of an SNP councillor was: SNP 1,461, Lab 881, C 602, Libertarian 53. Turnout was 26.6%.

Labour's vote share fell from 46% in 2012 when four councillors were elected in the ward to 29.4%. The swing from Labour to SNP was 9.3%.