Voters in Rutherglen and Hamilton West head to the polls today, as one of the longest by-elections campaigns in British history comes to a conclusion.

The result is expected at around 1am, with Labour the favourites to take the seat won by the SNP in 2019.

Both parties were out on the campaign trail yesterday.

READ MORE: Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election: Who are the candidates?

Speaking to journalists in Cambuslang, Anas Sarwar said he was confident his candidate Michael Shanks would win.

“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.”

“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.”

The Herald:

Ms Loudon, was in Hamilton with SNP depute leader Keith Brown and MP Kirsty Blackman. She was asked if she was 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 Mr Sarwar also appears to be looking forward to a win, Ms 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.”

The Herald: Humza Yousaf joins SNP candidate Katy Loudon (centre) and suporters in Rutherglen

READ MORE: Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election: Everything you need to know 

The vote was sparked when Margaret Ferrier was ousted in Scotland’s first ever recall petition at the start of August.

The petition was triggered when the MP was suspended from the Commons for 30 days for multiple Covid rule breaches.

Ms Ferrier won the seat for the SNP in 2019 with a majority of 5,230.

Labour now needs a swing of just 5% to send Mr Shanks to Westminster.

The Scottish Conservatives were a distant third at the last general election, winning just 8,000 votes, far behind Labour's 18,000 and the SNP's 23,000.

The party's candidate Thomas Kerr, had led a low-profile campaign. He said if he was elected, he would be “fully focused” on tackling the “real priorities” of constituents.

“In sharp contrast, the SNP candidate has made it clear they will be relentlessly pushing for another independence referendum at every opportunity,” he added.

Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate Gloria Adebo said she would be a "champion" for the South Lanarkshire seat. 

"It needs someone who will stand up against SNP centralisation and Conservative chaos.

“People are sick of it. We even found an SNP party member who said their vote was up for grabs because of the actions of various nationalist politicians.

“I would urge that voter and ever voter who wants to see action on the cost of living and the state of the NHS to vote for me and the Scottish Liberal Democrats."


READ MORE: Fears over Rutherglen and Hamilton West voter ID requirement

Scottish Green candidate Cameron Eadie said a vote for his party "would send shockwaves through our politics."

He said: “We don’t have time to waste. The world is burning around us, but the Prime Minister's solution is to double down on fossil fuels.

“The fate of my generation and all future generations will be decided by what we do in the months and years ahead. We need an urgent shift to a renewable future.

“The people of Rutherglen and Hamilton West have the opportunity to lead the change."