Labour has stormed to victory in the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election, with Michael Shanks gaining more than double the votes of the SNP's Katy Loudon. 

In a significant 20% swing, Mr Shanks received 17,845 votes, giving him a majority of 9,446 over the SNP, who received 8,399. 

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar has claimed the "seismic" result will send "shockwaves" through the SNP and foreshadow a Labour victory in the next UK general election

Mr Shanks will take over the seat from Margaret Ferrier, who was ousted by voters over breaching Covid rules. 

But who is Michael Shanks? Here's everything you need to know about Rutherglen and Hamilton West's new MP.

The Herald: Michael Shanks with Anas Sarwar after winning the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-electionMichael Shanks with Anas Sarwar after winning the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election

Who is Michael Shanks? Age, career, and where is he from?

Michael Shanks is a 35-year-old modern studies teacher at Park Mains High School in Renfrewshire. 

Born in Ayrshire, Mr Shanks has a degree in history and politics from the University of Glasgow, and trained as a teacher in his late 20s. 

A group scout leader, he has also worked in the third sector and runs the charity for young people with complex disabilities.

What is Michael Shanks' background in politics?

Mr Shanks is an experienced Labour activist and veteran contestor of elections. 

He has stood three times for Labour and was the party's only unsuccessful candidate in the local elections for Glasgow City Council in 2012. 

The politician stood for the Glasgow Kelvin constituency in the 2016 Scottish Parliament election and came third, receiving 5,968 votes to the SNP candidate Sandra White's 10,964 and Scottish Green Patrick Harvie's 6,916. 

Read more: Rutherglen & Hamilton West interview: Labour candidate Michael Shanks

Mr Shanks then stood in the Glasgow North West constituency in the 2017 general election, where he came second to the SNP's Carol Monaghan by 2,561 votes. 

He resigned from the Labour party under Jeremy Corbyn after the 2019 European Parliament election, in protest against its stance on Brexit and antisemitism. 

But Mr Shanks rejoined Labour when Keir Starmer became leader in 2020. 

What has Michael Shanks said his priorities are?

Mr Shanks said he wants to give Rutherglen and Hamilton West a "fresh start" and the "fresh voice" it needs. 

According to his website, the issues which are his priorities are: 

  • The cost of living
  • Better local NHS services 
  • Creating new "high quality" jobs
  • Promoting high streets and local businesses
  • Opposing the SNP's council tax hike

He has run every street in Glasgow 

Michael Shanks made headlines in January 2022 when he successfully completed a challenge to run every street in Glasgow

The runner racked up almost 1,500 miles (2,325km) in his journey across the city's 6,143 streets, which started as simply lockdown exercise. 

The Herald: Michael Shanks completing his challenge of running every street in GlasgowMichael Shanks completing his challenge of running every street in Glasgow (Image: Sourced)

He said: "I started exploring my own neighbourhood a bit more, just running round streets I hadn’t been on before.

“Then I discovered an athlete in America, Rickey Gates, who had run every single street in San Francisco and he’d mapped it out and ticked them off and I thought that sounded like a good adventure.”