Labour win but only by 160 votes!

Norah Mooney secures Thorniewood by-election
Norah Mooney secures Thorniewood by-election

Labour were victorious in the Thorniewood by-election, with Norah Mooney being named as the new councillor for the constituency.

Councillor Mooney, a practice manager for the NHS, succeeds Hugh Gaffney, who resigned during the summer to focus on his career as an MP in Westminster.

She said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be elected as a local champion for the area in which I’ve lived all my life.

“Throughout this campaign, I have made it very clear that I will always stand up for local interests and I’m thrilled to be given this opportunity by our community to represent them.

“I am looking forward to working with my Labour colleagues in administration at the council to deliver on my constituents priorities as we fight catastrophic SNP cuts to our communities.”

The last three by-elections in North Lanarkshire have all been won by female candidates.

Council leader Jim Logue said: “Norah will be an outstanding local champion for Thorniewood.

“Her enthusiasm, dedication and passion for her community has shone through in this campaign, and has delivered this excellent result.

“This by-election was a real ‘Team Labour’ effort, and I’d like to thank all those who offered their help and support over the last few weeks.

“Since the council elections in 2017, we have now won a hat trick of by-election victories with three brilliant women who will help us change the face of politics in North Lanarkshire.

“Norah’s outstanding victory cements our place as the largest Labour council in Scotland and is a boost in our mission to make North Lanarkshire the place to live, learn, work, invest and visit.”

Had the SNP won instead, the two largest parties in North Lanarkshire would have had an equal number of representatives at 32 councillors each.

The SNP councillor in Thorniewood, Steven Bonnar, served as election agent for their candidate Eve Cunnington. He said: “Eve has relished the opportunity and experience and wants to thank those who put their trust in her.

“While the result isn’t what she wanted we did see our vote share increase and that of the Labour and Tory party fall. So we will take the positives from that and keep moving forward. We both wish to place on record our best wishes to Councillor Mooney.”

The number of first preference votes polled for each candidate was:

Eve Rowan Cunnington, Scottish National Party – 1,202

Rosemary McGowan, Scottish Green Party – 46

Norah Mooney, Scottish Labour Party – 1,362

Lorraine Nolan, Scottish Conservative and Unionist – 296

Colin Robb, Scottish Liberal Democrats – 168

Total of first preference votes: 3,074

The percentage poll was 29 per cent and the electoral quota was 1,538.

Twenty-six ballot papers were rejected.

Des Murray, Returning Officer, said: “I would like to congratulate Norah Mooney on her election, and I look forward to seeing her at the next council meeting.”