Independent Watson McAteer won the Hawick and Denholm by election this morning (Friday), beating Tory Trevor Adams by 110 votes, writes Colin Purvis.
McAteer polled 732 votes to Adams’ 622, and Lib Dem Ian Turnbull came third with 450.
Turnout was 39.25 per cent and there were 47 rejected ballot papers.
Many attending the count at Scottish Borders Council headquarters in Newtown were predicting a Tory win and halfway through proceedings they were in buoyant mood.
And as the count progressed it became a clear two-way battle between McAteer and Adams.
But it was always going to be a close-run thing and after little more than 90 minutes, returning officer and SBC chief executive Tracey Logan called it for McAteer by 110 votes.
Speaking to the Hawick News at the count in the council chamber, McAteer said: “I’m absolutely delighted and would like to thank each and every person who took the time to vote for me yesterday.
“This is a huge challenge and there is much to do. I am looking forward to serving the town and my constituents and working with the existing councillors.”
The full result is as follows: Watson McAteer, Independent 732; Trevor Adams, Conservative 622; Ian Turnbull, Liberal Democrat 450; Harry Stoddart, Scottish Nationalist 419; Marion Short, Independent 326; David Paterson, Independent 250; and Craig Bryson, Independent 74.