By Ashley Murphy
The long-awaited byelection to replace the controversial MP Margaret Ferrier will be held on Thursday, October 5.
The SNP has “moved the writ” which marked the official start of a campaign which has been underway for months. The seat held by independent MP Margaret Ferrier was made vacant after a recall petition proved successful following her conviction for breaking strict Covid restrictions.
The SNP and Labour Party have been battling it out to retake the seat in the last few months as the real by-election campaign- came closer, with the writ being moved to the first day the House of Commons returned after the summer holidays.
The SNP’s Katy Loudon said: “Of course it’s been a challenging few months but this is a by-election for this seat and that’s what I am committed to fighting on because I want to represent this area.”
Scottish Labour Leader Anas Sarwar said the by election was a chance for constituents to “demand better than the same old SNP failure”. He said there is a positive attitude that his own party can “drive the change the community needs now more than ever”.
The people and voters of Rutherglen and West Hamilton could send a clear message to two governments by electing Scottish Labour’s Michael Shanks.
Labour’s deputy leader Jackie Baillie described him as “a local champion”.
While both the SNP and Labour parties continue to fight back against each other, there is someone else who is eager now more than ever to have his voice heard.
That is the Scottish Green candidate Cameron Eadie who is seen by commentators as an outsider in the race to get the seat.
He said “constituents had the chance to vote for bold and radical action”
It’s a defining moment for both the Scottish Tories and the Labour Party especially since the Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf was voted in to lead Scotland.
Candidates declared for the election so far include: Gloria Adebo (Scottish Liberal Democrats), Thomas Kerr (Scottish Conservatives), Michael Shanks (Scottish Labour) and Katy Loudon (SNP) and Cameron Eadie (Green).
Breakdown of the Rutherglen and Hamilton by-election
By Paul Cooper
Byelection candidates so far declared
By Sheldon Chambers
Who is standing in the Rutherglen and Hamilton by-election?
Liberal Democrat, Gloria Adebo- Gloria works as a data analyst in finance. She has campaigned on a variety of local issues, including improvement to the local pavement, and town centre rejuvenation as well as support for mortgage repayments.
Scottish Labour, Michael Shanks- A teacher Michael has been vocal about his opposition to the two-child benefit cap, calling it a ‘heinous’ policy and remains open to rejoining the E.U. He quit the party four years ago over Brexit but is now standing for Labour in this by-election.
SNP, Katy Loudon- A primary school teacher for ten years, Katy lives in Rutherglen and has represented the Cambuslang East ward at South Lanarkshire Council since 2017. She is a pro-European who has been vocal about the damage of Brexit and her arguments for re-joining the EU. As a teacher she prioritises education and support for children and young people.
Scottish Conservative, Thomas Kerr- A conservative councillor for Shettleston, Glasgow, since 2017- being re-elected in 2022. Thomas has been a member of the Conservative party since the age of 14 and now champions causes related to young people, fighting social justice and working-class communities.
Scottish Green, Cameron Eadie- The 20-year-old student, studying an MA in social and Public Policies at the University of Glasgow. He grew up in East Kilbride and Hamilton and has interned with the John Smith Centre. Cameron’s campaign focuses on the climate crisis, eradicating child poverty and the re-joining of an independent Scotland into the European Union.
· Bill Bonnar (Scottish Socialist Party)
· Niall Fraser (Scottish Family Party)
· Ewan Hoyle (Volt UK)
· Chris Sermanni (Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition)
· David Stark (Reform UK)
· Colette Walker (Independence for Scotland Party)
How and when to vote?
Scotland’s first ID by-election
By Amy Myles
A by-election is a special election held to fill a vacant seat in Westminster, Holyrood or councils. These by-elections occur when a MSP, MP, MEP or a councillor resigns or dies, claims bankruptcy, takes a seat in the House of Lords, is convicted of a serious criminal offence where the sentencing would last over a year or the seat has been recalled by constituents.
However, if the elected person switches political parties a by-election would not take place. They simply switch allegiance and usually continue to sit as an independent.
These elections are a vital part of the democratic process in Scotland as they allow voters to choose a new person to represent them and their constituency.
The voting in a by-election follows a straightforward process that is designed to ensure all eligible people get to exercise their democratic right.
The vote will follow the same procedure for any other election. You must be a registered voter and can either vote at a polling station between the hours of 07:00 and 22:00 or vote by post or by proxy.
For the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election voters will need to show an accepted photographic ID. This is the first time this has been a requirement in Scotland.
The vote will be held on October 5. Voters need to be registered before September 19.
by Scott McKenna and Patryk Witkowski
The road to the by-election: 2019 to today
By Cole Pinder
A by-election will be held in Rutherglen and Hamilton West on the 5th of October.
But how did we get here? Let’s look back.
In 2019 SNP member Margaret Ferrier represented her party and won this seat.
She won with 44.2% of the public vote beating out the Labour Party representative Gerard Killen who held a respectable 34.5% of votes.
Margaret would represent the Hamilton West and Rutherglen constituency from 2019 to 2020.
She lost her seat after making “a blunder” in decision-making.
The MP travelled the country knowing she was COVID-19 positive.
She took a COVID test on Saturday the 26th of September because she had a “sore throat”.
She decided to board a train to Glasgow from the south of England despite knowing she had symptoms of the virus.
She had visited a church and a bar in addition to this. This happened at the height of COVID-19 restrictions.
Knowing she had tested positive, she took a train back to Glasgow.
As soon as the public was made aware of this a petition was made.
Over 12,000 people would eventually sign, all calling for her to resign from her post.
The SNP party leader Nicola Sturgeon said her actions were “indefensible”.
And the SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said she had: “Breached the trust of her constituents”.
The whip was removed in 2020 and she sits as an independent until the by-election.
Margaret Ferrier will not be standing for re-election.
The SNP will attempt to retake the Rutherglen and Hamilton West seat with a different candidate, but polls indicate that Labour has the upper hand going into the by-election.
Both Humza Yousaf and Keir Starmer need a victory in this constituency, as it could set the tone for what’s to come for Scotland in the year ahead: a General Election year.