• STV
  • MySTV

Scottish Labour sees off SNP challenge in Cowdenbeath by-election

Fife Council leader Alex Rowley was declared the winner after taking more than 50% of the vote.

Alex Rowley wins the Cowdenbeath by-election, January 24 2014
© SWNS Group

Scottish Labour has held on to the Cowdenbeath constituency after seeing off a challenge from the SNP.

Fife Council leader Alex Rowley was declared the winner after taking more than 50% of the vote.

The Scottish Conservatives saw their share of the vote rise while the Scottish Liberal Democrats fell into fifth place, behind UKIP.

Labour took 11,192 votes, a share of 55.8%, while the SNP's candidate Natalie McGarry came second with 5704 votes, a 28.4% share.

In his victory speech, Mr Rowley said: "This is about a bigger vision for Scotland, a bigger vision than simply independence. It's about full employment for every young person to get the opportunities that they deserve from their lifetime.

"It's about elderly people living in Fife with dignity, and making sure when they need services those services are available. I will spend every day working hard to ensure that we do that.

"Finally, the message has got to go out in the Scottish Parliament right now that we can mitigate the bedroom tax.

"We can give people jobs, we can give people opportunities, we can do that with a strong, devolved Scottish Parliament working within the UK."

Ms McGarry, in her concession speech, said: "In eight months' time there is going to be a referendum, and people in this constituency and across Scotland will have a vote. I am confident that there will be yes majority in September.

"I heard on the doorsteps from a lot of traditional Labour voters who said: 'Listen, Natalie, I'm not going to vote for you, but I am actually thinking about voting yes in the referendum.'

"So Alex Rowley may be the victor tonight, but I believe the whole of Scotland will celebrate a yes victory in September."

Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont congratulated Mr Rowley, who becomes Scotland's newest MSP.

The by-election was called following the death in November of incumbent Labour MSP Helen Eadie. The 66-year-old was elected to the constituency at the 2011 Holyrood election after having held the previous Dunfermline East seat from 1999.

Dave Dempsey, who fought the by-election for the Conservatives, saw his party's share of the vote increase to 9.4%, with 1893 votes.

UKIP's Denise Baykal took fourth place with three per cent -- 610 votes -- while the Lib Dem candidate Jade Holden came fifth with 425 votes, which represented a 2.1% share. However, both parties lost their £500 deposit because they failed to achieve five per cent of the vote or more.

The Victims' Final Right, a single-issue party led by Stuart Graham, secured 187 votes and the Scottish Democratic Alliance, represented by James Trolland, won 51 votes.

The turnout was 34.81%, down from the 46.9% showing in the May 2011 Scottish Parliament election.

Appearing on STV's Scotland Tonight by-election special, senior political figures debated the significance of the result and whether the independence referendum had played any role in voters' choices.

Scottish Government health secretary Alex Neil said SNP canvassers had found support for independence on the doorsteps of Cowdenbeath. Mr Neil said a party survey of 11,720 voters showed 41% in favour of independence, 36% against and 23% uncertain.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.