‘Unpopular policies, inability to listen’: Brutal verdict on SNP after election

Michael Shanks wins Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election

Humza Yousaf has been told the SNP is paying the price for its “unpopular policies and inability to listen” after the party’s by-election humiliation.

Sir Keir Starmer has hailed what he called a “seismic result” after Labour candidate Michael Shanks won the Rutherglen and Hamilton West seat, securing more than twice as many votes as SNP rival Katy Loudon.

In contrast, First Minister Mr Yusaf is picking up the pieces – and staring general election disaster in the face just months after taking over from Nicola Sturgeon.

Posting on X, formerly, Twitter, he admitted it was “a disappointing night for the SNP”, while blaming what he claimed was the transfer of votes directly from the Tories to Labour.

However, businessman David MacKenzie replied: “What do you expect?

READ MORE: Humiliated SNP suffers huge defeat as Humza Yousaf admits ‘disappointment'[INSIGHT]

“You have a series of unpopular policies and an inability to listen and act on what the public are telling you about them.

“Most of us don’t want boiler replacement, transient visitor levy or STL licensing.

“We want cheaper bills and our visitor economy to be cherished not damaged.”

Tom Sneddon said: “Scottish people are no longer standing for higher taxes, middle earners are struggling with costs, taking money out of the pockets of hard working people who’s bills have risen as well. Time for a change!”

Jamie Ralston meanwhile posted: “Hammered, the party is a mess, get out of that coalition with the @scottishgreens and start talking to @AlbaParty and field a unified independence candidate.”

Michael Shanks secured 17,845 votes, securing more than 58 percent of the votes cast, and now has a majority of 9,446.

Mr Humza posted: “We lost this seat in 2017, and like 2019 we can win this seat back.

“We will reflect on what we have to do to regain the trust of the people of Rutherglen & Hamilton West.”

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However, Stephen Flynn MP, the SNP’s Westminster leader, said the party was paying the price for the conduct of former MP Margaret Ferrier, who was ousted after a successful recall petition after she was convicted of breaching Covid regulations in 2020.

He told BBC Breakfast: “It has obviously been a very tough night for the Scottish National Party.

“We’ve had long-standing challenges in relation to Margaret Ferrier and her conduct in terms of breaking coronavirus rules, we’ve obviously had a lot of internal differences over recent months.

“It is important for us now to reflect on the scale of the defeat that we have had, to look internally at what’s gone wrong and to see what we can do better in future to ensure that we win this seat back in the general election next year.

“We have lost by a significant margin, we know that our vote has not turned out and we know that we need to remotivate people to vote for the Scottish National Party.

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said the Labour Party is “back on the pitch”.

Speaking to Good Morning Scotland, Mr Sarwar said: “I think it’s no exaggeration to say we didn’t expect it to be as good a result as it was.

“And I think it demonstrates that people in Rutherglen and Hamilton West are tired of incompetence, the division, the chaos, and the vehicle for that change is Scottish Labour.

“The reason why I think it is a fundamental change is this wasn’t a result that was two months or six months in the making. It was years in the making. When I became leader two years ago, we were 32 points behind the SNP in the opinion polls. People were talking about Scottish Labour survival.

“For us two years on to win a parliamentary by-election for the first time in more than 12 years in Scotland, to get more than double the vote share of the SNP and to get a swing of more than 20 percent, is seismic, it is huge, it is significant.”

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