Tories become largest party at Stirling Council after by-election win

The Scottish Conservatives have taken a seat from the SNP after winning 40% of first preference votes.

Scottish Tories become largest party at Stirling Council after Dunblane and Bridge of Allan by-election win Stirling Council

The Scottish Tories have become the largest party at Stirling Council following a by-election victory against the SNP.

Conservative candidate Robin Kleinman won the contest for the Dunblane and Bridge of Allan ward on Thursday, taking 41% of first preference votes.

The win gives the Tories eight seats at the local authority, overtaking the SNP as the largest party by one seat.

Labour, which has five members, runs the council with the backing of the Tories.

The by-election was called following the death of SNP councillor Graham Houston in December.

Robin Kleinman is now the latest Tory councillor to join the local authority, winning 1,832 first preference votes.

SNP candidate Ahsan Khan came in second, winning 1,202 (26.9%) first preference votes while Scottish Labour’s David Wilson returned 600 (13.4%).

Lib Dem candidate Dick Moerman won 399 (8.9%) first preference votes while Greens candidate Clare Pauline Andrews won 389 (8.7%).

Scottish Family Party candidate Nickie Willis won 50 (1.1%) votes.

The turnout for the election was 38.1%, Stirling Council said.

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross said the by-election was a “terrific” result for the party.

He said: “I campaigned with Robin and I know he will be a fantastic councillor and a strong voice for the area he is proud to call home.

“Having gained this seat from the SNP and significantly increased our share of the vote, it’s clear people have strong faith in our party.”