Labour has won the first recall by-election over the SNP in Scotland and Sir Keir Starmer has hailed this as a “seismic” result.
Labour won in Rutherglen and Hamilton West which saw the party gain a share of the vote which could lead to them retake their position as the largest party in Scotland.
Polling expert Professor Sir John Curtice, said this could now put Labour on course for Downing Street if they do as well in the general election.
Sir Keir said: “This is a seismic result. People in Rutherglen and Hamilton West have sent a clear message – it is time for change. And it is clear they believe that this changed Labour Party can deliver it.”
Sir John told the PA news agency: “This result very firmly confirms the direction of travel indicated by the polls and that Labour do pose a serious challenge to the SNP’s continued dominance at Westminster.
“That potentially has implications for the overall outcome in the general election because, if that were to happen, they would find it easier to get an overall majority.
“But also the kinds of increases that Labour have registered in their vote in this by-election, what they achieved in Selby, this is the kind of results that you see in advance of general elections when parties are on course to win.”
Pollster Mark Diffley told BBC Breakfast: “I’m very clear that, actually, Scotland will lead the way in delivering a UK-wide Labour government.
“I think what you’ve seen happen in Scotland overnight is people move away and reject the politics of division, of chaos and incompetence, and instead express a desire for the fresh start, express a desire for change.
“They can now see that Scottish Labour is the vehicle for that change.”
Michael Shanks secured 17,845 votes, well ahead of the 8,399 votes returned for his SNP rival Katy Loudon, Shanks now has a majority of 9,446.