Tales of the Lib Dem implosion as expressed in recent times by SNP Tactical Voting and others appears to be somewhat premature.
Ashay Ghai has won the Bearsden South by election for East Dunbartonshire Council from the Conservatives with 1770 votes to 1499. The Conservatives were defending the seat as a result of the resignation of Simon Hutchison who couldn't juggle his demands as a solicitor with his council work. He was the convenor of the planning committee on the Labour/Conservative coalition run council.
Local MP Jo Swinson said:
"I'm delighted Ashay Ghai has won this by-election. There is no sign of a David Cameron bounce in Scotland.
"This is a tremendous boost to the Liberal Democrats as we head towards a general election."
Labour who are saying they will be challenging the Jo's seat of which this is one of the wards were the first party to be eliminated under STV in the first round.
Tavish Scott added his praise for the win by Ashay saying:
"This is fantastic achievement by Ashay Ghai and his local campaigning team, supported by his local MP Jo Swinson. Liberal Democrats beating the Conservatives with Labour humiliated all bodes well for the coming general election.
"People recognise that it is the Liberal Democrats on the side of hard working Scottish families during Labour’s recession, with the Tories only offering tax breaks for the very richest in our society.
"Ashay Ghai will be a local champion for Bearsden South."
For the electoral geeks amongst you here is how the STV system worked out.
Ashay Ghai LD 1110
Rachel Higgins Con 1261
Fiona Grace McLeod SNP 783
Manjinder Shergill Lab 626
Stage 2 elimination of Shergill:
Stage 3 elimination of McLeod:
Originally posted 11 Dec 09 at 13:06 but updated for correction of second stage trasfers. The result in the second stage shows how well the Lib Dem team did at targeting Labour second preferences, as only 45 transfered to the Tories.