Humza Yousaf warned he has just days left following bruising by-election result

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Humza Yousaf has just nine days to save his job following damaging results from a by-election which saw Labour favoured over the SNP.

Mr Yousaf, the First Minister of Scotland, will open up his party conference in Aberdeen on October 15 which will see him discuss how he will stay in power and take the party into a new independence referendum following the results.

Labour took Rutherglen and Hamilton West from the SNP in yesterday’s vote with a higher-than-expected swing of more than 20 percent.

Labour candidate Michael Shanks won 17,845 votes in Thursday’s by-election, well ahead of the 8,399 returned for SNP rival Katy Loudon.

After securing more than 58 percent of the votes cast, Mr Shanks now has a majority of 9,446.

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

Mr Yousaf said he would “reflect” on the SNP’s “disappointing result”, and Stephen Flynn, the SNP’s leader in the Commons, went even further, describing it as a “bit of a kicking”.

Mr Flynn said the party would need to create enthusiasm for independence among voters once again, but added that it should not downplay the effect of this by-election defeat. 

However, he denied that Mr Yousaf’s position as First Minister was in jeopardy, saying: “I don’t think that he is any trouble whatsoever.”

Labour now has two MPs in Scotland – far off its more than 40 in 2010 before its representation collapsed after the 2014 independence referendum.

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SNP leader and Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf admitted it was a “disappointing night” for his party, which has been plunged into chaos by Nicola Sturgeon’s departure and a police probe into its finances.

He said: “Circumstances of this by-election were always very difficult for us. We lost this seat in 2017, and like 2019 we can win this seat back.

“However, we will reflect on what we have to do to regain the trust of the people of Rutherglen and Hamilton West.”

A gleeful Sir Keir said his party “blew the doors off” in the Scottish contest as he stepped out in the constituency this morning.

He said: “They said that we couldn’t change the Labour Party and we did it.

“They said that we couldn’t win in the south of England and the north of England, and we did it. They said ‘you’ll never beat the SNP in Scotland’ and Rutherglen, you did it. You blew the doors off!”

The by-election was sparked after a recall petition against Margaret Ferrier, who had won the seat for the SNP in 2019 with a majority of 5,230.

Ms Ferrier had the SNP whip removed for breaching Covid rules in 2020, and after remaining as an independent MP was suspended from the House Commons.

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