The SNP is celebrating its 26th by-election victory since May after winning a seat in Hamilton.

Stephanie Callaghan was elected as a councillor in the Hamilton North and East by-election last night.

The SNP candidate beat Scottish Labour's Lyndsay Clelland, the Scottish Green's Steven Hannigan, Scottish Conservatives James MacKay and Liberal Democrat candidate Norman Rae to win the seat, receiving over 50% of the vote.

The result saw a swing in the SNP's favour from Labour, as it has done in most Scottish council by-elections since its landslide in the general election. However, the swing of 5.6% was smaller than that seen in many other contests.

The SNP held a South Lanarkshire Council seat in the Hamilton North and East ward in the by-election which followed the death of an SNP councillor.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon congratulated Ms Callaghan on Twitter, stating the by election win is the party's 26th out of 29 contested, since May 2015.

The SNP won 56 of the 59 Scottish seats in the May General Election.

The Holyrood elections will take place in May 5 2016.

The SNP came under fire recently for the party's council tax freeze, with Moray Council threatening to break ranks and introduce the first rise in almost a decade.

The authority said earlier this month that bills could rise by almost a fifth as it faces spending cuts next year of around £12million, while Highlands Council is also exploring the prospect of introducing a hike to save £50m.