The first Thursday of May is the traditional slot allotted for local elections in the UK, so there can't have been many years when the occasion was marked with just one solitary by-election in the Highlands. Incredibly, the SNP were the only one of the main parties that even bothered turning up, but they'll be glad they did after this outcome (changes from the 2012 result in brackets) -
Independent Thompson : 39.0% (n/a)
SNP : 30.4% (+15.5)
Independent Watson : 22.5% (n/a)
UKIP : 5.6% (n/a)
Scottish Christian Party : 2.6% (+1.0)
I was going to make the obvious comment about the Scottish Christians being 'So Macho' for putting in an appearance when Labour and the Tories didn't, but alas, it appears that the unspoofable George Hargreaves is no longer the party leader.
Obviously this was an unusual contest, and it would be unwise to read too much into it. But given that one of the Five Great Pillars of the Ian Smart conspiracy theory about how the pollsters are deliberately overstating the Yes vote is based on the questionable claim that the SNP haven't been doing very well in "real elections", it's worth pointing out that this is in fact only the fifth real election to have taken place so far this year, and it's a rather splendid result by any standards.
If you're in Kilsyth this afternoon, watch out for collapsing pillars.