I feel slightly fraudulent billing the Maryfield result as a 'gain' given that it's one of those strange situations that sometimes crop up in STV by-elections where the party that 'gained' had actually been ahead last time anyway. However, all I have to do is remind myself of the Labour spin the last time they 'gained' a seat in similar circumstances, and all my qualms melt away! There was in any case a small pro-SNP swing in Maryfield (about 1.4% by my rough calculation), and given that the swing is measured from the very high base of May 2007, this is another little straw in the wind suggesting that the SNP might just be doing very well nationally. The result on the final count -
Incidentally, I keep trying to think of a fairer way of filling vacancies under an STV system, but I can't think of anything remotely satisfactory. I suppose it's just a quirk of an otherwise good system that has to be endured.