Labour’s election success could have further repercussions locally, with potential East Ayrshire Council by-elections in the offing after two Labour councillors were elected as MPs.

Lillian Jones, the new Kilmarnock and Loudoun MP, is a councillor for Kilmarnock West and Crosshouse, while Elaine Stewart, the new Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock MP, represents the Doon Valley.

MPs are not barred from keeping their council seats, but are generally expected to step down.

The multi member system seeks to give more accurate representation of an area than the ‘winner takes all’ first past the post (FPTP) system that used to be used for local elections up until 2007 and continues to be used at general elections.

READ MORE: Labour's Lillian Jones is the new MP for Kilmarnock and Loudoun

However, that multi member approach gets closer to the FPTP where there is a single seat to be filled.

The difference lays with the need to secure more than half of the votes using voting preferences.

In FPTP a candidate is elected as long as they have received more votes than anyone else.

So, for example, if three candidates get 36, 33 and 31 votes respectively, the one with 36 would be declared the winner.

However, under local election rules, one of the candidates needs to get more than 50 per cent. 

Although there is only one seat up for grabs, voters are asked to list their preferences in order.

With no candidate reaching the necessary number of votes, the third place candidate is removed and any next preference votes are shared between the remaining candidates.

Only when these transferred votes have taken one candidate above the threshold would the winner be declared.

READ MORE: New Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock MP promises change after election success

In Kilmarnock West and Crosshouse, Lillian Jones secured the highest number of first preference votes in the 2022 local election, which would indicate the likelihood of Labour retaining that seat.

The Doon Valley is more difficult to predict along party lines. Independent Drew Filson got the most first preference votes, with Elaine Stewart in second, just ahead of the SNP’s Jennifer Hogg. 

However, it is generally more difficult to predict the second preferences for those who vote for an independent candidate, although Cllr Filson is generally considered to be allied with the SNP administration.

Both new MPs have been asked whether they plan to step down as councillors.