THE SNP’s Paul McLennan has become East Lothian’s new MSP.

The result of the hotly-contested vote was revealed at Meadowmill sports centre, near Tranent, this afternoon.

Mr McLennan's victory means he is the first SNP MSP for the East Lothian constituency.

A councillor for the Dunbar and East Linton ward, Mr McLennan succeeds Labour’s Iain Gray as the county’s MSP.

Mr Gray, who has retired after more than a decade in the role, was among the first to congratulate his successor, alongside former Labour MP Martin Whitfield, who finished second in the county poll at just over 1,000 votes adrift.

Mr McLennan secured 17,968 votes (39.1 per cent), with Mr Whitfield in second spot on 16,789 (36.6 per cent).

Haddington and Lammermuir ward councillor Craig Hoy (Conservatives) finished in third with 9,470 votes (20.6 per cent), with the Liberal Democrats’ Euan Davidson in fourth with 1,566 votes (3.4 per cent).

The result gives Mr McLennan a majority of 1,179.

A total of 45,931 votes were cast, which is a 69.1 per cent turnout.

A total of 138 votes were rejected, with five voting for more than one candidate and the remainder unmarked or void for uncertainty.