CAROLINE Penman (Independent) has been announced as the new Selkirkshire councillor.

Electors voted by numbers using the single transferable vote system, ranking candidates in order of preference.

Mrs Penman was elected in the seventh round in a close battle with Conservative candidate Trevor Adams.

Mr Adams received more first round votes (1,247) compared to Mrs Penman's 1,040.

But the independent candidate had more second and third choice votes.

She said:  "I am completely overwhelmed. I was getting really nervous not knowing what the result was going to be.

"But I am absolutely delighted, I am over the moon and so proud.

"This is my first time in local politics. I have been involved in a number of other groups like the Selkirk Chamber of Trade and I have got two businesses in the town.

"I got involved [in politics] because I could just see people's frustrations and I just thought if the opportunity comes up again, I am just going to go for it."

The overall turnout was 45.1 per cent.

The 2018 by-election was triggered after Conservative councillor Michelle Ballantyne resigned on December 5, 2017.

Tweeddale East councillor Robin Tatler (Independent) congratulated Caroline on Twitter: "Well done Caroline Penman! Another Independent Councillor on Scottish Borders Council."

The other candidates standing for election were: Jack Clark (Scottish Liberal Democrats), Kenneth Gunn (Independent), Barbra Harvie (Scottish Green Party), John Mitchell (Scottish National Party) and Scott Redpath (Scottish Labour Party).