THERE will only be four candidates on the East Renfrewshire ballot papers after an Independent candidate withdrew from the race.

David MacDonald, an Independent councillor for Clarkston, Netherlee and Williamwood, had initially announced his intention to take on the “big four” parties in next month’s election.

But the former Liberal Democrat and Change UK man decided to stand down before the deadline for nominations last week.

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He said: “I have decided to stand down my candidacy for the upcoming parliamentary election. I have found that it is an extremely difficult task as an Independent with few resources to be able to compete on a level playing field.”

Mr MacDonald also suggested he may be willing to stand in future elections, for which he can “fully prepare for, months in advance.”

He added: “For now, I will join you all as a spectator in what will be an election like no other.

“I wish to thank all my supporters for all their good wishes and encouragement, along with those who donated to the campaign.

“I will be issuing full refunds for all donations to all who donated in due course and this will take place in the next two weeks.”

Mr MacDonald’s political rivals took to Facebook to issue messages of support following his decision to withdraw from the race.

Tory candidate Paul Masterton wrote: “Know this won’t have been an easy decision, given how passionate you are about the community you represent.”

Kirsten Oswald, of the SNP, also passed on her “best wishes.”