Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Labour List MSP Stands Down

Mid Scotland and Fife MSP John Park is to officially resign his seat in Holyrood next week.  The Labour member, first elected in 2007, has accepted a new role as the trade union Community's new policy and strategy director.

As per usual for regional list seats, there will be no by-election and Park will instead by automatically replaced by the next Labour member from the party's candidate list in the 2011 elections.  In this case the next candidate, and soon to be the new MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, was Jayne Baxter.

After missing out on a Holyrood seat in 2011, Baxter went on to win a seat on Fife Council in the Cowdenbeath ward in May of this year.  Although no official statement has yet been given, it seems highly likely that a by-election will be called in the ultra-safe Labour ward shortly after Baxter takes up her new post.

Monday, 26 November 2012

By-Election Preview: 29 November 2012

Andrew Teale is a new blogger for this site, who will be providing these excellent by-election previews in advance of any upcoming local by-elections.  Read a full introduction to Andrew here on the English Elections blog.

SGIR' UIGE AGUS CEANN A TUATH NAN LOCH
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar; caused by the death of Scottish National Party councillor Bill Houston at the age of 60.  Twice an SNP parliamentary candidate (in Stirling in 1983 and Falkirk in 1992), he had worked for the council for fourteen years before his election in 2012.

Bernera Bridge
© Copyright David Martin and licensed for
reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
The ward name Sgir' Uige agus Ceann a Tuath nan Loch and the council Comhairle nan Eilean Siar are mouthfuls in a language which may not be familiar to many readers of the column.  The language is Scottish Gaelic; the council is the Western Isles; and the ward name roughly translates as Uig and North Lochs, covering a large swathe of the southern part of the Isle of Lewis.

Uig is a Viking name (from the Norse word "vik" meaning "bay") and much of the Outer Hebrides were under Norwegian control.  One result of this is perhaps Lewis' most famous export, the Lewis Chessmen, a set of 12th-century ivory chess pieces which were found in a sandback on Uig in the nineteenth century.  Most of these are now on display in the British Museum.  Last year Uig started exporting whisky from the recently-established Abhainn Dearg distillery.

Further to the east is the island of Great Bernera and the villages of Breasclete and Carloway on the eastern shore of Loch Rog.  The ward then moves inland into the low-lying North Lochs district, so-named because of the number of small lochs in the area, and comes out on the east coast of Lewis at Loch Eireasort.  Here can be found the village of Balallan on the main Lewis-Harris road.

Western Isles politics is of course dominated by independents, and previous election results in this ward are even more confusing to interpret because of the number of candidates called MacDonald (which is apparently the most common surname on Great Bernera).  In 2007 four of the six candidates were called MacDonald and three of those were elected: the SNP's Annie MacDonald topped the poll and was elected on first preferences, her surplus elected independent Alex MacDonald  while Labour's Norman Alexander MacDonald fought off the other three independents to narrowly win the final seat.  Before the introduction of PR in 2007 Annie MacDonald had represented Lochs ward (which covered Balallan and the Park area) and Norman Alexander MacDonald had been councillor for Uig ward.

Fast forward to 2012 and Alex MacDonald has stood down while Labour's Norman Alexander MacDonald is standing for re-election as an independent.  He is not to be confused with another 2012 independent candidate, Norman "Puss" MacDonald   The SNP ran two candidates, Annie MacDonald and Bill Houston; although Annie was the sitting councillor Houston emerged as by far the stronger of the two, and was the first candidate to reach quota after Annie was eliminated.  Houston's surplus re-elected Norman Alexander, who had topped the poll, and gave the final seat to a new independent candidate, Cudig MacLeod.  The three councillors gave a good geographical spread across this huge ward, with Houston from Liurbost (a village in North Lochs), Norman Alexander MacDonald in Uig and MacLeod living in Callanish (a hamlet near Breasclete, known for its standing stones), and polling district data indicates that each candidate polled best in their home area.

The defending SNP candidate will not have such home advantage in this by-election, although he is described as having strong family ties with Lochs and Great Bernera; he is yet another MacDonald  this time John Norman MacDonald  who lives on the Eye Peninsula east of Stornoway and polled poorly in his home ward (Sgire an Rubha) in May.  He is opposed by two new independent candidates, both of whom live in Balallan: Les Mac an Ultaigh, a tour guide, and Angus Morrison, who is described as a former newspaper boss.

Parliamentary constituency: Na h-Eileanan an Iar
ONS Travel to Work Area: Eilean Siar

May 2012 result Ind 315/233/229/147 SNP 292/172 (seats: SNP/Ind/Ind)
May 2007 result Ind 406/246/130/124 SNP 442 Lab 295 (seats: SNP/Ind/Lab)

Aberdeenshire Coalition Teetering on Collapse

It has been reported that Fraserburgh and District Independent Cllr Ian Tait has resigned from the ruling coalition on Aberdeenshire Council, leaving control hung in the balance between 34 coalition councillors and 34 opposition councillors.  The coalition will now have to rely on their casting vote to pass motions through full council, leaving no room for absence or dissent.  A futher defection could potentially lead to change in administration, with an SNP-led coalition or minority administration being the most obvious alternative.

The SNP won the most seats on the Council in May, but were blocked from power by a deal between the Tories and the Liberal Democrats with the support of some Independents.  As well as the SNP, the opposition comprises two Labour, one Green, and some more Independent councillors.  Fraserburgh and District ward itself elected two SNP councillors and two Independents - an Independent gain from SNP on the 2007 result.

Tait, who himself was once an SNP councillor, appears to have resigned from the ruling bloc after Fraserburgh was overlooked for additional council investment as part of the council's "Strategic Growth Area".

Aberdeenshire Council
Administration
Opposition
Conservative
14
-
SNP
28
-
Lib Dems
12
-
Independents
3
+1
Independents
8
-1
Labour
2
-
Green
1
-
Total
34
-1
Total
34
+1

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Green and Independent MSPs Form Working Group

It was announced today that five MSPs have agreed to form a new 'technical group' within Holyrood.  The Green and independent MSPs are co-operating with the aim of giving them greater influence over parliamentary business, so as to enhance their ability to represent their constituents.

Such cross-party co-operation has existed before, notably in the case of the 'three amigos' of the 1999-2003 Parliament (the Greens' Robin Harper, SSP's Tommy Sheridan and independent MSP Dennis Canavan).  In that case, the aim was to ensure that these sole representatives of minor parties received a voice in the then new parliament, and couldn't be sidelined by the larger parties.

The advantage of this new group being formed seems to centre on the size of the group granting them a seat on the key Parliamentary Bureau, which sets the parliamentary agenda at Holyrood.  The four main parties are all represented on this group, but the Greens have been denied access since they were reduced to two seats in the 2007 election.  The formation of the group will also ensure its members more speaking time in debates and more opportunities to participate in First Minister's Questions.

The MSPs involved are the Green Party's Patrick Harvie and Alison Johnstone, elected independent Margo MacDonald, and the two ex-SNP independents John Finnie and Jean Urquhart.  Finnie and Urquhart both left the SNP last month in protest against the party dropping its historic opposition to membership of NATO.  The other ex-SNP independent in parliament, Bill Walker, does not appear to be involved.  The group will hold the same number of members as the Liberal Democrats' group of five MSPs.

Although all five members of the group are pro-independence and broadly interested in social and environmental issues, they have been keen to stress that they will maintain their previous policy positions and there have been no changes in party membership by the creation of the group.

With the addition the new group, the composition of Holyrood now looks like this:

Scottish Parliament
SNP65
Labour37
Conservative15
Independent/Green5
--Independents
3
--Green
2
Lib Dems5
Independent 1

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Would Tories "Rule Forever" After Independence?

One argument I have seen laid against the campaign for Scottish independence is that without Scottish MPs, Westminster will be doomed to Tory rule forever more - with Labour requiring its substantial Scottish base to ever win a majority.

Aside from the counter arguments that English politics would inevitably re-centre itself rather than sustain one party rule, that there may be greater turnout by Labour supporters to end such one party rule, or that it's not Scotland's place to push England leftwards, it is simply factually incorrect that Westminster would not produce Labour majorities without Scotland.

The following table shows what the results would be for each general election from 1945 to 2010 had Scotland not been taking part in those elections.  There is no accounting for the effects of the previously made arguments, this is simply what the overall results would have been if you were to remove the Scottish seats from the final result each time.

LabConLibOthResult
1945UK3932101225Lab maj 146
- Scotland3561831218Lab maj 143
1950UK31529893Lab maj 5
- Scotland27826772Lab maj 2
1951UK29532163Con maj 17
- Scotland26028653Con maj 18
1955UK27734562Con maj 60
- Scotland24330952Con maj 59
1959UK25836561Con maj 100
- Scotland22033450Con maj 109
1964UK31730490Lab maj 4
- Scotland27428050Con maj 1
1966UK364253121Lab maj 98
- Scotland31823371Lab maj 77
1970UK28833066Con maj 30
- Scotland24430735Con maj 55
Feb 1974UK3012971423Lab short 33
- Scotland2612761116Con short 12
Oct 1974UK3192771326Lab maj 3
- Scotland2782611015Lab short 8
1979UK2693391116Con maj 43
- Scotland225317814Con maj 70
1983UK2093972321Con maj 144
- Scotland1683761519Con maj 174
1987UK2293762223Con maj 102
- Scotland1793661320Con maj 154
1992UK2713362024Con maj 21
- Scotland2223251121Con maj 71
1997UK4181654630Lab maj 177
- Scotland3621653624Lab maj 137
2001UK4131665228Lab maj 167
- Scotland3581654222Lab maj 129
2005UK3551986231Lab maj 64
- Scotland3141975125Lab maj 41
2010UK2583065729Con short 38
- Scotland2173054623Con maj 19

As can be seen, there are only two occasions out of the eighteen general elections held since 1945 where the exclusion of Scotland would result in a different party winning the most seats - 1964 and February 1974.  These were both highly marginal results as they were, 1964 producing a tiny Labour majority and February 1974 producing a hung parliament that resulted in a second general election eight months later.

As well as those two, the only other significantly different results would be October 1974 where Labour is now slightly short of a majority instead of having a tiny one, and the most recent election in 2010 where the Conservatives win a small majority instead of the hung parliament situation that actually occured.

That leaves fourteen of the last eighteen elections where the overall result would have been the same.  Perhaps there would have been smaller Labour majorities, but the likes of the 1997, 2001 and even 2005 general elections all would have still produced strong Labour governments.

From this, it is clear that the Tories would not be destined to "rule forever" in the remaining UK if Scotland were to become independent in 2014.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Scotland's Bellwether Constituency

Following a discussion on the Vote UK Forum about the closest Westminster constituency results to the overall national result, I decided to do a quick analysis for the same idea on 2011 Holyrood results.

I assessed the difference between each constituency result with the overall national result (in the constituency votes) by simply comparing each of the main four parties' results in each constituency with their overall result, and then adding these differences together.

By this method, I found that in terms of voting pattern the most 'typical' constituency in Scotland in 2011 was Strathkelvin and Bearsden, with a difference of 9.4 percentage points from the overall national result.  This constituency lies wholly within East Dunbartonshire, covering parts of the northern suburbs of Greater Glasgow, but is perhaps a surprising find for most typical result given it has had some very atypical results in the past, for example with independent Dr Jean Turner winning the seat in 2003.

Stirling was the second most typical constituency with a variance of 9.9 percentage points.  Interestingly, it was also a very close result in 2007 where there was a variance of 16.3 percentage points on the old boundaries.  Indeed the SNP and Labour results were almost bang on with the national results, with the variance largely produced by the Conservatives overperforming and the Lib Dems underperforming.  Furthermore, Stirling has always been won by the party who went on to win the most seats in the Scottish Parliament.  Could Stirling be Scotland's bellwether constituency?

The full table with every Holyrood constituency is available here.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Bob Constable Elected New Midlothian Leader

SNP Councillor Bob Constable (Bonnyrigg) was voted in as Midlothian's new Leader yesterday, along with Owen Thompson (Midlothian West) as new Depute Leader. 

Former Leader Cllr Lisa Beattie resigned last week after reportedly being forced out by her colleagues who threatened a vote of no confidence in her leadership, with her Depute Cllr Jim Bryant then issuing his own resignation just an hour before the special meeting called to elect a new leader.  This resulted in complaints from the Labour group about lack of time to nominate one of their own to replace Bryant. 

The SNP's new leadership team was successfully elected however by a 9-7 vote against Labour's nominees of Cllr Derek Milligan (Bonnyrigg) and Cllr Jim Muirhead (Midlothian South).

Midlothian's sole Green Party Councillor Ian Baxter (Bonnyrigg) supported the SNP nominees, noting in a blogpost that "I cannot say I yet have total confidence in the SNP-led administration, but what I do know is that if today's performance by Labour is anything to go by, they'll need to change their game plan if they have any hope of me changing sides."

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Leader of Midlothian Council Resigns

STV News is reporting that Cllr Lisa Beattie (Midlothian East), the SNP leader of Midlothian Council has resigned, just five weeks after taking up the post.

The May election resulted in a balanced council with both Labour and the SNP holding eight seats, in addition to one Independent and one Green.

After Green Cllr Ian Baxter (Bonnyrigg) said he could not keep Labour in power after campaigning for change, the SNP formed a coalition with the lone Independent with Green agreement to abstain on voting for the new council leader.

The reasons for the resignation have not been given, but Deputy Leader Cllr Jim Bryant (Dalkeith, also SNP) has become Acting Leader until a new selection can be held next Tuesday.  The SNP will still need their coalition partner to vote with them along with a Green abstention to elect a new council leader.

Update
According to the BBC, Cllr Beattie was forced to resign by her SNP colleagues who threatened a vote of no confidence in her leadership.  Read the full BBC article here. 

The Edinburgh Evening News also has further details on the background of the story here.

Defection Watch: Cllr Bill Clark

On 18 June, the BBC reported that Independent Highland Cllr Bill Clark had joined the SNP.

He claims that the Independent group failed to nominate him for any council committee positions, and so chose to join the SNP who are the largest partner in the SNP-Lib Dem-Labour coalition that gained control of Highland after the May elections.  The Independent group denied his claim.

This defection follows another in the Highlands just last month when Cllr Biz Campbell defected from the Lib Dems to Independent.  After Clark's defection, the new political makeup of Highland Council is:

Highland Council
Independents35-1
SNP23+1
Lib Dems14-
Labour8-

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Scottish Local Elections 2012: SNP Analysis

All of the 2012 Scottish local election results are now available on the website, so I can move on to some analysis of how each party fared across Scotland.  As the party that won the largest number of seats, I'm beginning this analysis with the SNP.

The overall picture for the SNP was strong, gaining 62 seats on their 2007 high water mark to reach a new party record result of 425 councillors across Scotland (34.8% of the total of 1,223).  The result was dampened however by the party's high expectations, with failures to gain control of the cities, and especially Glasgow, turning a record result into an apparent defeat.

Gains were made in 24 of the 32 council areas, with no net change in a further six, and net losses only in Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire.  Only the Orkney Islands and Shetland Islands returned no SNP councillors.
CouncilTotal SeatsNet Change
Aberdeenshire28+6
City of Edinburgh18+6
Glasgow City27+5
Highland22+5
North Ayrshire12+4
South Lanarkshire28+4
Aberdeen City15+3
Argyll and Bute13+3
Dundee City16+3
Fife26+3
Na h-Eileanan Siar7+3
North Lanarkshire26+3
Scottish Borders9+3
Angus15+2
East Lothian9+2
Midlothian8+2
Stirling9+2
West Lothian15+2
Clackmannanshire8+1
East Ayrshire15+1
East Renfrewshire4+1
Inverclyde6+1
Moray10+1
South Ayrshire9+1
Dumfries and Galloway10-
East Dunbartonshire8-
Falkirk13-
Orkney Islands0-
Perth and Kinross18-
Shetland Islands0-
Renfrewshire15-2
West Dunbartonshire6-3

The first preference vote shares showed a similar pattern, with gains in 30 council areas, and falls in only Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire.  Clackmannanshire had the highest SNP vote share with 46% of the first preferences, and the Shetland Islands had the lowest with 1.9%.
Council1st Prefs (%)Change (%)
Na h-Eileanan Siar23.8+11.7
Glasgow City32.6+8
Stirling37.2+8
Clackmannanshire46+7.9
Argyll and Bute29.7+7.5
South Lanarkshire36.4+7.2
East Dunbartonshire25.4+7.2
City of Edinburgh26.9+6.6
Angus44.4+6.1
North Ayrshire35.6+6.1
Inverclyde25.4+6
Midlothian38.9+5.5
Falkirk40.5+5.4
Highland25.8+5.4
Aberdeenshire38.9+4.4
Moray39.4+4.2
West Lothian40.4+4.1
South Ayrshire29.3+4
East Renfrewshire19.8+3.8
East Lothian30.4+3.5
Dundee City43.4+3.4
Fife31.1+3.3
Perth and Kinross40.3+3.1
Orkney Islands3+3
North Lanarkshire34.3+2.6
Scottish Borders20.7+1.9
Shetland Islands1.9+1.9
Aberdeen City34.9+1.8
Dumfries and Galloway19.5+0.5
East Ayrshire39.5+0.3
Renfrewshire35.3-0.1
West Dunbartonshire30.3-3.8

The SNP had the best coverage of candidates across Scotland, contesting all but seven wards all of which were in either the Orkney Islands or Shetland Islands.  The strongest individual ward overall was North East in Dundee City with 58.1% of the first preferences, while the weakest ward was Kirkwall West and Orphir in the Orkney Islands with 3.3%.
CouncilBest Ward (1st Prefs (%))Worst Contested Ward (1st Prefs (%))Uncontested Wards
Aberdeen CityNorthfield (48.1)Lower Deeside (13.3)0
AberdeenshireBanff and District (55.4)Stonehaven and Lower Deeside (23.7)0
AngusMonifeith and Sidlaw (56.5)Carnoustie and District (36.3)0
Argyll and ButeOban South and the Isles (57.9)Lomond North (14)0
ClackmannanshireClackmannanshire South (53.7)Clackmannanshire East (40)0
Dumfries and GallowayMid Galloway (36.3)Annandale East and Eskdale (10.7)0
Dundee CityNorth East (58.1)West End (30.5)0
East AyrshireKilmarnock North (52.7)Doon Valley (22.7)0
East DunbartonshireLenzie and Kirkintilloch South (32)Bearsden North (17.5)0
East LothianDunbar and East Linton (38.8)Musselburgh East and Carberry (26.3)0
East RenfrewshireBarrhead (23.6)Newton Mearns South (12.7)0
City of EdinburghSighthill/Gorgie (37.4)Meadows/Morningside (15.8)0
FalkirkFalkirk North (53.2)Grangemouth (31.3)0
FifeGlenrothes North, Leslie and Markinch (47.5)St. Andrews (15.6)0
Glasgow CityPollokshields (40.9)Garscadden/Scotstounhill (27.1)0
HighlandWick (46.2)Tain and Easter Ross (13.6)0
InverclydeInverclyde South West (34.5)Inverclyde West (19.1)0
MidlothianPenicuik (44.7)Bonnyrigg (31.5)0
MorayKeith and Cullen (52.2)Forres (21.7)0
Na h-Eileanan SiarBarraigh, Bhatarsaigh, Eirisgeigh agus Uibhist a Deas (41.4)Sgire an Rubha (12.1)0
North AyrshireNorth Coast and Cumbraes (44.9)Dalry and West Kilbride (22.6)0
North LanarkshireAbronhill, Kildrum and the Village (57.1)Coatbridge West (22.4)0
Orkney IslandsKirkwall East (6)Kirkwall West and Orphir (3.3)2
Perth and KinrossBlairgowrie and Glens (55.6)Kinross-shire (22.8)0
RenfrewshireRenfrew North (46)Johnstone South, Elderslie and Howwood (25.6)0
Scottish BordersGalashiels and District (34.4)Hawick and Hermitage (8.2)0
Shetland IslandsLerwick South (6.7)Lerwick North (5.4)5
South AyrshireAyr North (38.2)Girvan and South Carrick (19.7)0
South LanarkshireEast Kilbride South (51.9)Rutherglen South (23.9)0
StirlingTrossachs and Teith (45.1)Castle (32.2)0
West DunbartonshireClydebank Waterfront (33.2)Leven (28)0
West LothianLivingston North (50.4)Armadale and Blackridge (22.9)0

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Recount in Glasgow

A recount is to be held for the Langside ward of Glasgow after it emerged that 385 ballot papers weren't included in the count.

The ward returned one Labour, one SNP and one Green councillors after the original result was announced last Friday - a Green gain from the leader of the Lib Dem group:

Party Candidate 1st Prefs Vote Share Elected?
Labour Archie Graham 2,320 35.8% Yes
SNP Susan Aitken 1,822 28.1% Yes
SNP Alex Hewetson 615 9.5%
Green Liam Hainey 551 8.5% Yes
Conservative Russell Munn 478 7.4%
Lib Dems Paul Coleshill 470 7.3%
TUSC Ronnie Stevenson 157 2.4%
Glasgow 1st Cayleigh Dornan 67 1.0%


While the Labour and SNP seats are safe, the Greens won narrowly ahead of the Lib Dems and the second SNP candidate in the final rounds - and the 385 missing ballots could theoretically swing the result in favour of one of these other candidates.

The council is currently awaiting approval from Glasgow Sheriff Court to overturn the declared result and undertake a recount to include the missing ballot papers.  The recount is expected to take place some time next week.

Defection Watch: Cllr Biz Campbell

The Ross-shire Journal reports on the defection of Cllr Biz Campbell (Highland - Wester Ross, Strathpeffer and Lochalsh) from Liberal Democrat to independent just hours after being elected.

Her main reasoning, as lined out in the Ross-shire Journal's article, seems to be dissatisfaction with the role of the Liberal Democrats in the Westminster coalition, and a preference to act independently of a party group on the council.

However, her defection has attracted some controversy coming so shortly after being re-elected as a Liberal Democrat.

Highland Council is set to be run by a new SNP-Lib Dem-Labour administration - the first time that independents haven't been involved in the running of the council area.  After Cllr Campbell's defection, the new makeup of the council is:

 Highland Council
Independents36+1
SNP22-
Lib Dems14-1
Labour8-

Rescheduled Election Result: Dunoon

On Thursday, voters in Dunoon went to the polls to elect their three councillors after the local elections there were delayed due to the death of one of the SNP candidates.

The result was a hold for each of the sitting independent councillors as well as an SNP hold:

Party Candidate 1st Prefs Vote Share Elected?
Independent Dick Walsh 777 32.8% Yes
SNP Michael Breslin 663 28.0% Yes
Independent Jimmy McQueen 432 18.3% Yes
Labour Mick Rice 296 12.5%
Lib Dems Tony Miles 105 4.4%
Conservative William Green 94 4.0%

As with the rest of the elections held a week earlier, turnout was down significantly on 2007.  Walsh and MacAlister were both elected on first preferences with Walsh gaining the largest increase in first preference share over 2007, while MacAlister also managed to add to the SNP share.

The other independent McQueen saw his vote share fall back a little on 2007, but still won the third seat comfortably ahead of Labour, who only made a slight improvement on their last performance here.  Meanwhile, the Lib Dems and the Conservatives both lost ground, each polling below 5%.

The final composition of Argyll and Bute Council gives the Independent-SNP administration a whopping majority over the Conservative and Lib Dem opposition, while Labour continue to have no representation here:

 Argyll and Bute Council
Independents15
SNP13
Conservative4
Lib Dems4

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Rescheduled Election Preview: Dunoon

First an apology for the lack of updates since the election ended, but I moved house on May 4th and have only just about settled in now to the point I can start working on this again.  I'm aiming to have election results online by the end of next week, then summary blogs and an analysis of my predictions up shortly after.  Someone remind me never to move house near an election ever again...

Tomorrow, voters in Dunoon go to the polls to elect three councillors to Argyll and Bute Council.  The election, originally to have been held last week along with the rest of the Scottish local elections, was delayed by the untimely death of SNP candidate Alister MacAlister just after the close of nominations.

The rules that apply to such cases require councils to suspend the elections in the ward the deceased candidate had been contesting and post a new Notice of Election.  However, this Notice of Election only calls for the party who had fielded the deceased candidate to nominate a replacement candidate.  Other candidates may choose to withdraw at this time, but only one new candidate can be nominated (in this case by the SNP).

The SNP took the decision not to nominate a new candidate in place of Alister MacAlister, but all the other previously nominated candidates remained in the contest including the other SNP candidate.  The full list of candidates are:

Party Candidate
SNP Michael Breslin
Conservative William Green
Independent Jimmy McQueen
Lib Dems Tony Miles
Labour Mick Rice
Independent Dick Walsh


Looking to the long term effects of this election, a new administration has already been formed for Argyll and Bute Council composed of the SNP and Independents.  Even if neither group won no seats in Dunoon tomorrow, this coalition would still have a majority of 14, so there is no chance of changing the overall outcome of the council-wide election.  The composition of the council after last week's election is:


 Argyll and Bute Council
Independents13
SNP12
Conservative4
Lib Dems4
Vacant3

The SNP and each of the independent candidates are defending seats in this ward.  Labour need to win a seat here to gain a voice on the council as they failed to elect candidates in any other wards last week.  The Lib Dems and Conservatives are already guaranteed to make up the opposition, but each will also be hoping to bolster their numbers.  Based on the 2007 results though, three holds seem a fairly safe bet:

Party Candidate 1st Prefs Vote Share Elected?
Independent Dick Walsh 855 24.6% Yes
SNP Alister MacAlister 821 22.6% Yes
Independent Jimmy McQueen 754 21.7% Yes
Labour David Graham 358 10.3%
Lib Dems Tony Miles 257 7.4%
Conservative Sandy MacPherson 239 6.9%
Independent Gordon McKinven 193 5.6%






Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Scottish Local Elections 2012: And the rest...

When I started this project, I aimed to write up a preview for every single local council election in Scotland.  Unfortunately, the night before the election, I have still only covered about half of the wards across Scotland.  It's been a fun experience, and I've learned a lot for my future blog projects, but in order to provide some closure (and the chance for some prediction analysis after the results are in) I'm providing my remaining predictions on a whole council-by-council basis only below.


Highland COUNCIL

2007 Results 
33 Independents
21 Lib Dems
17 SNP
7 Labour

Candidates 
57 Independents
33 SNP
22 Conservative
20 Lib Dems
19 Labour
9 Christian
4 Green
3 UKIP
2 TUSC
1 Pensioners

ScottishElections.org.uk Prediction
Independents 27-29
SNP 27-29
Lib Dems 12-14
Labour 7-8
Pensioners 1
Christian 0-1



Inverclyde COUNCIL

2007 Results 
9 Labour
5 SNP
4 Lib Dems
1 Conservative
1 Independent

Candidates 
11 Labour
9 SNP
6 Conservative
6 Lib Dems
5 Independents
1 Liberal

ScottishElections.org.uk Prediction
Labour 9-10
SNP 8-9
Conservative 1
Independent 1



Midlothian COUNCIL

2007 Results 
9 Labour
6 SNP
3 Lib Dems

Candidates 
12 SNP
11 Labour
6 Conservative
3 Green
3 Independents
3 Lib Dems
3 TUSC

ScottishElections.org.uk Prediction
Labour 8-9
SNP 8-9
Green 1 



Moray COUNCIL

2007 Results 
12 Independents
9 SNP
3 Conservative
2 Labour

Candidates 
16 SNP
13 Independents
8 Conservative
3 Labour
3 UKIP
2 Green
1 Lib Dems
1 Pensioners

ScottishElections.org.uk Prediction
SNP 15-16
Conservative 4
Independents 4-5
Labour 2



Comhairle nan Eilean Siar

2007 Results 
25 Independents
4 SNP
2 Labour

Candidates 
45 Independents
14 SNP
4 Labour

ScottishElections.org.uk Prediction
Independents 15-16
SNP 13-14
Labour 2



North Ayrshire COUNCIL

2007 Results 
12 Labour
8 SNP
5 Independents
3 Conservative
2 Lib Dems

Candidates 
16 Labour
15 SNP
14 Independents
8 Conservative
6 Socialist Labour
4 Lib Dems
3 Socialist
1 Pensioners
1 TUSC
1 UKIP

ScottishElections.org.uk Prediction
SNP 12-14
Labour 12-13
Independents 3-4
Conservative 1



North Lanarkshire COUNCIL

2007 Results 
40 Labour
23 SNP
4 Independents
1 Conservative
1 Cumbernauld Independent Councillors Alliance
1 Lib Dems

Candidates 
43 Labour
41 SNP
20 Conservative
11 Independents
4 Socialist
3 Cumbernauld Independent Councillors Alliance
2 Lib Dems
1 Christian
1 TUSC

ScottishElections.org.uk Prediction
SNP 34-35
Labour 33-35
Independents 1-2



Orkney Islands COUNCIL

2007 Results 
21 Independents

Candidates 
41 Independents
4 SNP
1 UKIP

ScottishElections.org.uk Prediction
Independents 19-21
SNP 0-2



Perth and Kinross COUNCIL

2007 Results 
18 SNP
12 Conservative
8 Lib Dems
3 Labour

Candidates 
24 SNP
14 Lib Dems
13 Conservative
13 Labour
8 Independents
3 Green
3 Perth Independent Candidates

ScottishElections.org.uk Prediction
SNP 22-24
Conservative 11
Lib Dems 3-4
Labour 2-3
Perth Independent Candidates 1



Renfrewshire COUNCIL

2007 Results 
17 Labour
17 SNP
4 Lib Dems
2 Conservative

Candidates 
22 Labour
22 SNP
11 Conservative
11 Lib Dems
6 Socialist
5 TUSC
2 Independents
1 Christian

ScottishElections.org.uk Prediction
SNP 20-21
Labour 16-19
Conservative 1
Lib Dems 0-2



Scottish Borders COUNCIL

2007 Results 
11 Conservative
10 Lib Dems
6 SNP
5 Independents
2 Borders

Candidates 
14 Conservative
13 Independents
12 Lib Dems
12 SNP
11 Borders
8 Labour
2 Green

ScottishElections.org.uk Prediction
Conservative 13-14
SNP 11
Lib Dems 5-6
Independents 4
Borders 1



Shetland Islands COUNCIL

2007 Results 
22 Independents

Candidates 
39 Independents
2 Christian
2 SNP

ScottishElections.org.uk Prediction
Independents 19-22
SNP 0-2
Christian 0-1



South Ayrshire COUNCIL

2007 Results 
12 Conservative
9 Labour
8 SNP
1 Independent

Candidates 
14 SNP
12 Conservative
9 Labour
7 Independents
2 Lib Dems

ScottishElections.org.uk Prediction
SNP 10-11
Conservative 9-11
Labour 8-9
Independents 1



South Lanarkshire COUNCIL

2007 Results 
30 Labour
24 SNP
8 Conservative
3 Independents
2 Lib Dems

Candidates 
40 Labour
37 SNP
21 Conservative
10 Lib Dems
9 Independents
5 Green
5 UKIP
3 East Kilbride Alliance
2 Christian
2 Solidarity
2 Unionist
1 Christian Peoples Alliance
1 Pensioners

ScottishElections.org.uk Prediction
SNP 31-34
Labour 29-31
Conservative 3-4
Lib Dems 1



Stirling COUNCIL

2007 Results 
8 Labour
7 SNP
4 Conservative
3 Lib Dems

Candidates 
12 SNP
10 Labour
8 Conservative
7 Lib Dems
4 Green
3 Independents
1 UKIP

ScottishElections.org.uk Prediction
SNP 9-10
Labour 7-8
Conservative 4
Green 1



West Dunbartonshire COUNCIL

2007 Results 
10 Labour
9 SNP
2 Independents
1 Socialist

Candidates 
12 Labour
12 SNP
8 Independents
6 Conservative
5 Socialist
1 Christian
1 Communist

ScottishElections.org.uk Prediction
SNP 11
Labour 10
Socialist 1



West Lothian COUNCIL

2007 Results 
14 Labour
13 SNP
3 Action to Save St. John's Hospital
1 Conservative
1 Independent

Candidates 
22 SNP
16 Labour
9 Conservative
8 Action to Save St. John's Hospital
2 Independents
2 Lib Dems
2 National Front
1 UKIP

ScottishElections.org.uk Prediction
SNP 16-17
Labour 14-15
Conservative 1
Independent 1
(West Lothian has increased in size by one seat, with an additional seat given to Bathgate ward.)