Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Scottish Local Elections 2012: Angus


2007 Results 
13 SNP
6 Independents
5 Conservative
3 Lib Dems
2 Labour
(Independent/Conservative/Lib Dem/Labour administration)
Full Results

17 SNP
12 Independents
8 Conservative
8 Lib Dems
5 Labour
Full Details Prediction
SNP 16-17
Independents 5-6
Conservative 4
Labour 1-3
Lib Dems 1

Angus covers the rural area that surrounds the City of Dundee, sharing borders with Aberdeenshire and Perth and Kinross, and with the City of Dundee itself and the Firth of Tay to the south.  The Council is headquartered in the inland town of Forfar, although the largest population centres in the area are along the coast.  Historically an SNP stronghold, in 2007 a three-party-plus-independents coalition was formed to create a new administration that pushed the SNP into opposition.

The SNP held both constituencies in Angus in 2011 with a majority over 10,000 in Angus South and over 7,000 in Angus North and Mearns, ahead of the Conservatives in second place in each case.  The SNP also won one top-up list seat in the North East region, along with three seats won by Labour, two by the Conservatives, and one by the Lib Dems.

15 seats are needed to win a majority on Angus Council, so only the SNP are fielding enough candidates to win an outright majority.  The Conservatives and Lib Dems are each fielding one candidate per ward, while Labour have missed out candidates in three wards this time.

The SNP only needs to gain two seats to win a majority and ensure they aren't kept out of power by another multi-party deal, making Angus one of the most likely councils to produce a majority result.

Kirriemuir and Dean (3 seats)
2007 Result Con / SNP / LibDem
Candidates Con / LibDem / SNP(x2)

The Conservatives won nearly half of the first preferences here in 2007, so it seems strange that they have only fielded one candidate again, although their incumbent has stood down so there may be a loss of personal votes as a factor.  The SNP also polled well here before, well ahead of the Lib Dems on first preferences, but lost out on a second seat because of the large number of Tory transfers favouring the Lib Dems.

This time around, the Conservative vote will likely fall from fielding a new candidate.  The Lib Dem Cllr is defending her seat, but is unlikely to increase on her small number of first preferences from last time in face of the national swings.  The Tory decline in turn will considerably reduce the available transfers for the Lib Dems, so the SNP should be able to gain their seat fairly easily.

Brechin and Edzell (3 seats)
2007 Result Ind / Ind / SNP
Candidates Con / Ind(x2) / LibDem / SNP(x2)

Independents dominated this ward in 2007, however only one of the two sitting independents are defending their seat.  This was the weakest ward in Angus for both the Conservatives and the Lib Dems last time, and the SNP are the only party to poll well here.

With one of the independent candidates standing down, the SNP seem the best positioned to gain the seat.

Forfar and District (4 seats)
2007 Result Ind / SNP / SNP / Con
Candidates Con / Ind(x3) / LibDem / SNP(x2)

Independent Colin Brown has a very strong personal vote here, whilst the SNP are again by far the strongest party.

The SNP and independent seats are all safe.  The SNP possibly could have even won a third seat here, but with no third candidate the Conservative seat should also be safe.

Monifieth and Sidlaw (4 seats)
2007 Result SNP / SNP / Con / Lab
Candidates Con / Lab / LibDem / SNP(x3)
(2009 By-election SNP hold)

The SNP's strongest ward in Angus, their two candidates won over half of the first preferences in 2007, then the party performed even more strongly in the 2009 by-elections caused by the death of SNP Cllr Frank Ellis.  The by-election winner isn't standing again, although the councillor elected in 2007 is joined by two new candidates.  Meanwhile, the Conservative candidate previously stood as an independent in this ward in 2007, then as the Conservative in the by-election.  Labour, considering they hold a seat in the ward, oddly didn't contest the by-election.

The two SNP seats from last time should be easily held, while the combined Conservative/independent vote suggests the Conservative candidate should hold his seat.  The last seat will be close between Labour and the SNP, probably favouring the SNP who won more than triple the Labour vote in 2007.

Carnoustie and District (3 seats)
2007 Result SNP / Lab / SNP
Candidates Con / Ind(x2) / Lab / LibDem / SNP(x2)
(2011 By-election Ind GAIN from SNP)

An SNP stronghold in 2007, the independent Brian Boyd won a close victory on transfers in last year's by-election.  Labour polled well in 2007, but their vote saw the greatest fall in the by-election.

The SNP should easily hold two seats here, turning the third seat into a battle between Boyd and Labour.  Based on his 2011 result, Boyd seems likely to win.

Arbroath West and Letham (4 seats)
2007 Result SNP / Con / Ind / LibDem
Candidates Con / Ind(x3) / Lab / LibDem / SNP(x2)

The closest fought ward in 2007, this ward is further complicated this time by the former Lib Dem councillor defending his seat as an independent against a new Lib Dem.

The SNP and Conservative defenses seem easy enough, and independent David Fairweather also polled well enough last time to be confident.  With the Lib Dem first preferences likely to be split between their former councillor and new candidate, the SNP seem likely to benefit most, and gain the fourth seat.

Arbroath East and Lunan (4 seats)
2007 Result SNP / Ind / Con / SNP
Candidates Con / Ind / Lab / LibDem / SNP(x2)

The SNP polled strongest here last time, with defending independent Cllr Bob Spink also just winning a full quota of first preferences.  The Tories picked up a seat just ahead of Labour.

There is enough of an SNP vote to make their two seats safe.  Spink too polled strongly last time and seems safe.  The final seat will be fought between the Conservatives and Labour, although the Conservative Cllr is standing down whilst Labour are fielding the same candidate again, possibly giving Labour the edge for a gain.

Montrose and District (4 seats)
2007 Result Ind / SNP / SNP / LibDem
Candidates Con / Ind / Lab / LibDem / SNP(x2)

Independent Mark Salmond topped the poll in 2007 followed by two SNP candidates and Conservative, Labour and Lib Dem candidates all polling very closely.

The independent has a secure vote base while there are enough SNP votes to guarantee at least one seat.  The closeness of the vote last time puts the last two seats into something of a tossup between the SNP, Conservatives and Lib Dems.  The SNP have the edge on votes, whilst the Lib Dems have the advantage of an incumbent defending, so these two seem the likeliest winners.

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