Friday, 27 April 2012

Scottish Local Elections 2012: East Renfrewshire

EAST Renfrewshire COUNCIL

2007 Results 
7 Conservative
7 Labour
2 Independents
1 Lib Dem
(Labour/SNP/Independent/Lib Dem administration)

10 Conservative
8 Labour
7 Independents
5 Lib Dems
1 Green
1 UKIP Prediction
Conservative 7-9
Labour 6-7
SNP 3-4
Independents 2

East Renfrewshire covers the southwestern part of Glasgow's commuter belt including the towns of Barrhead, Newton Mearns and Giffnock, the latter being home to the council's headquarters.

Traditionally a Labour/Conservative battleground, the SNP won their first few seats on the council in 2007 although this still remains one of their weakest areas.  Following the last local elections, a coalition was formed from all parties except the Conservatives.

Most of the council lies within the Holyrood constituency of Eastwood, except Barrhead which is part of Renfrewshire South.  Although Eastwood has always been held by Labour's Ken Mackintosh, boundary changes made it notionally Conservative for the 2011 election.  Mackintosh went on to notionally gain the seat anyway, with a majority of 891 over the Conservatives.  Renfrewshire South was notionally held by Labour's Hugh Henry with a majority of 2,587 over the SNP.

11 seats are needed for a majority on East Renfrewshire Council so no party can win outright, although the Conservatives are standing enough to win exactly half the seats.  The SNP are likely to make some progress, although Labour and the Conservatives remain the dominant parties here and any new administration will likely be led by one or the other.

Neilston, Uplawmoor and Newton Mearns North (4 seats)
2007 Result Con / Lab / SNP / Con
Candidates Con(x2) / Grn / Ind / Lab(x2) / LibDem / SNP(x2)

The Conservatives topped this ward in 2007, closely followed by Labour with the SNP a distant third.  All three parties are standing two candidates this time.

The Conservatives are likely to hold two, and Labour at least one.  The SNP may have overstretched themselves here with two candidates, and risk their split votes handing a seat to Labour, although one SNP hold along with the other seats seems most plausible.

Barrhead (4 seats)
2007 Result Ind / Lab / SNP / Lab
Candidates Con / Ind(x2) / Lab(x2) / SNP(x2) / UKIP

Labour's combined vote came top last time, although independent Danny Devlin topped the poll and was elected on first preferences alone.  One of the Labour councillors is restanding as an independent after being deselected, whilst an independent candidate from last time is now standing for the SNP.

Devlin should be safely re-elected, along with at least one Labour and one SNP candidates.  The last seat will probably be held by Labour as well, as the ex Labour independent was the last candidate elected last time and doesn't show much evidence of a personal vote.

Giffnock and Thornliebank (3 seats)
2007 Result Lab / Con / LibDem
Candidates Con / Ind / Lab / LibDem / SNP

The Conservatives and Labour each won just over one quota of votes last time, while the Lib Dems overtook the SNP on transfers to win their seats.  Independent Hugh Moore is a local community councillor and campaigner.

The Labour and Conservative seats should be more or less safe, with the SNP likely to take the third seat from the Lib Dems.

Netherlee, Stamperland and Williamwood (3 seats)
2007 Result Lab / Ind / Con
Candidates Con / Ind / Lab / LibDem / SNP

Another ward topped by the Conservatives, although Labour and the independent Ralph Robertson both polled well too.

A weak ward for both the Lib Dems and the SNP, there should be holds for Labour, Conservative and the independent.

Newton Mearns South (3 seats)
2007 Result Con / Con / Lab
Candidates Con(x3) / Ind / Lab / LibDem / SNP

The only ward in all of Scotland where any party is standing a candidate for every seat, such is the Conservative strength here that they could even win the three.  Labour came second last time, but still well behind a single quota of votes.

Neither the Lib Dems or SNP are competitive here, and the independent doesn't seem to have garnered any coverage.  Therefore at least two Conservative seats are safe, with the third seat likely to be close between Labour and the Conservatives, maybe favouring Labour just on the fact that no party has yet won a full sweep in any ward under STV.

Busby, Clarkston and Eaglesham (3 seats)
2007 Result Con / Lab / SNP
Candidates Con(x2) / Ind / Lab / LibDem / SNP

Another Conservative dominated ward, the SNP managed to overtake the second Conservative on transfers last time to pick up a seat.

One Conservative and one Labour seats are safe, the third seat favours the SNP but could go Conservative, especially after Lib Dem transfers.

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