Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Scottish Local Elections 2012: Clackmannanshire

Clackmannanshire COUNCIL

2007 Results 
8 Labour
1 Conservative
1 Independent
1 Lib Dem
(Labour minority administration)
Full Results

12 SNP
9 Labour
5 Conservative
3 Independents
1 Lib Dem Prediction
SNP 8-10
Labour 7-9
Conservative 1
Independents 0-1

Clackmannanshire is the smallest council on the Scottish mainland by population, with the town of Alloa making up around half of its population alone.  Its small size appears odd, especially when the area is surrounded by the much larger councils of Fife, Perth and Kinross and Stirling, but is a nod to Clackmannanshire's historic position as a separate county.

Clackmannanshire made up part of the Ochil constituency in Holyrood from 1999 to 2007, which saw an SNP/Labour marginal result in every election, initially Labour held but won by the SNP in 2003 and 2007.  The 2011 boundary changes created a new seat of Clackmannanshire and Dunblane which was won by SNP Housing and Transport Minister Keith Brown with a still relatively narrow majority of over 3,000.

10 seats are needed for a majority on Clackmannanshire Council, so only the SNP are standing enough candidates to win outright, although Labour could win up to half of the seats.  The relatively small number of councillors can make forming working administrations a complex affair though, as evidenced by the collapse of the Labour minority administration at the start of 2012 after a no confidence vote, which led to the installation of an SNP minority administration instead.

It's quite possible but not certain that the SNP will win a majority here.  While they only need three seats, those three obviously represent quite a large proportion within the very small council.  They do seem certain to at least become the largest party this time though, which would consolidate their new administration.

Clackmannanshire West (4 seats)
2007 Result Lab / SNP / Lab / SNP
Candidates Con / Ind / Lab(x2) / SNP(x3)

Evenly split between Labour and the SNP in 2007, this ward is complicated this time by one of the previous Labour councillors re-standing as an independent after he wasn't reselected to contest the ward.

The SNP will probably nudge ahead of Labour here in first preferences, making at least two seats safe.  Labour will pick up at least one seat, with the last seat most likely to go to Labour but with the SNP and the independent also in contention.

Clackmannanshire North (4 seats)
2007 Result SNP / Lab / SNP / LibDem
Candidates Con / Ind / Lab(x2) / LibDem / SNP(x3)

The strongest ward for the SNP in 2007, their excess first preferences helped the Lib Dems to gain a surprise first seat on the council from sixth place in the first round.

The SNP are standing three candidates this time, so the Lib Dems have little hope of holding their seat.  At least two SNP seats and one Labour seat are assured, the last seat will be close between the two parties with the SNP probably the most likely to take it.

Clackmannanshire Central (3 seats)
2007 Result Lab / Lab / SNP
Candidates Con / Ind / Lab(x2) / SNP(x2)

Labour's strongest ward last time, winning well over two quotas between their candidates.

The ward should return the same share of seats again.

Clackmannanshire South (4 seats)
2007 Result Ind / Lab / SNP / Lab
Candidates Con / Lab(x2) / SNP(x2)

A very undercontested ward with one Labour and one SNP seat guaranteed no matter what, and when you consider that the Conservatives polled nowhere last time, this has to be one of the most predictable seats in the country.  The independent who topped the poll last time is defending his seat as one of the SNP candidates this time.

Two Labour and two SNP seats guaranteed.

Clackmannanshire East (3 seats)
2007 Result Con / Lab / SNP
Candidates Con / Lab / SNP(x2)

Again undercontested, with one SNP candidate definitely winning.  The three parties polled very closely in 2007.

The Conservatives and Labour both have strong votes here, so the SNP are unlikely to pull off a gain from either for a second seat.

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