Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Scottish Local Elections 2012: Fife


Fife COUNCIL

2007 Results 
24 Labour
23 SNP
21 Lib Dems
5 Conservative
5 Independents
(SNP/Liberal Democrats administration)

Candidates 
43 SNP
41 Labour
26 Lib Dems
23 Conservative
13 Independents
8 Pensioners
5 UKIP
3 Green
1 Loony

ScottishElections.org.uk Prediction
SNP 35-38
Labour 24-27
Lib Dems 7-8
Conservative 4-5
Independents 3-4
Green 1
UKIP 0-1


Fife Council covers the historic kingdom of the same name that lay between the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Tay.  The southern part of the council area contains many dormitory towns for Edinburgh commuters, with the new town of Glenrothes and the university town of St Andrews making up much of the population to the north.

Fife is covered by five Holyrood constituencies - Dunfermline, Kirkcaldy, Cowdenbeath, Mid Fife and Glenrothes, and North East Fife.  Four of these seats were won by the SNP in 2011, although Bill Walker, MSP for Dunfermline, now sits as an independent after being expelled from the SNP, and Tricia Marwick, MSP for Mid Fife and Glenrothes, suspended her SNP membership to become Holyrood's presiding officer.  In 2011, Dunfermline was gained from the Liberal Democrats with a majority of 590 over Labour, Kirkcaldy was gained from Labour with a majority of 182, Mid Fife and Glenrothes was held with a majority of 4,188 and North East Fife was gained from the Liberal Democrats with a majority of 2,592.  The remaining seat, Cowdenbeath, was held by Labour's Helen Eadie with a majority of 1,247.  Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown's Westminster constituency, Kirkcaldy and Cowdenneath, is also within Fife.

40 seats are needed for an overall majority on Fife Council, with both Labour and the SNP standing over this number.  The All Scotland Pensioners Party (formerly the Senior Citizens Unity Party) are standing for the first time with eight candidates, while the Official Monster Raving Loony Party's only Scottish candidate is standing here.


West Fife and Coastal Villages (4 seats)
2007 Result Lab / LibDem / SNP / Ind
Candidates Con / Ind / Lab(x2) / LibDem / Pensioners / SNP(x2)

Labour topped the poll here in 2007, but not by enough to elect a second candidate against a fairly even spread of other parties' results.  The independent councillor is defending his seat, although it is fairly marginal having been won as the only seat under quota on the first round last time.

One Labour and one SNP holds are assured.  Both the Lib Dem and independent seats are at risk, with the Lib Dem most likely to see a big fall in their vote.  Labour is best positioned to make the gain, so the likely outcome for the third and fourth seats are a Labour gain from Lib Dem, followed by an SNP-independent tossup.


Dunfermline North (3 seats)
2007 Result LibDem / Lab / SNP
Candidates Con / Lab(x2) / LibDem / SNP

Labour came top here before, though just ahead of the Lib Dems and the SNP.  There was also a large "Health Concern" vote, but this group aren't standing again.  Only the SNP incumbent is defending their seat, with the other parties putting up new candidates.

The Conservatives aren't competitive in this ward, so single Labour and SNP holds are assured, with the final seat up for grabs between the Lib Dem and second Labour candidates.  The swing required to make the second Labour candidate likely to take it is fairly large but not unseen recently, so the seat is something of a tossup between the two.


Dunfermline Central (4 seats)
2007 Result Lab / LibDem / SNP / LibDem
Candidates Con / Ind / Lab(x2) / LibDem / SNP(x2)

This ward saw an impressive Lib Dem vote with two candidates elected last time, although the Lib Dems have already abandoned one seat by fielding only one candidate this time.  Labour and the SNP each only polled around one quota last time, with the Conservatives quite further back, so it is unclear where the lost Lib Dem seat will go.

The Lib Dem vote should still be large enough to return their single candidate.  Individual SNP and Labour seats should be easily won, with the final seat being a complete tossup, with the Conservatives technically closest to another quota last time, but quite distant in reality.  As a rough guess, I've counted the last seat as a Labour-SNP tossup.


Dunfermline South (4 seats)
2007 Result LibDem / SNP / Lab / LibDem
Candidates Con / Grn / Lab(x2) / LibDem / SNP(x2)

Again, the Lib Dems have abandoned a seat, consolidating their vote into one candidate.  Labour and the SNP were relatively close last time, with the Conservatives and Greens not in contention.

The Lib Dems, SNP and Labour should all hold a seat, with the last seat being an SNP-Labour fight, slightly favouring Labour.


Rosyth (3 seats)
2007 Result SNP / Lab / LibDem
Candidates Con / Ind / Lab(x2) / LibDem / SNP(x2) / UKIP

Labour topped the poll last time, but failed to get a second candidate elected largely due to poor vote balancing.  The independent candidate stood in Dunfermline Central last time, polling just 1% of the vote.

The Lib Dem seat is likely lost, as it was fairly marginal to begin with.  Labour have a slight advantage on picking up a second seat based on their last vote, but the national swing should make the third seat another one too close to call between Labour and the SNP.


Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay (4 seats)
2007 Result SNP / Lab / LibDem / Con
Candidates Con / Lab(x2) / LibDem / SNP(x2) / UKIP

A marginal ward with Labour and the SNP each winning around a quota and a half, and the Lib Dems and Conservatives each winning just under a quota of first preferences last time.  The incumbent Conservative's seat is the most fragile, but he could benefit from the Lib Dems falling back.

A single hold for each the Conservatives, Labour and the SNP is likely, with the Lib Dem seat most likely to fall to the SNP.


The Lochs (3 seats)
2007 Result Ind / Lab / SNP
Candidates Con / Ind(x2) / Lab(x2) / SNP

Labour came first in 2007 with a substantial lead on first preferences, although independent councillor Willie Clarke also won over a quota of first preferences.

There should be three straightforward holds here.


Cowdenbeath (3 seats)
2007 Result Lab / Ind / SNP
Candidates Con / Lab(x2) / LibDem / SNP(x2)

Another Labour stronghold with a strong independent last time, although the independent is not re-contesting his seat so his substantial vote is up for grabs.

Neither the Lib Dems or Conservatives can win a seat here, so one Labour and SNP hold is certain with the last seat clearly favouring Labour, although it will come down to whichever way the former independent's support moves.


Lochgelly and Cardenden (3 seats)
2007 Result Lab / Lab / SNP
Candidates Con / Lab(x2) / SNP(x2)

A Labour fortress, with over half the first preferences last time.

Two Labour holds and one SNP hold almost certain.


Burntisland, Kinghorn and Western Kirkcaldy (3 seats)
2007 Result SNP / Lab / LibDem
Candidates Con / Lab(x2) / LibDem / Loony / Pensioners / SNP(x2) / UKIP

Close between the SNP and Labour in the past, the Lib Dems gained their seat largely thanks to the SNP undernominating before.  The Loony candidate is the first ever to contest an election held under the STV system.

The SNP and Labour seats are safe, with the SNP favourites to gain the third seat.


Kirkcaldy North (3 seats)
2007 Result SNP / Lab / Lab
Candidates Con / Ind / Lab(x2) / LibDem / Pensioners / SNP(x2)

This ward had a considerable Labour lead over the SNP last time.

The three seats are likely to be held.


Kirkcaldy Central (3 seats)
2007 Result SNP / Lab / LibDem
Candidates Con / Lab(x2) / LibDem / SNP(x2)

Still a fairly large Labour lead in this ward, with the Lib Dems also scraping a seat last time.

The SNP and Labour seats should be easily held, with the Lib Dem seat a tossup between the two for a gain.


Kirkcaldy East (3 seats)
2007 Result SNP / Lab / Lab
Candidates Con / Lab(x2) / LibDem / Pensioners / SNP(x2)

Closest of the Kirkcaldy wards last time between Labour and the SNP, with Labour still in the lead.

There is likely potential for an SNP gain from Labour here.


Glenrothes West and Kinglassie (4 seats)
2007 Result SNP / Lab / SNP / Lab
Candidates Con / Ind(x2) / Lab(x2) / LibDem / Pensioners / SNP(x3)

A strong SNP ward last time, with a considerable lead over Labour and no other parties a substantial vote.

Two SNP and one Labour seats are safe, with an SNP gain from Labour most likely for the final seat.


Glenrothes North, Leslie and Markinch (4 seats)
2007 Result SNP / SNP / Lab / Lab
Candidates Con / Lab(x2) / LibDem / Pensioners / SNP(x3)

An SNP stronghold with an even bigger SNP lead over Labour last time than the previous ward.

The third SNP candidate should easily gain a Labour seat.


Glenrothes Central and Thornton (3 seats)
2007 Result SNP / Lab / SNP
Candidates Con / Lab(x2) / LibDem / Pensioners / SNP(x2)

There was a substantial SNP lead again in this ward last time.

All three seats are easy holds.


Howe of Fife and Tay Coast (3 seats)
2007 Result LibDem / SNP / LibDem
Candidates Con / Grn / Lab / LibDem(x2) / SNP(x2)

A Lib Dem stronghold last time, although two candidates does look ambitious in the prevailing climate and the vote split could end up costing them seats.  The SNP and Conservatives were relatively close in second place last time, with the Greens polling relatively well.

A Lib Dem and an SNP hold should both be easy enough, with the other Lib Dem seat most likely to go to the Conservatives who narrowly missed out last time.


Tay Bridgehead (3 seats)
2007 Result LibDem / LibDem / Con
Candidates Con / Lab / LibDem(x2) / SNP

Another very strong ward for the Lib Dems, but again their vote is likely to move back and diminish their chances of electing a second candidate.  The SNP were just behind the Conservatives last time.

An SNP gain from the Lib Dems seems likely, with the Conservative and other Lib Dem seats being held.


St Andrews (4 seats)
2007 Result Con / LibDem / LibDem / LibDem
Candidates Con / Grn / Ind(x2) / Lab / LibDem(x3) / SNP

Three Lib Dem candidates appear to have been a considerable overnomination in this admittedly strong but student-dominated ward.  However, the only other party to reach a quota last time were the Conservatives, who are only standing one candidate again against them.

The student vote is likely to swing strongly against the Lib Dems, but differential turnout makes the effect of that hard to determine.  These votes are most likely to swing to the Greens and then to the SNP.  The three-way split in the Lib Dem vote is also likely to affect them, and reduces their likely holds from two to probably just one.  Overall, the Conservative seat and one Lib Dem seat should be returned pretty securely, with a second Lib Dem, the SNP and the Greens in contention for the remaining two seats, with the Lib Dems most likely to lose out.


East Neuk and Landward (3 seats)
2007 Result LibDem / Con / LibDem
Candidates Con / Lab / LibDem(x2) / SNP / UKIP

The Conservative councillor elected last time defected to UKIP and is now defending his seat under his new banner.  Somewhat surprisingly, the Tories have fielded a young student candidate from St Andrews University to defend their seat in his stead.  Overall this was a strongly Lib Dem ward before, though the SNP were also close to a seat.

The Lib Dems should hold one seat with the SNP gaining their other.  The Conservatives are likely to hold the remaining seat, but do face a challenge from what is UKIP's likeliest election win in Scotland with the incumbent defector up against the young newcomer.


Cupar (3 seats)
2007 Result LibDem / Ind / Con
Candidates Con / Ind / Lab / LibDem / SNP

The Lib Dems polled well here before, and have consolidated their vote behind one candidate.  The independent councillor also has a considerable vote and is defending his seat.  The Conservative seat is less secure, polling not far ahead of the SNP last time.

The lone Lib Dem and the independent should both be re-elected easily.  The SNP should be able to gain the Conservative seat as well.


Leven, Kennoway and Largo (4 seats)
2007 Result SNP / Lab / LibDem / SNP
Candidates Con / Lab(x2) / LibDem / Pensioners / SNP(x3) / UKIP

A strongly SNP ward last time, with just over two quotas of first preferences though they're now going with three candidates. The Lib Dem seat was precariously won, largely due to Labour's poor vote balancing, and is likely to be lost.

The Lib Dem seat could be picked up by either the SNP or Labour, although the SNP seem the most likely beneficiaries.


Buckhaven, Methil and Wemyss Villages (4 seats)
2007 Result Ind / Lab / SNP / Lab
Candidates Con / Ind(x2) / Lab(x2) / LibDem / SNP(x2)

Independent Andrew Rodger topped the poll here in 2007, winning well over a quota of first preferences for himself.  The other independent standing also stood in 2007, though only won 2.6% of the vote.  Labour were ahead of the SNP last time while the Lib Dems and Conservatives both polled under 2%.

Rodger looks to be able to defend his seat very easily, while one Labour and one SNP holds should be assured.  The remaining Labour seat is something of a tossup between a Labour hold and SNP gain.

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