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.

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
Lib Dems14-

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
City of Edinburgh18+6
Glasgow City27+5
North Ayrshire12+4
South Lanarkshire28+4
Aberdeen City15+3
Argyll and Bute13+3
Dundee City16+3
Na h-Eileanan Siar7+3
North Lanarkshire26+3
Scottish Borders9+3
East Lothian9+2
West Lothian15+2
East Ayrshire15+1
East Renfrewshire4+1
South Ayrshire9+1
Dumfries and Galloway10-
East Dunbartonshire8-
Orkney Islands0-
Perth and Kinross18-
Shetland Islands0-
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
Argyll and Bute29.7+7.5
South Lanarkshire36.4+7.2
East Dunbartonshire25.4+7.2
City of Edinburgh26.9+6.6
North Ayrshire35.6+6.1
West Lothian40.4+4.1
South Ayrshire29.3+4
East Renfrewshire19.8+3.8
East Lothian30.4+3.5
Dundee City43.4+3.4
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
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