Saturday, 12 May 2012

Recount in Glasgow

A recount is to be held for the Langside ward of Glasgow after it emerged that 385 ballot papers weren't included in the count.

The ward returned one Labour, one SNP and one Green councillors after the original result was announced last Friday - a Green gain from the leader of the Lib Dem group:

Party Candidate 1st Prefs Vote Share Elected?
Labour Archie Graham 2,320 35.8% Yes
SNP Susan Aitken 1,822 28.1% Yes
SNP Alex Hewetson 615 9.5%
Green Liam Hainey 551 8.5% Yes
Conservative Russell Munn 478 7.4%
Lib Dems Paul Coleshill 470 7.3%
TUSC Ronnie Stevenson 157 2.4%
Glasgow 1st Cayleigh Dornan 67 1.0%


While the Labour and SNP seats are safe, the Greens won narrowly ahead of the Lib Dems and the second SNP candidate in the final rounds - and the 385 missing ballots could theoretically swing the result in favour of one of these other candidates.

The council is currently awaiting approval from Glasgow Sheriff Court to overturn the declared result and undertake a recount to include the missing ballot papers.  The recount is expected to take place some time next week.

Defection Watch: Cllr Biz Campbell

The Ross-shire Journal reports on the defection of Cllr Biz Campbell (Highland - Wester Ross, Strathpeffer and Lochalsh) from Liberal Democrat to independent just hours after being elected.

Her main reasoning, as lined out in the Ross-shire Journal's article, seems to be dissatisfaction with the role of the Liberal Democrats in the Westminster coalition, and a preference to act independently of a party group on the council.

However, her defection has attracted some controversy coming so shortly after being re-elected as a Liberal Democrat.

Highland Council is set to be run by a new SNP-Lib Dem-Labour administration - the first time that independents haven't been involved in the running of the council area.  After Cllr Campbell's defection, the new makeup of the council is:

 Highland Council
Independents36+1
SNP22-
Lib Dems14-1
Labour8-

Rescheduled Election Result: Dunoon

On Thursday, voters in Dunoon went to the polls to elect their three councillors after the local elections there were delayed due to the death of one of the SNP candidates.

The result was a hold for each of the sitting independent councillors as well as an SNP hold:

Party Candidate 1st Prefs Vote Share Elected?
Independent Dick Walsh 777 32.8% Yes
SNP Michael Breslin 663 28.0% Yes
Independent Jimmy McQueen 432 18.3% Yes
Labour Mick Rice 296 12.5%
Lib Dems Tony Miles 105 4.4%
Conservative William Green 94 4.0%

As with the rest of the elections held a week earlier, turnout was down significantly on 2007.  Walsh and MacAlister were both elected on first preferences with Walsh gaining the largest increase in first preference share over 2007, while MacAlister also managed to add to the SNP share.

The other independent McQueen saw his vote share fall back a little on 2007, but still won the third seat comfortably ahead of Labour, who only made a slight improvement on their last performance here.  Meanwhile, the Lib Dems and the Conservatives both lost ground, each polling below 5%.

The final composition of Argyll and Bute Council gives the Independent-SNP administration a whopping majority over the Conservative and Lib Dem opposition, while Labour continue to have no representation here:

 Argyll and Bute Council
Independents15
SNP13
Conservative4
Lib Dems4

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Rescheduled Election Preview: Dunoon

First an apology for the lack of updates since the election ended, but I moved house on May 4th and have only just about settled in now to the point I can start working on this again.  I'm aiming to have election results online by the end of next week, then summary blogs and an analysis of my predictions up shortly after.  Someone remind me never to move house near an election ever again...

Tomorrow, voters in Dunoon go to the polls to elect three councillors to Argyll and Bute Council.  The election, originally to have been held last week along with the rest of the Scottish local elections, was delayed by the untimely death of SNP candidate Alister MacAlister just after the close of nominations.

The rules that apply to such cases require councils to suspend the elections in the ward the deceased candidate had been contesting and post a new Notice of Election.  However, this Notice of Election only calls for the party who had fielded the deceased candidate to nominate a replacement candidate.  Other candidates may choose to withdraw at this time, but only one new candidate can be nominated (in this case by the SNP).

The SNP took the decision not to nominate a new candidate in place of Alister MacAlister, but all the other previously nominated candidates remained in the contest including the other SNP candidate.  The full list of candidates are:

Party Candidate
SNP Michael Breslin
Conservative William Green
Independent Jimmy McQueen
Lib Dems Tony Miles
Labour Mick Rice
Independent Dick Walsh


Looking to the long term effects of this election, a new administration has already been formed for Argyll and Bute Council composed of the SNP and Independents.  Even if neither group won no seats in Dunoon tomorrow, this coalition would still have a majority of 14, so there is no chance of changing the overall outcome of the council-wide election.  The composition of the council after last week's election is:


 Argyll and Bute Council
Independents13
SNP12
Conservative4
Lib Dems4
Vacant3

The SNP and each of the independent candidates are defending seats in this ward.  Labour need to win a seat here to gain a voice on the council as they failed to elect candidates in any other wards last week.  The Lib Dems and Conservatives are already guaranteed to make up the opposition, but each will also be hoping to bolster their numbers.  Based on the 2007 results though, three holds seem a fairly safe bet:

Party Candidate 1st Prefs Vote Share Elected?
Independent Dick Walsh 855 24.6% Yes
SNP Alister MacAlister 821 22.6% Yes
Independent Jimmy McQueen 754 21.7% Yes
Labour David Graham 358 10.3%
Lib Dems Tony Miles 257 7.4%
Conservative Sandy MacPherson 239 6.9%
Independent Gordon McKinven 193 5.6%






Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Scottish Local Elections 2012: And the rest...

When I started this project, I aimed to write up a preview for every single local council election in Scotland.  Unfortunately, the night before the election, I have still only covered about half of the wards across Scotland.  It's been a fun experience, and I've learned a lot for my future blog projects, but in order to provide some closure (and the chance for some prediction analysis after the results are in) I'm providing my remaining predictions on a whole council-by-council basis only below.


Highland COUNCIL

2007 Results 
33 Independents
21 Lib Dems
17 SNP
7 Labour

Candidates 
57 Independents
33 SNP
22 Conservative
20 Lib Dems
19 Labour
9 Christian
4 Green
3 UKIP
2 TUSC
1 Pensioners

ScottishElections.org.uk Prediction
Independents 27-29
SNP 27-29
Lib Dems 12-14
Labour 7-8
Pensioners 1
Christian 0-1



Inverclyde COUNCIL

2007 Results 
9 Labour
5 SNP
4 Lib Dems
1 Conservative
1 Independent

Candidates 
11 Labour
9 SNP
6 Conservative
6 Lib Dems
5 Independents
1 Liberal

ScottishElections.org.uk Prediction
Labour 9-10
SNP 8-9
Conservative 1
Independent 1



Midlothian COUNCIL

2007 Results 
9 Labour
6 SNP
3 Lib Dems

Candidates 
12 SNP
11 Labour
6 Conservative
3 Green
3 Independents
3 Lib Dems
3 TUSC

ScottishElections.org.uk Prediction
Labour 8-9
SNP 8-9
Green 1 



Moray COUNCIL

2007 Results 
12 Independents
9 SNP
3 Conservative
2 Labour

Candidates 
16 SNP
13 Independents
8 Conservative
3 Labour
3 UKIP
2 Green
1 Lib Dems
1 Pensioners

ScottishElections.org.uk Prediction
SNP 15-16
Conservative 4
Independents 4-5
Labour 2



Comhairle nan Eilean Siar

2007 Results 
25 Independents
4 SNP
2 Labour

Candidates 
45 Independents
14 SNP
4 Labour

ScottishElections.org.uk Prediction
Independents 15-16
SNP 13-14
Labour 2



North Ayrshire COUNCIL

2007 Results 
12 Labour
8 SNP
5 Independents
3 Conservative
2 Lib Dems

Candidates 
16 Labour
15 SNP
14 Independents
8 Conservative
6 Socialist Labour
4 Lib Dems
3 Socialist
1 Pensioners
1 TUSC
1 UKIP

ScottishElections.org.uk Prediction
SNP 12-14
Labour 12-13
Independents 3-4
Conservative 1



North Lanarkshire COUNCIL

2007 Results 
40 Labour
23 SNP
4 Independents
1 Conservative
1 Cumbernauld Independent Councillors Alliance
1 Lib Dems

Candidates 
43 Labour
41 SNP
20 Conservative
11 Independents
4 Socialist
3 Cumbernauld Independent Councillors Alliance
2 Lib Dems
1 Christian
1 TUSC

ScottishElections.org.uk Prediction
SNP 34-35
Labour 33-35
Independents 1-2



Orkney Islands COUNCIL

2007 Results 
21 Independents

Candidates 
41 Independents
4 SNP
1 UKIP

ScottishElections.org.uk Prediction
Independents 19-21
SNP 0-2



Perth and Kinross COUNCIL

2007 Results 
18 SNP
12 Conservative
8 Lib Dems
3 Labour

Candidates 
24 SNP
14 Lib Dems
13 Conservative
13 Labour
8 Independents
3 Green
3 Perth Independent Candidates

ScottishElections.org.uk Prediction
SNP 22-24
Conservative 11
Lib Dems 3-4
Labour 2-3
Perth Independent Candidates 1



Renfrewshire COUNCIL

2007 Results 
17 Labour
17 SNP
4 Lib Dems
2 Conservative

Candidates 
22 Labour
22 SNP
11 Conservative
11 Lib Dems
6 Socialist
5 TUSC
2 Independents
1 Christian

ScottishElections.org.uk Prediction
SNP 20-21
Labour 16-19
Conservative 1
Lib Dems 0-2



Scottish Borders COUNCIL

2007 Results 
11 Conservative
10 Lib Dems
6 SNP
5 Independents
2 Borders

Candidates 
14 Conservative
13 Independents
12 Lib Dems
12 SNP
11 Borders
8 Labour
2 Green

ScottishElections.org.uk Prediction
Conservative 13-14
SNP 11
Lib Dems 5-6
Independents 4
Borders 1



Shetland Islands COUNCIL

2007 Results 
22 Independents

Candidates 
39 Independents
2 Christian
2 SNP

ScottishElections.org.uk Prediction
Independents 19-22
SNP 0-2
Christian 0-1



South Ayrshire COUNCIL

2007 Results 
12 Conservative
9 Labour
8 SNP
1 Independent

Candidates 
14 SNP
12 Conservative
9 Labour
7 Independents
2 Lib Dems

ScottishElections.org.uk Prediction
SNP 10-11
Conservative 9-11
Labour 8-9
Independents 1



South Lanarkshire COUNCIL

2007 Results 
30 Labour
24 SNP
8 Conservative
3 Independents
2 Lib Dems

Candidates 
40 Labour
37 SNP
21 Conservative
10 Lib Dems
9 Independents
5 Green
5 UKIP
3 East Kilbride Alliance
2 Christian
2 Solidarity
2 Unionist
1 Christian Peoples Alliance
1 Pensioners

ScottishElections.org.uk Prediction
SNP 31-34
Labour 29-31
Conservative 3-4
Lib Dems 1



Stirling COUNCIL

2007 Results 
8 Labour
7 SNP
4 Conservative
3 Lib Dems

Candidates 
12 SNP
10 Labour
8 Conservative
7 Lib Dems
4 Green
3 Independents
1 UKIP

ScottishElections.org.uk Prediction
SNP 9-10
Labour 7-8
Conservative 4
Green 1



West Dunbartonshire COUNCIL

2007 Results 
10 Labour
9 SNP
2 Independents
1 Socialist

Candidates 
12 Labour
12 SNP
8 Independents
6 Conservative
5 Socialist
1 Christian
1 Communist

ScottishElections.org.uk Prediction
SNP 11
Labour 10
Socialist 1



West Lothian COUNCIL

2007 Results 
14 Labour
13 SNP
3 Action to Save St. John's Hospital
1 Conservative
1 Independent

Candidates 
22 SNP
16 Labour
9 Conservative
8 Action to Save St. John's Hospital
2 Independents
2 Lib Dems
2 National Front
1 UKIP

ScottishElections.org.uk Prediction
SNP 16-17
Labour 14-15
Conservative 1
Independent 1
(West Lothian has increased in size by one seat, with an additional seat given to Bathgate ward.)

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Scottish Local Elections 2012: Glasgow City


GLASGOW CITY COUNCIL

2007 Results 
45 Labour
22 SNP
5 Lib Dems
5 Green
1 Conservative
1 Solidarity
(Labour administration)

Candidates 
45 Labour
43 SNP
21 Conservative
21 Green
21 Lib Dems
20 Glasgow First
10 Independents
9 Socialist
9 TUSC (standing as Anti-Cuts Coalition)
6 UKIP
6 Unionist
4 Britannica
4 Christian
3 Solidarity
2 Pirate
1 Socialist Labour

ScottishElections.org.uk Prediction
Labour 37-39
SNP 36-38
Conservative 1-2
Green 1-2
Glasgow First 0-2
Independent 0-1
Socialist 0-1
Solidarity 0-1


Glasgow is Scotland's largest city, and its greater metropolitan area spans numerous council areas across the western part of Scotland's central belt.  Glasgow City Council itself covers the city centre and inner suburbs of the conurbation.

Glasgow City Council contains eight Holyrood constituencies - Glasgow Anniesland, Glasgow Cathcart, Glasgow Kelvin, Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn, Glasgow Pollok, Glasgow Provan, Glasgow Shettleston and Glasgow Southside.  These eight constituencies, along with the Rutherglen constituency in South Lanarkshire, make up the Glasgow electoral region.

In the 2007, all bar one of these constituencies were won by Labour, the exception being Glasgow Govan that was gained by the SNP's deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon.  In 2011, the SNP won five of the newly redrawn constituencies.  Bill Kidd gained Glasgow Anniesland with a majority of just 7,  James Dornan gained Glasgow Cathcart with a majority of 1,592, Sandra White gained Glasgow Kelvin with a majority of 882, John Mason gained Glasgow Shettleston with a majority of 586, while Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon notionally gained Glasgow Southside with a majority of 4,349.

For Labour, Patricia Ferguson held Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn with a majority of 1,292, Johann Lamont (later elected the new Labour leader) held Glasgow Pollok with a majority of 623, and Paul Martin held Glasgow Provan with a majority of 2,079.

The regional seats divided up as three for Labour (the first time they had ever won top-up seats in Glasgow), two for the SNP, and one each for the Conservatives and the Greens.

What with nearly all these seats being closely marginal between Labour and the SNP, the council as a whole is very close to call between the two parties.  However, further complicating things, a number of deselected Labour councillors have formed their own party, Glasgow First, who are fielding candidates across most of Glasgow including six sitting councillors.  Furthermore, Glasgow has a wider variety of minor parties standing than in any other council area in Scotland, including first appearances by the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (standing as the Scottish Anti-Cuts Coalition), UKIP, Britannica (a BNP splinter group), the Pirate Party and Socialist Labour.  Throw into the mix a number of defending Lib Dem, Green and Conservative councillors, plus some "celebrity" in the form of Gail Sheridan defending Solidarity's seat, and it's easy to see why Glasgow is being seen as by far the most exciting contest of the election.

40 seats are needed to win an outright majority on Glasgow City Council, with Labour and the SNP both standing enough candidates.  Labour can afford to lose five seats on its 2007 tally to retain a majority, although in effect it needs at least one gain to make up for the Glasgow First defections.  The SNP need to gain at least 18 seats, although in many parts of Glasgow last time they underperformed by not nominating enough candidates, so this is not as big an ask as it first sounds.  Given how close the result is likely to be, and that at least a handful of other parties' councillors are likely to survive, an outright majority either way does seem unlikely.

Noteworthy is that the three main left-wing parties standing, the Socialists, the TUSC and Solidarity, seem to have agreed a non-aggression pact with one candidate per ward between them.  This has avoided the situation of multiple socialist candidates in every ward as seen in 2007, though it remains to be seen whether they can elect any candidates.

Labour topped the first preference share in every ward in 2007, whilst the SNP were similarly second place in every ward.  For each ward's preview, marginality should be taken in the context of the relative strength of Labour and the SNP in comparison to other wards.


Linn (4 seats)
2007 Result SNP / Lab / Lab / LibDem
Candidates Con / Glasgow 1st / Grn / Lab(x2) / LibDem / SNP(x2) / TUSC

One of the less marginal seats, the SNP only managed just over a quota of first preferences in 2007.  The Lib Dems managed to gain a seat ahead of the third Labour candidate while no other parties polled over 10%.

The Lib Dem seat is certain to go, so with only two Labour candidates the seats should split two to the SNP and two to Labour.


Newlands/Auldburn (3 seats)
2007 Result SNP / Lab / Lab
Candidates Con / Glasgow 1st / Grn / Ind(x2) / Lab(x2) / LibDem / SNP(x2) / TUSC

This was a closer seat last time, and is complicated by the SNP councillor re-standing as an independent after briefly defecting to Labour (having also previously spent time with the Conservatives and the SDP).  The Conservatives also have one of their strongest votes in this ward.  The other independent is perennial candidate Chris Creighton, while the Glasgow First candidate here is their sitting councillor for Craigton ward, Ruth Black (elected as Soldiarity before defecting to Labour then Glasgow First).

Labour and the SNP should each hold one seat.  Black would have had an incumbency advantage in Craigton but has chosen to switch wards, which I can only guess was to avoid standing against Gail Sheridan given her past Solidarity sympathies, so she's unlikely to be re-elected.  There's little evidence to suggest Deans can get himself re-elected either, so the final seat is probably a tossup between Labour and the Conservatives, who were much closer to a quota than the SNP were to a second last time.


Greater Pollok (4 seats)
2007 Result SNP / Lab / Lab / Lab
Candidates Con / Christian / Glasgow 1st(x2) / Grn / Lab(x2) / LibDem / SNP(x2) / Socialist

A relatively good ward for both SNP and Labour last time, with Solidarity and the Socialists each winning a reasonable share as well, ahead of the other parties at least.  Glasgow First have two sitting councillors defending their seats in this ward, while the new Labour candidates standing against them include former MSP Bill Butler.

Again, one Labour and one SNP seat are a given.  As for the others, Glasgow First have the benefit of two incumbents, and if their vote transfers well from one to another then they might have a good chance to hold at least one.  The combined left-wing vote last time was over 14%, also putting them with striking distance of a quota.  Labour had a substantial lead overall though, and have consolidated that vote into just two candidates, including one high profile former MSP.  Overall, I'd say there is a four-way tossup for the remaining two seats between SNP, Labour, Socialist and Glasgow First, with SNP and Labour being the most likely victors.


Craigton (4 seats)
2007 Result SNP / Lab / Lab / Solidarity
Candidates Con / Glasgow 1st / Green / Lab(x2) / LibDem / SNP(x2) / Solidarity / UKIP

Solidarity won their only seat anywhere in Scotland in 2007 in this ward, and Gail Sheridan is now standing under their banner here looking to hold the seat after their councillor defected to Labour then Glasgow First.  The Labour candidate who wasn't elected in 2007 is standing as the Glasgow First candidate this time.

One SNP and one Labour seats are assured.  Another Labour seat should be straightforward too given the lack of other really competitive parties in this ward, leaving the final seat as a tossup between the SNP and Solidarity.  The left-wing vote was actually less here than in Greater Pollok, although the Sheridan name on the ballot paper does give them a significant notable-candidate benefit.


Govan (4 seats)
2007 Result SNP / Lab / Lab / Lab
Candidates Con / Glasgow 1st(x2) / Grn / Ind / Lab(x2) / LibDem / Pirate / SNP(x3) / Solidarity / Unionist

There are two new Labour candidates as of the three Labour candidates elected last time, two are defending their seats as Glasgow First and the other is standing as an independent.  The sitting SNP councillor is also the party leader, and is joined by two new candidates.  No parties other than SNP or Labour polled above 5% last time.

Taking one SNP and one Labour ward as a given, another SNP first seems most likely given Labour's multiple candidate problems and the SNP's heavy targeting of this ward.  Of the remaining candidates for the final seat, the ex Labour independent John Flanagan showed a reasonable personal vote last time, topping the Labour candidates despite being worst off in ballot order, whilst the two sitting Glasgow First candidates could also be in with a chance.  Overall, I'd call the last seat a tossup between Glasgow First and the independent.


Pollokshields (3 seats)
2007 Result Lab / SNP / Con
Candidates Con / Glasgow 1st / Grn / Lab / LibDem / SNP(x2) / TUSC

The ward of Glasgow's only Conservative councillor, Labour and the SNP also polled very closely last time.  The Labour councillor defected to the SNP shortly before the election, though he isn't re-standing.  The Greens are also relatively strong here, polling over 10% before.

Conservative David Meikle has had consistently strong coverage throughout the campaign as the only Tory on the council, and although his seat is slimly held, he seems likely to keep it.  The other seats accordingly would almost certainly divide SNP and Labour.


Langside (3 seats)
2007 Result SNP / Lab / LibDem
Candidates Con / Glasgow 1st / Grn / Lab / LibDem / SNP(x2) / TUSC

The Lib Dem councillor here is the party's group leader on the council, but with barely half a quota of first preferences last time he seems certain to lose his seat.

Labour and the SNP should hold one each.  With only one Labour candidate, the Lib Dem seat should be an easy gain for the SNP.


Southside Central (4 seats)
2007 Result SNP / Lab / Lab / Grn
Candidates Britannica / Con / Grn / Ind / Lab(x2) / LibDem / SNP(x2) / Socialist

The Green candidate was elected with half a quota of first preferences last time which, combined with a change in candidate, makes their seat look likely to be lost.  There is no Glasgow First candidate in this ward, but the independent candidate is a sitting ex Labour councillor.

An SNP gain from Green looks likely, with the other seats being held the same.


Calton (3 seats)
2007 Result Lab / SNP / Lab
Candidates Britannica / Con / Glasgow 1st / Grn / Ind(x2) / Lab(x2) / LibDem / SNP(x2) / Socialist / Unionist

Only Labour and the SNP are competitive in this ward, with Solidarity coming 3rd place last time with less than 6%.

This is one of the stronger Labour three-seater wards, as as such the current two Labour to one SNP split is likely to be maintained.


Anderston/City (4 seats)
2007 Result SNP / Lab / Lab / Grn
Candidates Britannica / Con / Glasgow 1st / Green / Lab(x2) / LibDem / Pirate / SNP(x2) / Solidarity

A relatively close ward last time with Labour winning under two quotas of first preferences.  The Green councillor benefitted last time from the SNP undernomination and from gathering up a lot of Lib Dem transfers.

Two Labour and one SNP holds seem likely along with an SNP gain from the Greens.


Hillhead (4 seats)
2007 Result SNP / Grn / Lab / LibDem
Candidates Britannica / Christian / Con / Glasgow 1st / Grn / Ind / Lab(x2) / LibDem / SNP(x2) / Socialist / UKIP
(2011 By-election SNP hold) 

The strongest Green ward in Glasgow, as well as one of the most marginal in general with the Lib Dems in contention last time as well.  The ward was one of the last in Scotland to see a by-election before the six month rule came into effect, holding off any by-elections until May 3rd.  In the by-election, both the Green and Lib Dem votes fell, mostly to the benefit of the SNP and then Labour.

The SNP and Labour should each hold here, and the Greens should be targeting to defend this so their seat should also be quite secure.  The LibDem seat is likely to be lost, especially looking at the recent by-election result, with the SNP favourites to pick it up.


Partick West (4 seats)
2007 Result SNP / LibDem / Lab / Grn
Candidates Christian / Con / Glasgow 1st / Grn / Lab(x2) / LibDem / SNP(x2) / Socialist / UKIP / Unionist(x2)

Veteran Lib Dem councillor Christopher Mason is standing down, making the Lib Dems likely to lose this seat as well.  This was another ward quite close between Labour and the SNP, with the Lib Dems, Greens and Conservatives all relatively competitive too.  Bizarrely, the Unionist Party are standing two candidates here despite missing out all of the surrounding wards.

Labour and the SNP will each hold a seat and are both likely to gain one too, with the Greens possibly just holding a seat against Labour.


Garscadden/Scotstounhill (4 seats)
2007 Result Lab / SNP / Lab / Lab
Candidates Christian / Con / Glasgow 1st / Grn / Ind / Lab(x3) / LibDem / SNP(x2) / TUSC / UKIP

A strong Labour ward last time, with nearly three quotas of first preferences.  Apart from Labour and the SNP, all other parties polled under 6% and are uncompetitive in this ward.

The SNP will benefit from having their vote split two ways instead of three, and should gain a seat from Labour.


Drumchapel/Anniesland (4 seats)
2007 Result Lab / SNP / Lab / Lab
Candidates Con / Glasgow 1st / Grn / Ind / Lab(x3) / LibDem / SNP(x2) / TUSC
(2009 By-election Lab GAIN from SNP)
(2010 By-election Lab hold)

Another Labour fortress like the last ward.  In two subsequent by-elections, incidentally held on the same days as the 2009 European elections and the 2010 Westminster elections, the Labour vote dipped a bit at first but then recovered in the second by-election.  The Labour gain from SNP resulted in this ward being entirely represented by Labour councillors since 2009.

Three Labour holds and one SNP hold seems most likely.


Maryhill/Kelvin (4 seats)
2007 Result SNP / Lab / LibDem / Lab
Candidates Con / Grn / Lab(x2) / LibDem / SNP(x2) / Socialist

A much more marginal ward, although the Lib Dem seat is pretty certain to be lost leaving it rather uncontested amongst the four SNP and Labour candidates.

The SNP should gain the Lib Dem seat.


Canal (4 seats)
2007 Result SNP / Lab / Lab / Grn
Candidates Con / Glasgow 1st / Grn / Lab(x2) / LibDem / SNP(x2) / Socialist Labour / TUSC / Unionist(x2)

Again quite close between Labour and the SNP - the Greens came third in 2007 and managed to gain a seat with just 8% of first preferences thanks to SNP undernomination.  The Unionists have again oddly nominated two in this one ward, while Socialist Labour have broken the left-wing pact across the city by standing against the TUSC candidate here.

The SNP should easily gain the Green seat, the other seats being held as they are.


Springburn (3 seats)
2007 Result Lab / SNP / Lab
Candidates Con / Glasgow 1st / Grn / Ind / Lab(x2) / LibDem / SNP(x2) / TUSC

Another very strong ward for Labour with only the SNP being competitive against them.

The result is likely to remain the same as last time.


East Centre (4 seats)
2007 Result SNP / Lab / Lab / Lab
Candidates Con / Glasgow 1st / Grn / Lab(x3) / LibDem / SNP(x2) / Socialist / UKIP

Relatively strong for Labour with just over two quotas to the SNP's just over one, and no other parties in contention.

The SNP should benefit from splitting their vote between two candidates compared to Labour's three, letting the SNP gain one from Labour.


Shettleston (4 seats)
2007 Result SNP / Lab / Lab / Lab
Candidates Con / Glasgow 1st / Grn / Lab(x3) / LibDem / SNP(x2) / Socialist

Similar to the last ward although slightly stronger for Labour.

Again, having fewer candidates should give the SNP an advantage but the higher Labour vote from last time makes the fourth seat more of a tossup than a certain gain.


Baillieston (4 seats)
2007 Result SNP / Lab / Lab / SNP
Candidates Con / Glasgow 1st / Grn / Lab(x2) / LibDem / SNP(x2) / Socialist / UKIP
(Nov 2008 By-election Labour hold)

The strongest SNP seat in the East End last time, seemingly largely due to the personal vote of John Mason who has since gone on to be elected as an MP and then MSP.  That being said, after John Mason's victory in the Glasgow East by-election they still held the seat on a very strong vote share.  A subsequent by-election just two months later resulted in a Labour hold with the SNP picking up a slightly reduced swing.

The Labour councillor elected in the November 2008 by-election is standing for Glasgow First, but two Labour and two SNP holds seem the likeliest outcome.


North East (4 seats)
2007 Result Lab / SNP / Lab / Lab
Candidates Con / Grn / Lab(x3) / LibDem / SNP(x2) / TUSC

Another very strong Labour seat with nearly three quotas last time.

The SNP again should benefit from having fewer candidates though, and be able to gain a seat by getting both candidates ahead of the third Labour one.

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.