Tag Archives: Edinburgh council elections

Making the LibDem Mistake

20 Scottish Labour, 18 Scottish National Party, 11 Conservative, 6 Scottish Green, and 3 Liberal Democrats. Now before the election all of the parties were talking about the necessity for “interparty cooperation”, but this is… well.

Dan Phillips at BetterNation:

So now comes the hard part. If you follow conventional wisdom, Labour gets to govern and SNP form the opposition, giving the Tories the mathematical possibility of getting in bed with the Reds while the Greens and Lib Dems are left in the cold.

For me that would be a crazy conclusion. Continue reading

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Filed under Elections, George Orwell, Scottish Politics

The Day After The Count

My new rules for a better election system.

I think the STV system used in Scotland is good even if it does require a computer to do the count, but here’s the next set of thoughts:

If you don't vote, you don't get to complain

One: The local authority in which you live is legally obliged to make sure that everyone who is entitled to vote is registered to vote, and special arrangements must be made for all those who would find it difficult to have a polling card delivered or to get to a polling station. Non-registration of those eligible makes the local authority subject to prosecution.

Two: Everyone is legally required to vote in the first election for which they are eligible.
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Filed under Elections, Feng Shui Kitten Fixes Stuff

Leith Ward – Results

The candidates on 3rd May were:

The incumbents were Munn (SNP), Munro (Labour), Thomas (LibDem). The turnout last time was 8,391 out of 16,178. The 2012 results are all on Edinburgh Council Elections, Ward 13 – Leith.

So on 3rd May at noon I made seven predictions. How well did I do? Under the cut.
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Filed under Elections, Scottish Politics

A more equal council for Edinburgh?

Brian Monteith wrote just before five o’clock today:

we may at last be seeing the beginning of a much needed realignment of Scottish politics.

But in one huge respect, Scottish politics is still aligned exactly the way it was before the elections.

From 2008-2012, Edinburgh Council had 15 women councillors out of 58. (Elizabeth Maginnis, elected to Forth Ward for Labour in 2007, died in 2008, and the seat was held for Labour by a man.) From 2012-2017, unless by-elections change this, there will be 15 women out of 58.
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Filed under Elections, Scottish Politics, Women

On Election Day

In just under three hours, the polls close. In about 20 hours, we’ll know the results.

I voted this morning before I went to work – I usually do. I share Dawn Foster’s love of voting:

I’ve always woken early on polling day, taken my card to the school, church hall or scout hut that’s been commandeered for the day, and purposefully put my cross or numbers next to my preferred candidate. The stiff ceremony of those five minutes never dulls: knowing that the mark you make with the pencil provided is your physical mark on our democracy is uniquely pleasurable. Then there’s the slight anti-climax you feel once you’ve posted your slip into the ballot box, tempered by wondering how those walking in as you leave will vote.

I wrote about my predictions for Leith Ward. I was grateful to several locals who thanked me for my report on the Newington/Southside hustings.

And I thought about why we are all so unenthused about this election. During the anti-SPUC pro-choice demo last Saturday, while standing around Lothian Road defending a woman’s right to choose, we talked about the upcoming elections – a bunch of politically-minded, engaged, informed, and responsible people – and found that we were all feeling an entire lack of enthusiasm about the candidates we had to vote for and the expected results no matter who we voted for. None of us except myself were actively hoping for any one person’s success today, and my own quixotic support for an Independent in another ward is admittedly out of character for me – tribal Lefty since before I could vote.
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Filed under Elections, Scottish Politics

Predictions for Leith Ward

Although I’ve been campaigning for Gordon Murdie, I can’t vote for him (Though I would put him first preference if I could.) Southside/Newington is a ward where I don’t think any prediction is possible – not even by looking at what happened last time.

Whereas in my own ward (ward 13, Leith) I think I can make predictions. There are 7 candidates standing, and 3 seats. The incumbents are Munn (SNP), Munro (Labour), Thomas (LibDem).

  • Chas Booth: Scottish Green Party
  • Irvine Wallace McMinn: Liberal Party in Scotland
  • Adam McVey: Scottish National Party
  • Rob Munn: Scottish National Party
  • Gordon Munro: Scottish Labour Party
  • Nicola Ross: Scottish Conservative and Unionist
  • Marjorie Thomas: Scottish Liberal Democrats

Turnout last time was 8,391 out of 16,178. Four candidates must be eliminated and three will get seats. What’s my predictions?

North Leith Parish Church on Polling Day Vote2012

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Filed under Elections, Scottish Politics

Hyperlocal hustings – Southside

I’ve never organised a hustings before. But I may well do so again.

This one was almost impromptu. As I have mentioned, I’m backing Gordon Murdie – and he’s not standing in my ward. So instead of voting for him, I’m managing his blog: Gordon Murdie.

Southside/Newington hadn’t had a hustings at all: Steve Burgess, Gordon MacKenzie, and Cameron Rose, three out of the four incumbents, had been invited to speak at other non-local hustings. (And Rose had also subbed in for the Tory candidate for Leith Walk in the Spurtle hustings.)

This is by no means a formal, full, neutral report – I don’t take shorthand, there were two or three hyperlocal questions where neither question nor answer was fully comprehensible to someone from outside the area, and in all honesty, I took more detailed notes where the candidates’ answers interested me and rested my hand when the speaker wasn’t holding my interest. Politically, tribally, I’m pro-Labour and Scottish Green, anti-Tory, and (at least prior to the UK coalition) was prepared to consider voting LibDem and equally prepared to consider SNP, certainly in a council election. But in general I found at this hustings that my interest was held by the speaker rather than the party.

Place: The proprietor of the Braidburn Inn donated the use of his function suite and a few plates of sandwiches, very welcome since the hustings began at six. (I was last there for a Christmas Day lunch with family in the 1990s, but it’s the local pub/guest house for our chair and for Gordon Murdie. We could probably have fitted five dozen people into the room and it was small enough that microphones were not needed.)

Chair: Owen Dudley Edwards. He is a marvellous speaker and well-experienced in keeping a meeting pleasantly in order and keeping candidates to time. (One member of the audience said to me afterwards “He just radiates calm…”) Though I had to borrow an heirloom wristwatch off Gordon Murdie to let OWD keep time – I use my mobile phone for occasions like this, and Owen Dudley Edwards does not do digital technology.

Who Came And Who Didn’t: The hustings was organised on a week’s notice, on Tuesday 1st May, in order to give as much notice as possible while not using up a candidate’s time on the last night before election day. Proper hustings etiquette would have been to contact all candidates before fixing the date, but sheer pressure of time made that really impossible.

All of the election leaflets available for this ward are listed at Liberal Sellout.
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Filed under Elections, Politics, Scottish Politics