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.

Prediction One: Turnout’s going to be much lower. I’d say 5000.

Yeah – it was 6,384 votes cast out of a possible 16,972 (Turnout: 37.6%) so lower, but not as bad as I’d feared. Half a point.

Prediction Two (easy): Irvine McMinn will be eliminated in the first round.

Yes. McMinn got 71 first-preference votes (and 14 transfers from Gordon Munro’s surplus) and was eliminated first round. Point to me.

Prediction Three: Nicola Ross will be eliminated in the second round.

Yes. Ross got 405 first-preference votes (and 27 transfers from Munro and McMinn). Point to me.

Prediction Four: Marjorie Thomas will be eliminated in the third round.

Yes. Thomas got 565 first-preference votes (and about 261 transfers). Point to me.

Prediction Five: Adam McVey will be eliminated in the fourth round. I don’t think the SNP plan of standing two candidates is going to work nearly as well as they think it will.

Totally wrong about Adam McVey. But I was right that the SNP idea of standing two candidates at once was going to backfire. Counting the first preference votes by party, the SNP got 27.8% and Labour got 27.2%, suggesting strongly that Rob Munn didn’t get re-elected pretty much just because the SNP decided to have two candidates. Half a point. (Also Steve Cardownie, nearly.)

Share of first preference vote, Leith

Also am slightly amused that the SNP leaflet instructing SNP voters to give their first preference to McVey and their second preference to Munn does seem to have influenced the SNP vote… and meant Munn lost.

SNP leaflet - Rob Munn - Leith SNP leaflet - Adam McVey - Leith
Leith results, Council elections 2012

Prediction Six: At least one of the last candidates standing in Leith isn’t going to make quota.

Surprisingly, no! Gordon Munro made quota (1566 votes) in the first round: Chas Booth by the fourth round: and Adam McVey made quota with transfers from Rob Munn in the seventh round. No point.

Prediction Seven: Edinburgh Council will have 5 – 7 women as councillors

I was feeling rather depressed (all predictions were saying the SNP were going to do well, and if they had…) but I am delighted to be wrong… though I could wish to have been much wronger. The number of women on Edinburgh Council is still 15, just as it has been since 2008. Minus one point.

But I’m going to give myself an extra point for figuring out that the end result was going to be Labour, Scottish Green, and SNP, about 28 hours before the electoral computers processed the count. Four points out of seven. I win. (Yes, okay, I was awarding the points. What? I was totally fair.)

I’d be interested to link to any one else’s predictions / results in the Scottish council elections. Comment here if you did and you want to share.


Filed under Elections, Scottish Politics

6 responses to “Leith Ward – Results

  1. The SNP leaflets will have suggested a different order in different areas, with most of them almost certainly recommending Munn as the #1 candidate. This is an attempt to compensate for the innate advantage of appearing higher on the ballot paper – something which I’m familiar with, as it did for me on Friday! I suspect former Cllr Munn, too, was an “alphabetical casualty”.

    • The SNP leaflets will have suggested a different order in different areas, with most of them almost certainly recommending Munn as the #1 candidate.

      Did they? I’ve been meaning to sort through all of the bumpf the various candidates sent me and do a mini-post about it. None of it changed my mind over the weeks pre-election except this very first leaflet, which decided me not to vote for either of these two.

      This is an attempt to compensate for the innate advantage of appearing higher on the ballot paper – something which I’m familiar with, as it did for me on Friday!

      *tea and sympathy*

      I suspect former Cllr Munn, too, was an “alphabetical casualty”.

      Not really. Gordon Munro was below Munn alphabetically and did better.

      • Munro represents a different party from those two, though. Voters don’t select a party based on their position on the ballot, but they do tend to rank candidates from within their chosen party from top to bottom on the ballot. Here in Glasgow, out of eighty-eight Labour and SNP candidates, only four managed to finish ahead of a candidate of the same party who appeared higher on the ballot. Gordon Matheson, the leader of the council, was elected at a later stage than his running mate Philip Braat.

        • I am sure you will have been following the Lallands Peat Worrier blog on the nuts-and-bolts of how the elections worked in Glasgow, ward by ward. But just in case (and for the benefit of others)….

          I found it extremely interesting and educational (politics nerd). and I think it proved that trying to reduce the failure of one candidate to a single attribute doesn’t help for next time. If enough people had positively wanted Gordon Munn back as their councilor, and voted for him specifically, he would have won.

          Someone at the hyperlocal hustings I helped organise in Southside, said to the councillors that they should get around a bit more in the years between elections – she told two incumbents, Rose and Perry, that we never see you except for a few weeks before elections.

          I’m still chewing over that. I don’t necessarily need to physically see my councillors – and WriteToThem ensures that you get an answer when you write! – but it’s true: I have no idea what Munn did in the five years he was my councillor, except that he began by voting for privatisation and then under pressure from the National party, voted against.

          • “We only see you when there’s an election” is a common lament on the doorsteps. It’s difficult to know how to respond. As long as a councillor isn’t a complete deadbeat, anyone who is moderately active in their community is likely to chance upon them quite often. And as you say, they will (again, minus the deadbeats) hold regular surgeries which any constituent can attend. I’m not convinced it would be a good use of their time to go from door to door actively soliciting cases to take up.

            Perhaps the ‘plaint is that the councillor seldom features in the press. I think that’s a more reasonable one, and could indeed be evidence of a lazy bastard. It could also be evidence of a councillor who, for personal or party reasons, is out of favour with the local fourth estate.

            And yes, I’ll try not to harp on about the ballot ordering – I’m conscious that it could sound like making excuses. Perhaps a more constructive way of putting it is that we should look at those candidates who overcame this disadvantage, and investigate how they achieved it.

  2. Reblogged this on cateranpress and commented:
    My book will deliver a powerful puinch for the NO campaign… numpty guide

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