Drumbrae/Gyle: Dramatic win for first-time candidate Karen Keil

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FIRST time candidate Karen Keil was dramatically elected as Labour councillor for the Drumbrae/Gyle ward - while the ward’s current Liberal Democrat councillor, Robert Aldridge, just scraped through on the final stage of the count of people’s preferences.

Kiel, who got involved in politics because of the closure of Drumbrae Primary, received 1981 votes - 109 more than the quota of 1872 needed to be elected as voters’ first preference.

The third councillor elected for the area was the SNP’s Ron Cairns, who won through at the sixth stage of the vote count.

The newly-elected Councillor Keil said: ‘This is such an honour. I knew yesterday of 15 people who said they would vote for me so this result is just wonderful.

“I think the result is really saying that people want someone who really works for them and their area and their community, and that’s what I’m about.

“My whole interest is in working for them. I know them, I love, them and I hope that I will be able to work for them on the council.”

She added: “I would never have imagined I would ever do anything politically, I had never even been a member of a party before. This is all because of the closure of the school and the fact that the community is suffering as a result. I’m determined that somebody will speak up for them.

“The people who voted for me are the people who other parties thought would never vote, which is why they shut the school, they didn’t think they had anything to lose. I think they know different now.”

Cllr Aldridge, who was eventually elected at stage eight of the vote counting - the final stage as there were eight candidates in the ward - admitted he was relieved to be heading back to the City Chambers, “I am delighted to be re-elected. It’s been a very tough year for the LibDems and it was a very hard-fought campaign.

“I think we’ve suffered because of the difficult decisions the coalition is having to make in Westminster, and that’s affecting the LibDems across the UK. “