Liberton/Gilmerton: Tory coup in unpromising ward

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THE Conservatives were jubilant in returning a councillor in the unpromising ward of Liberton/Gilmerton - and sending the youngest councillor to the City Chambers.

Nick Cook, 24, a political researcher with Tory MSP Gavin Brown, won the fourth place in the ward with 12.3 per cent of the vote.

While Labour’s Norma Austin-Hart won outright with 21.4 per cent of the vote, the SNP economic development leader Tom Buchanan only held on to second place by 12 votes.

Labour’s Bill Cook came third, and then Nick Cook - narrowly pushing the second SNP candidate Derek Howie into fifth place by just 27 votes.

The newly elected Cllr Cook said: “I was really up against it because there was a second SNP candidate so its huge to triumph over them. I was hearing a lot of anti-independence talk on the doors which obviously worked in favour.

“I am shocked and excited by the result.”

Bill Cook, who had been concerned he might suffer when his colleague Norma Hart, changed her name to Austin-Hart when nomination papers went in, and so topped the alphabetical ballot paper, said: “I closed the gap on the first preference votes and on the SNP which is great. It’s all been done through hard work and I’m delighted to be going back to the council on behalf of my constituents.”