Election 2012: Labour emerge as biggest party in Edinburgh Council

Lesley Hinds celebrates
Lesley Hinds celebrates
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LABOUR have emerged as the biggest single party in Edinburgh council after a dramatic day of results.

The count at Meadowbank saw Council Leader Jenny Dawe voted out after she failed to win a place among the Meadows/Morningside ward councillors.

• Read the full story on Jenny Dawe’s loss here

Vote for the Liberal democrat party appeared to have utterly collapsed across the Capital, with the party which had been the biggest partner in the ruling coalition winning just three seats - the lowest number of any party.

Indeed, such were their problems that in the Pentland Hills ward their candidate received less votes than Professor Pongoo - a six-foot tall intergalactic penguin.

Climate activist Mike Ferrigan, who visits schools dressed as the penguin, stood against Stuart Bridges in Pentland Hills.

After all of the wards had been declared Labour had 20 councillors, with the SNP second with 18, the Tories on 11, the Greens 6, and the Lib Dems in last.

After the shocking result, Ms Dawe said there had been “a lot of anti-Clegg sentiment on the doorsteps”.

“It was as I expected,” she said. “I had a bad feeling about this election from the very beginning.

“I had my boxes all packed with notices of where they’re to go.”

Former Lib Dem Transport Leader Gordon Mackenzie was also voted out, in what was seen as a backlash against the catastrophic problems caused by the long-delayed tram project.

And Deputy Lord Provost Rob Munn, SNP, was also voted out.

• Read the full story on Rob Munn’s loss

SNP leader Steve Cardownie was returned in the Forth ward where Labour also gained a councillor. But there was also a shock for Labour with Eric Barry losing out in Colinton/Fairmilehead.

In Almond ward, the first result to be declared, SNP councillor Norman Work was returned with enough first preferences to be elected on the first count. New Tory candidate Lindsay Paterson was also elected at the first count, replacing Councillor Kate Mackenzie who stepped down at the election.

And Lib Dem Alastair Shields was elected in place of retiring Lod Provost George Grubb.

Cllr Work said he believed he had attracted a substantial personal vote, especially from Queensferry where he lives.

“I lived up to my name and I’m very grateful the people have shown their faith in me.”

Labour’s Ricky Henderson was elected on the first count in Pentland Hills ward, as was the SNP’s new candidate Bill Henderson. The Tories, who fielded two candidates in Pentland Hills to replace retiring councillor Alastair Paisley, managed to get Dominic Heslop elected but colleague Sheila Low lost out.

There was disappointment for Labour in Corstorphine/Murrayfield where former policeman Tom McInally failed to get in. Tory group leader Jeremy Balfour and Lib Dem Paul Edie were re-elected, along with the SNP’s Frank Ross.

Cllr Edie said: “It’s a difficult time in the party nationally. We were hit with the twin things - reaction to being in government and the trams played a big part as well.”

SNP councillor Colin Cairns, who failed to get reselected in Pentland Hills ward, was elected as councillor for Drum Brae / Gyle instead, replacing Colin Keir who stood down to concentrate on his role as an MSP.

Cllr Cairns said the result showed voters had realised claims by some in the party that he had not done enough work were “a lot of rubbish”.

He said: “When people said I didn’t do enough what they meant was I was not political active. Everything I did was in the name of the SNP but I worked for the people of Currie and Balerno and the rest of the ward.”

There had been predictions of a low turnout and with sources suggesting turnout in Inch was around 50 per cent, compared to only 10 per cent in Southhouse.

After the polls closed last night, Edinburgh South Labour MP Ian Murray said via social networking site Twitter: “Turnout in Edinburgh very patchy. Some wards up to 40 per cent, some as low as 20.”

Senior Liberal Democrat Gordon Mackenzie said he believed turnout could be less than 30 per cent in some places. He said: “If 60-70 per cent of people are not turning out, it is time for a rethink about when we have these elections.”

In 1995, the last time council elections were held separately, overall turnout in Edinburgh was 44 per cent.

Cllr Cardownie said: “No politician is pleased with a low turnout – it weakens the mandate they have.”

He suggested weekend voting should be considered.

Senior Tory Jason Rust said: “It’s worrying for all parties if people are not participating.

“It’s difficult to tell whether people are registering a protest by not turning out or if it’s just apathy.”

There were also reports of many spoiled ballot papers with voters using an “x” instead of the number required under the STV system. One voter is even said to have used the ballot paper as a protest against the trams scrawling “TRAMS - ENOUGH SAID, EH?”.

Across the UK, Labour have won a string of victories, picking up more than 700 seats and has taken control of councils including Birmingham and Cardiff. A bad night for the Tories but polls suggest a win for Boris Johnson in the London mayoral contest.

Glasgow is a key target for the SNP but Labour sources there predicted they may hang on to retain control.


• Forth: SNP gamble almost cost Steve Cardownie. Click here for details

• Meadows/Morningside: Former Council Leader Jenny Dawe is out. Godzik (Lab), Howat (SNP), Main (Green), McInnes (Con) elected. Click here for full details

• Fountain-Craiglockhart: SNP and Greens both gain at expense of Tories and Lib Dem

• Colinton/Fairmilehead: SNP snatch seat from Labour

• Drumbrae: Labour’s Karen Keil elected on 1st preferance votes. Veteran Lib Dem councillor Robert Aldridge also elected

• Sighthill/Gorgie: SNP Dixon, SNP Fullerton, Lab Milligan, and Lab Wilson elected

• Dalkeith: Lab Alex Bennett, SNP Jim Bryant and Lab Margot Russell elected

• Inverleith: Lab Lesley Hinds, SNP Gavin Barrie (new), Tory Iain Whyte, Greens Nigel Bagshaw (new)

• Corstorphine/Murrayfield: Jeremy Balfour (Tory), Paul Edie (LD) & Frank Ross all elected.

• Pentlands: SNP’s Bill Henderson, Labour’s Ricky Henderson and Tory Dominic Heslop elected

• Almond: Tory Lindsay Paterson and Lib Dem Alastair Shields elected.

• Southside/Newington: Greens Burgess, SNP Orr, Lab Perry, and Con Rose elected

• Craigentinny/Duddingston: Lab Griffiths, Lab Lunn, and SNP Tymkewycz elected

• Leith Walk: Lab Angela Blacklock (hold) - SNP Deirdre Brock (hold) - Greens Maggie Chapman (hold) Lab Nick Gardner (win)


• Full East Lothian result: Lab 10 Cllrs, SNP 9, Cons 3, and 1 Independent

• Dunbar and East Linton: Paul McLennan (SNP), Norman Hampshire (Labour) and Michael Veitch (Conservative) elected.

• Haddington and Lammermuir: Ludovic Broun-Lindsay (Conservative), John McMillan (Labour) and Tom Trotter (SNP).

• North Berwick Coastal: Conservative Tim Day, Labour Jim Goodfellow and SNP’S Dave Berry.

• Preston/Seton/Gosford: Labour’s Willie Innes and Margaret Libberton and SNP’s Peter MacKenzie and Steve Brown elected.

• Musselburgh East and Carberry: John Caldwell (Ind), Stuart Currie (SNP), Andy Forrest (Lab) elected.

• Musselburgh West: John McNeil (Lab), John Williamson (SNP), Fraser McAllister (SNP) elected.


• Full Midlothian result: Lab: 8 councillors, SNP: 8, Green: 1. Ind: 1

• Midlothian South: Cath Johnstone (SNP), Jim Muirhead (Lab) and Bryan Pottinger (Lab)

• Midlothian East: Lisa Beattie (SNP), Peter Boyes (Lab) relected, Peter de Vink (Ind) elected.

• Midlothian West: SNP Owen Thompson, Lab Russell Imrie, SNP Andrew Coventry elected. Lib Dem Les Thacker loses his seat.

• Bonnyrigg: Lab Derek Milligan, SNP Bob Constable, and Greens Ian Baxter

• Penicuik: Lab Adam Montgomery, SNP Derek George Rosie and SNP Joe Wallace elected


• Bathgate: William H Boyle (SNP), Harry Cartmill (Labour), John McGinty (Labour), Jim Walker (SNP).

• Whitburn and Blackburn: Jim Dickson (SNP), Mary Dickson (SNP), George Paul (Labour), Barry Robertson (Labour).

• Armadale and Blackridge: Stuart Borrowman (Independent), Jim Dixon (Labour), Isabel Hutton (SNP)

• Linlithgow: Tom Conn (Labour), Martyn Day (SNP), Tom Kerr (Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party).

• Broxburn, Uphall and Winchburgh: Tony Boyle (Labour), Diane Calder (SNP), Janet Campbell (SNP), Alex Davidson (Labour).

• Livingston North: - Robert De Bold (SNP), Anne McMillan (Labour), Andrew Miller (SNP), Angela Moohan (Labour).

• Livingston South: Lawrence Fitzpatrick (Labour Party), Peter Johnston (SNP), Danny Logue (Labour), John Muir (SNP).

• East Livingston and East Calder: Frank Anderson (SNP), Carl John (SNP), Dave King (Labour), Frank Toner (Labour).

• Fauldhouse and the Breich Valley: David Dodds (Labour), Greg McCarra (SNP), Cathy Muldoon (Labour).