Edinburgh council elections: Lib Dems put up extra candidates in promising wards

Liberal Democrats have decided to set their sights high for May’s council elections by fielding extra candidates in two of what they see as their most promising wards.

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After winning more than half the first-preference votes and getting two councillors elected last time in Almond – which includes Silverknowes. Cramond, South Queensferry and Kirkliston – the party has decided to put up a third candidate in the four-member ward.

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And it will also run a second candidate in four-member Inverleith, where it won one seat last time.

Lewis Younie (left) is standing in Almond and Malcolm Wood in Inverleith.

Lib Dem councillor Kevin Lang, who topped the poll in Almond at the 2017 local elections, claimed the “unpopularity” of the SNP-led council administration had encouraged them to believe they could win more seats.

And the party had also been boosted by the victory of Alex Cole-Hamilton in Edinburgh Western in last year’s Holyrood poll, when he won the highest number of votes ever cast for a single candidate in a Scottish Parliament election.

Councillor Lang said: “Almond ward was one of our best wards anywhere in Scotland five years ago – we got over 50 per cent of first preferences.

“We think with the particular unpopularity of the SNP administration in West Edinburgh, particularly in this ward, there is a real chance we could improve on our position and get three councillors elected.

"We've literally knocked on thousands of doors in the last three months and what we're hearing from people has given us the confidence to put up three candidates this time.”

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Cllr Lang and his sister and fellow councillor Louise Young will be seeking re-election and joining them on the ballot paper will be Lewis Younie, 25, who works as constituency assistant to Mr Cole-Hamilton.

Cllr Lang said: “Lewis grew up in Ratho Station in the ward, so he knows rural west of Edinburgh really well and is the ideal person to join the team.”

In Inverleith, Hal Osler, who was elected in 2017, is standing again and the Lib Dems’ second candidate is Malcolm Wood, a software engineer from Blackhall.

Cllr Lang claimed the SNP-led council was unpopular for various reasons from the state of the roads to large housing developments and scrapping funding for community policing.

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"We're going into this election confident about our ability to grow our council group,” he said.

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