Edinburgh sees record turnout among postal voters in Holyrood election

Edinburgh has seen a record turnout among the Capital’s postal voters with 89.2 per cent of those issued with ballots through the mail taking part in yesterday’s election.

Friday, 7th May 2021, 1:00 pm
Updated Friday, 7th May 2021, 1:16 pm

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More than a quarter of the city’s electorate opted for a postal vote – a total of 102,138 people.

And 91,068 of them returned their completed ballot papers.

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Counting underway in Edinburgh
Counting underway in Edinburgh

The figures were the first piece of hard information to emerge at the counting of the Edinburgh votes taking place at the Royal Highland Centre at Ingliston.

Candidates in the closely-contestedseat of Edinburgh Southern welcomed the high turnout.The seat was won by Scottish Labour’s Daniel Johnson at the 2016 election, defeating then SNP incumbent Jim Eadie by a majority of 1,123 votes.Edinburgh Southern was also the only constituency in Scotland to elect a Labour MP, Ian Murray, to Westminster at the 2019 general election.The Holyrood seat is a key target for the SNP as it aims for an overall majority.Across the six Edinburgh constituencies, the postal vote turnout was 89.2%, with a record 91,068 ballots returned, according to the council.Mr Johnson said he is “feeling positive” as the initial postal votes started to be counted, while SNP challenger Catriona MacDonald said she feels “quite hopeful” given the turnout of her party’s supporters on Thursday.She said: “In our strongest areas, people were really, really engaged and really keen to go out and vote, even despite the weather.“We had people queuing outside the polling place in hail and rain, but I went round to pretty much every polling place and it was really positive.“There have been a lot more postal votes than usual – it’s about 13,000 postal votes in our constituency.“Given the very unusual circumstances of the election it’s probably not surprising, but it’s a really positive thing so no-one misses out.”Speaking shortly before midday, Mr Johnson said: “The turnout looks like it’s been very strong, there was queuing at the polls and most importantly we were getting a very positive reaction on the doors – we weren’t necessarily sure that that would be the case.“So we’ll have to see what the count brings us, but I’m feeling good about the campaign we’ve run and we’ll see what final tallies are.”Scottish Conservative Miles Briggs is also contesting the constituency and – as with Mr Johnson – is also top of his party’s regional list ballot.

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