East Lothian Council election, 2012

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East Lothian Council election, 2012
Scotland
2007 ←
May 3, 2012 (2012-05-03) → 2017

All 23 seats to East Lothian Council
12 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
 
Leader Willie Innes Paul Stewart McLennan Ludovic Broun-Lindsay
Party Labour SNP Conservative
Leader's seat Preston/Seton/Gosford Dunbar and East Linton Haddington and Lammermuir
Last election 7 seats, 30.4% 7 seats, 30.4% 2 seats, 8.7%
Seats before 7 9 2
Seats won 10 9 3
Seat change Increase3 Increase2 Increase1

  Fourth party Fifth party
 
Leader John Murray Caldwell Stuart MacKinnon
Party Independent Liberal Democrats
Leader's seat Musselburgh East and Carberry North Berwick Coastal
Last election 1 seats, 4.3% 6 seats, 26.1%
Seats before 1 4
Seats won 1 0
Seat change - Decrease6

Council Leader before election

Paul Stewart McLennan
SNP

Council Leader after election

Willie Innes
Labour

Elections to East Lothian Council were held on 3 May 2012, on the same day as the other Scottish local government elections. The election used the 7 wards created as a result of the Local Governance (Scotland) Act 2004, with each ward electing three or four councillors using the single transferable vote system a form of proportional representation, with 23 councillors elected.

The election saw Labour regain their previous position as the largest party on the Council as they regained 3 of the seats they had lost in the 2007 Local Elections while also significantly increasing their vote share. The Scottish National Party also increased their representation and remained in second place on the authority with 2 net gains. The Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party increased their representation to 3 seats while Independents retained their single seat on the authority. The Scottish Liberal Democrats were decimated, losing all their six seats although two members had defected after 2007 and one of these councillors was re-elected as a Scottish Nationalist, the other failed to be re-elected as a Scottish Nationalist.

Following the election the Labour Party formed a coalition with the Conservative Party, with Councillor Willie Innes of the Labour Party becoming leader of the council and experienced Conservative Councillor Ludovic Broun-Lindsay becoming provost, resigning as leader of the Conservatives on the council to hold the provost role in a non-partisan and non-party political way, with new councillor Michael Veitch becoming leader of the Conservative group. This new coalition replaced the previous SNP - Lib Dem coalition administration, which had existed from 2007 to 2012.

Background[edit]

The previous elections in 2007 had returned no one party with enough councillors to create majority single-party governance as there had been in East Lothian up until that point. The SNP and Labour both returned 7 councillors to the chamber, the Liberal Democrats won 6, the Conservatives 2 and a sole independent candidate was elected as councillor. After the election, the SNP and the Liberal Democrats entered into a coalition, throwing the Labour out of office, having previously controlled the council with a large majority for many years before that.

The 2012 election was the first since Councillor David Berry had fallen only 151 votes short of winning East Lothian for the SNP in the 2011 Scottish Parliament Elections a major coup due the seat being considered a traditional Labour stronghold seat and it being the seat of then leader of the Scottish Labour, Iain Gray. While nationally at that election the SNP was the first party to gain an overall majority in the Scottish Parliament. With this result still fresh in the mind, the SNP predicted major gains, including taking overall majority control of many councils including East Lothian.

The Labour Party, in many aspects still reeling from national electoral annihilation on a national level during the previous year's election, had came into the election with the hope of gaining seats, with a slim hope gaining a majority control of the council.

The Liberal Democrats had struggled during the previous five years of leadership on the council with the SNP. They had suffered the defection of wife-and-husband councillor duo of Ruth and Stuart Currie on 11 August 2009 to their coalition partners, the SNP, due to "personal disagreements" with fellow Liberal Democrat councillors. This reduced their representation on the council from 6 to 4, weakening their hand in the rule coalition. It also had the effect of damaging the morale and effectiveness of the local party. This was also the Scottish Liberal Democrats' second election since the entering coalition with the Conservative Party in the UK Parliament. The party had suffered badly at the 2011 Scottish Parliament Election, and it was expected that this would continue in the 2012 local elections.

For the Scottish Conservatives, it was the first election since the election of Ruth Davidson as leader of the party in Scotland. On a local the Conservatives entered the election in East Lothian with a realistic hope of a gain in the election through Michael Veitch, who was the Conservative candidate in the 2010 general election in East Lothian, in the Dunbar and East Linton ward. Previously the Conservatives had came second in the 2010 General Election, a very good result. The party locally believed that it would be able to hold the balance of power in the new makeup of the council with the opinion of working with either the Labour Party or the SNP on a local level.

Independent John Caldwell had first been elected in 2007, and the local media felt that he would keep his seat during this election. There was little chance of this changing due to him being considered an effective local politician by the majority of the public. He was joined by 3 other independent candidates who were standing in other wards, none of whom, it was felt, who stood a realistic chance of being elected.

Two minor parties also took part in the election, UKIP and Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, each standing 2 and 1 candidates respectively. This was the first time that both of these parties were standing candidates in the East Lothian Council elections since the introduction of the current voting system.

Since the election in 2012 Councillor David Berry has left the SNP and now sits as an Independent Nationalist councillor.

In April 2013 Councillor Stuart Currie replaced Councillor Paul McLennan as SNP Group Leader and Leader of the Opposition.

Election result[edit]

East Lothian Local Election Result 2012
Party Seats Gains Losses Net gain/loss Seats % Votes % Votes +/−
  Labour 10 3 0 +3 43.48 43.1 14,183 +10.5
  SNP 9 2 0 +2 39.13 30.4 10,001 +3.5
  Conservative 3 1 0 +1 13.04 14.4 4,724 -3.0
  Independent 1 - - - 4.35 5.9 1,925 +0.23
  Liberal Democrats 0 0 6 -6 - 5.6 1,835 -10.13
  UKIP 0 - - - - 0.47 156 +0.45
  TUSC 0 - - - - 0.3 105 +0.3

Note: "Votes" are the first preference votes. The net gain/loss and percentage changes relate to the result of the previous Scottish local elections on 3 May 2007. This may differ from other published sources showing gain/loss relative to seats held at dissolution of Scotland's councils.

Ward results[edit]

Musselburgh West[edit]

  • 2007: 1xSNP; 1xLab; 1xLib Dem
  • 2012: 2xSNP; 1xLab
  • 2007-2012 Change: SNP gain one seat from Lib Dem
Musselburgh West - 3 seats
Party Candidate  % 1st Pref Count 1 Count 2 Count 3 Count 4 Count 5 Count 6
Labour Johnnie McNeil (incumbent) 41.93 1,427          
SNP Fraser McAllister 20.33 692 746.9 766.5 780.9 822.6 910.5
SNP John Charles Williamson (incumbent) 13.87 472 526.1 542.5 551.7 581.6 671.2
Liberal Democrats Barry John Turner (incumbent) 8.35 284 363.1 382.1 452.6 563.2  
Conservative Katie Mackie 6.38 217 243.6 246.9      
Independent Robert Fairnie 6.05 206 279.5 323.1 393.3    
TUSC Jack Fraser 3.09 105 163.5        
Electorate: 8,728   Valid: 3,403   Spoilt: 45   Quota: 851   Turnout: 3,448 (38.99%)

Musselburgh East and Carberry[edit]

  • 2007: 1xSNP; 1xLab; 1xIndependent
  • 2012: 1xIndependent; 1xSNP; 1xLab
  • 2007-2012 Change: No change
Musselburgh East and Carberry - 3 seats
Party Candidate  % 1st Pref Count 1 Count 2 Count 3 Count 4 Count 5
Independent John Murray Caldwell (incumbent) 26.72 1,052        
SNP Stuart McDonald Currie * 26.31 1,036        
Labour Andy Forrest (incumbent) 22.63 891 906.7 916.9 952.4 1,664.7
Labour Judith Dunn 18.24 718 734.3 747.8 811.3  
Conservative Fred Lawson 6.10 240 251.3 255.9    
Electorate: 9,569   Valid: 3,937   Spoilt: 34   Quota: 985   Turnout: 3,996 (41.14%)
  • = Outgoing Councillor from a different Ward.

Preston/Seton/Gosford[edit]

  • 2007: 2xLab; 1xSNP; 1xLib Dem
  • 2012: 2xLab; 2xSNP
  • 2007-2012 Change: SNP gain one seat from Lib Dem
Preston/Seton/Gosford - 4 seats
Party Candidate  % 1st Pref Count 1 Count 2 Count 3 Count 4 Count 5 Count 6 Count 7
Labour Willie Innes (incumbent) 38.76 2,312            
SNP Steven Brown 18.51 1,104 1,149.5 1,204.8        
Labour Margaret Libberton (incumbent) 15.46 922 1,871.2          
SNP Peter Robert MacKenzie (incumbent) 13.89 829 850.8 900.9 910.1 926.9 997.7 1,166.5
Conservative Lachlan Bruce 8.38 500 512.1 555.2 555.4 587.4 697  
Liberal Democrats Hugh Reid 3.6 215 223.2 266.6 266.8 280.1    
UKIP Gordon Norrie 1.39 83 89.3 113.9 114.1      
Electorate: 13,386   Valid: 5,965   Spoilt: 34   Quota: 1,194   Turnout: 6,088 (44.56%)

Fa'side[edit]

  • 2007: 2xLab; 1xSNP; 1xLib Dem
  • 2012: 3xLab; 1xSNP
  • 2007-2012 Change: Lab gain one seat from Lib Dem
Fa'side - 4 seats
Party Candidate  % 1st Pref Count 1 Count 2 Count 3 Count 4 Count 5 Count 6 Count 7
Labour Jim Gillies (incumbent) 27.4 1,539            
Labour Donald Grant (incumbent) 23.2 1,308            
SNP Kenny McLeod (incumbent) 16.2 907 935.1 955.2 983.8 1,035.4 1,038.7 1,686.1
SNP Ruth Catherine Linn Currie (incumbent) 11.6 663 676.2 680.3 700.6 742.9 747.7  
Labour Shamin Akhtar 11.0 615 928.5 1,065.7 1,110.2 1,174.4    
Conservative Robert McNab Cowe 7.2 411 419.4 423.1 468.6      
Liberal Democrats Darren Maley 3.0 170 178.1 181.2        
Electorate: 13,390   Valid: 5,613   Spoilt: 105   Quota: 1,123   Turnout: 5,718 (41.92%)

North Berwick Coastal[edit]

  • 2007: 1xCon; 1xSNP; 1xLib Dem
  • 2012: 1xCon; 1xLab; 1xSNP
  • 2007-2012 Change: Lab gain one seat from Lib Dem
North Berwick Coastal - 3 seats
Party Candidate  % 1st Pref Count 1 Count 2 Count 3 Count 4
Conservative Tim Day 30.65 1,465      
Labour Jim Goodfellow 27.08 1,294      
SNP David Stuart Berry (incumbent) 21.30 1,018 1,043.8 1,059 1,253.9
Liberal Democrats Stuart Leitch MacKinnon (incumbent) 8.47 405 485.2 510.6 526.3
Independent Jeremy Douglas Findlay 7.32 350 426.8 444.4 464.9
SNP Ronnie Gurr 5.17 247 250.1 255.1  
Electorate: 9,811   Valid: 4,779   Spoilt: 42   Quota: 1,195   Turnout: 4,821 (48.71%)

Haddington and Lammermuir[edit]

  • 2007: 1xCon; 1xSNP; 1xLib Dem
  • 2012: 1xLab; 1xSNP; 1xCon
  • 2007-2012 Change: Lab gain one seat from Lib Dem
Haddington and Lammermuir - 3 seats
Party Candidate  % 1st Pref Count 1 Count 2 Count 3 Count 4 Count 5 Count 6
Labour John McMillan 33.38 1,522          
SNP Tom Trotter (incumbent) 26.74 1,219          
Conservative Ludovic Broun-Lindsay (incumbent) 19.92 908 961.7 971.8 1,004 1,076.1 1,483.3
Liberal Democrats Kelvin Logan Pate 13.38 610 723.2 743.9 755.9 867.7  
Independent David Barrett 4.98 227 276.4 289.9 313.4    
UKIP Oluf George Marshall 1.60 73 86.1 90      
Electorate: 9,948   Valid: 4,559   Spoilt: 38   Quota: 1,140   Turnout: 4,597 (45.83%)

Dunbar and East Linton[edit]

  • 2007: 1xSNP; 1xLib Dem; 1xLab
  • 2012: 1xLab; 1xSNP; 1xCon
  • 2007-2012 Change: Con gain one seat from Lib Dem
Dunbar and East Linton - 3 seats
Party Candidate  % 1st Pref Count 1 Count 2 Count 3 Count 4 Count 5
Labour Norman Hampshire (incumbent) 25.49 1,191        
SNP Paul Stewart McLennan (incumbent) 24.78 1,158 1,160 1,195    
Conservative Michael George Veitch 21.04 983 983.8 1,072.9 1,074.7 1,185.9
SNP Isobel Margaret Knox 14.04 656 657.1 681.1 702.7 805.1
Labour Hayley Flanagan 9.50 444 460.1 516.3 517.3  
Liberal Democrats Ann Burt Taylor 5.16 241 241.5      
Electorate: 9,760   Valid: 4,673   Spoilt: 71   Quota: 1,169   Turnout: 4,744 (47.88%)

References[edit]

http://www.eastlothian.gov.uk/info/200210/council_elections_thursday_3_may_2012/1431/council_election_results__thursday_3_may


Preceded by
East Lothian Council election, 2007
East Lothian Council elections Succeeded by
East Lothian Council election, 2017