SNP Secure Highest Vote In Falkirk Council Elections

Thursday’s local council elections saw the SNP out poll Labour for the first time since 1977, securing 17,321 votes to Labour’s 16,150 or 40.54% to 37.82%.

However, in a bizarre twist despite the fact the SNP were almost a full 3% ahead in votes cast and the STV voting system is supposed to deliver a proportional result, Labour picked up 14 council seats to the SNP’s 13.

There was high drama in several of the ward counts beginning in Ward 1 Bo’ness , where the SNP secured 49% of the first preference vote to Labour’s 41%. With the SNP’s Ann Ritchie polling 1526 first preference votes 2nd preference votes from Ann were enough to carry Sandy Turner over the winning line.

In ward 2 Grangemouth, new boy David Balfour of the SNP was elected with a 1% swing from Labour to the SNP. However, the intervention of Independent candidates, David Sharp and Jim Waugh, who had little chance of being elected, assisted Labour in their efforts to retain 2 seats in Grangemouth.

Ward 3 Denny and Banknock, saw SNP stalwarts, John McNally and Martin Oliver returned to be joined by Independent, Brian McCabe who replaced the Labour supporting Independent, Alex Waddell to rob Labour of one of their loyalists.

Ward 4 was a predictable 2 SNP, 2 Labour with the SNP vote up 5% from 2007 and Stephen Bird and Steven Carleschi safely returned to form a formidable partnerhip.

Ward 5 had the SNP topping the poll and increasing their share of the vote by 6.4%, mostly at the expense of Billy Buchanan whose behaviour has led to a complaint to the Electoral Commission. Buchanan further demeaned the democratic process by failing to turn up for the count or declaration.

The ward with the highest SNP vote was Ward 6, Falkirk North, where David Alexander and Cecil Meiklejohn secured 53.2% of the vote against Labour’s best performer, Pat Reid andyoung Craig Martin.

Falkirk South, Ward 7, and the SNP were within a few votes of ousting Labour’s most senior Councillor Gerry Goldie. Colin Chalmers standing for the first time was only 119 votes away from topping the poll but the loss of Georgie Thomson was a blow.

Ward 8, Lower Braes, was the latest ward to have the SNP top the poll increasing their share of the vote from 22.4% to 36.7%, Steven Jackson winning a seat for the SNP.

Perhaps the greatest drama was reserved for the final Ward 9, Upper Braes. The popular Gordon Hughes and Labour maverick, John McLuckie took the first two seats on first preference votes. At that stage the SNP’s second candidate, Ricky Wilson was 18 votes ahead of the Tory and 85 votes ahead of Labour’s second candidate.

However, when the Conservative candidate was eliminated the majority of the Tory second preference votes transferred to the Labour candidate in a unionist alliance and a seat that should have been won by the SNP was nicked by New Labour.

Full results

Ward 1

David Aitchison  (Lab)         826

Adrian Mahoney  (LaB)       852  *

Lyn Munroe   (Con )            385

Ann Ritchie   (SNP)            1526 *

Sandy Turner  (SNP)          462 *


Ward 2

David Balfour   (SNP)         1099 *

Allyson Black   (Lab)           1201 *

Andrew Cowie  (SNP)           423

Amanda Nicol  (Con)             279

Joan Paterson  (Lab)            503 *

David Sharp     (Ind)             228

Robert Spears  (Ind)             862 *

Jim Waugh  (Ind)                   279


Ward 3

Jim Blackwood  (Lab)           1189  *

David Grant  (Con)                 196

Khalid Hamid  (Ind)                387

Terrie Hay  (Lab)                     443

Brian McCabe  (Ind)                622  *

John McNally  (SNP)             1502 *

Martin Oliver  (SNP)                571  *

Alex Waddell  (Ind)                  411


Ward 4

Stephen Bird  (SNP)               1237  *

Steven Carleschi  9SNP)          908  *

Jim Flynn    (Con)                     385

Charles MacDonald  (Lab)      1377 *

Craig Martin  (Lab)                  1332  *


Ward 5

Billy Buchanan  (Ind)               1018  *

Tom Coleman  (SNP)              1387  *

Linda Gow  (Lab)                     1235  *

Chris Harley  (Ind)                     166

Lynda Kenna  (SNP)                 299

Roy Elliot  (Con)                        376


Ward 6

David Alexander  (SNP)          1915  *

Robert Ardis   (Con)                  346

Craig Martin  (Lab)                  1102  *

Cecil Meiklejohn  (SNP)            879  *

Pat Reid  (Lab)                        1011  *


Ward 7

Colin Chalmers  (SNP)            1160  *

Dennis Goldie  (Lab)               1279  *

Gerry Goldie  (Lab)                   839  *

Joe Lemetti  (Ind)                      465

Hugh McGinlay  (Ind)                  81

John Patrick  (Con)                   840  *

Georgie Thomson  (SNP)         672


Ward 8

Steven Jackson  (SNP)            1259   *

Robbie Landsman  (SNP)          197

Malcolm Nicol   (Con)               1447 *

Alan Nimmo  (Lab)                    1117  *


Ward 9

Gordon Hughes  (SNP)            1257  *

John McLuckie  (Lab)               1361  *

Rosie Murray  (Lab)                   483  *

Alan Rust  (Con)                          550

Ricky Wilson  (SNP)                   568

* Denotes elected

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3 Responses to SNP Secure Highest Vote In Falkirk Council Elections

  1. Andy Fox says:

    Just wondering if anyone actually double checked Marys sums? SNP definitely got 13 seats? She didn’t mix up the results? Just wondering, given that a whole ballot box went missing in Glasgow.

  2. Joe Bruce says:

    Was particularly pleased to see Colin Chalmers elected and very disappointed for Georgie Thomson. As for results in certain other wards it just goes to show that even under STV you dont have to be in the top three or even the top four of the popular vote to end up on the council.

  3. Joe Bruce says:

    Advocates of first past the post will be comforted by the fact that the numbers game on the council would be exactly the same although reversed in wards 1 and 9. Overall the popular vote for known unionists is slightly higher than that for known nationalists – so we get the council people vote for in a way. But how many nationalist voters giving their third and fourth preferences to Labour would have considered that they would do another deal with the Tories?

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