Conservatives win 5 in Midlothian

Friday May 5th 2017

Conservative Councillors

From left to right, Midlothian’s five new Conservative councillors: Pauline Winchester, Kieran Munro, Janet Lay-Douglas, Andrew Hardie and Peter Smaill

Written by Phil Bowen, editor

The Scottish Conservatives have done very well in the Midlothian council elections. From having no councillors in a very long time they have gone straight to having five, narrowly missing out on a sixth which would have made it split equally between the three main parties.

The final result is 7 Labour councillors, 6 SNP and 5 Conservative.

This means the Labour Party now has the largest number of councillors but they are short of the 10 required to run it as a majority. Therefore, between now and the first council meeting on Tuesday 23rd May there will be lots of discussions between the parties as they try to form an administration.

During the campaign Midlothian SNP ruled out a coalition with the Tories and so would have to form an alliance with Labour if they wanted to take control, albeit they would then be the minority partner.

So it will be interesting to see if Labour form an agreement with the Conservatives or try and rule as a minority.

The winning Labour councillors did make a point of saying it is time for the council to stop focusing on national issues and focus on the local.

Incoming Labour councillor John Hackett, Midlothian East, said:

“It is clear that all parties need to put their differences aside to work together for Midlothian.”

Party 2012 2017 +/-
SNP 8 6 -2
Labour 8 7 -1
Conservatives 0 5 +5
Green 1 0 -1
Independent 1 0 -1

Notable casualties were former Provost, Joe Wallace (SNP), Bryan Pottinger (Labour) and lone Green councillor Ian Baxter.

Popular Independent candidates Robert Hogg and Jason Ferry did well but ultimately were unsuccessful.

New Conservative councillor Peter Smaill said, “Perseverance was key. I first campaigned in 1974 for the Conservative party and now we have 5 councillors.”

Midlothian’s now youngest ever councillor Kieran Munro paid tribute in his acceptance speech to the hard work of his Labour predecessor Bryan Pottinger.

Outgoing hard-working Green councillor, Ian Baxter was sanguine in his defeat saying “If you go into politics then this is what you have to expect. At least my evenings will be my own again and I will have more time to watch my team Liverpool!”

At the election count at lassade High School the contrasting moods of the parties was noticeable; the Conservatives were delighted, the SNP glum, Labour reasonably pleased and with both the Greens and the Independent candiadates disappointed.

Midlothian MP Owen Thompson, SNP, who is standing for re-election to Westminster in June’s General Election said

“It is an interesting result but having looked at the votes the number of SNP votes has remained the same from 2012”

Thompson said he would now have an hour off and then be back campaigning this afternoon.

The Conservatives now turn their attention to the General Election where they hope their candidate Chris Donnelly will do as well as they have just done locally.

Full result:

Here are the results:

Ward 1: Penicuik

Name Party Stage at which elected
Andrew Hardie Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party 1
Debbi McCall Scottish National Party 5
Adam Montgomery Scottish Labour Party 1

 Ward 1 results in full

Ward 2: Bonnyrigg

Name Party Stage at which elected
Dianne Alexander Scottish National Party 4
Janet Lay-Douglas Scottish Conservative & Unionist 6
Derek Milligan Scottish Labour Party 1

Ward 2 results in full

Ward 3: Dalkeith

Name Party Stage at which elected
Colin John Cassidy Scottish National Party 1
Stephen Curran Scottish Labour Party 4
Margot Russell Scottish Labour Party 7

Ward 3 results in full

Ward 4: Midlothian West

Name Party Stage at which elected
Russell Imrie Scottish Labour Party 7
Kelly Parry Scottish National Party 5
Pauline Winchester Scottish Conservative & Unionist 1

Ward 4 results in full

Ward 5: Midlothian East

Name Party Stage at which elected
Kenneth James Baird Scottish National Party 4
John Hackett Scottish Labour Party 4
Peter Smaill Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party 1

Ward 5 results in full

Ward 6: Midlothian South

Name Party Stage at which elected
Catherine Johnstone Scottish National Party 5
Jim Muirhead Scottish Labour Party 2
Kieran Munro Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party 7

Ward 6 results in full


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