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By Election - No Change Then!

Very low turnout returns new SNP councillor

Results of Bo'ness By Election

Due to the death of John Constable, SNP Councillor for Bo'ness a few months ago, the By-Election to elect a new councillor to represent Bo'ness was held, yesterday, 9 June 2011.

Sandy Turner (Scottish National Party (SNP)) – 1,621
David Aitchison (Scottish Labour Party) - 893
Lynn Munro (Scottish Conservative and Unionist) - 231
Gerry Lawton (Independent) - 59

Sandy Turner, SNP, won with a clear majority of 728 over nearest rival David Aitchison, the Labour candidate.

Low turnout

The turnout of 2,804 was very low with the total countable votes cast (representing approx only 20-25% of registered voters).

It can only be surmised why the turnout was so low other than it being believed that it was likely to be a foregone conclusion.

Recent national SNP victory

With the recent landslide victory of the SNP in national elections, the by-election being a replacement for an existing SNP seat, it may well have been considered as done & dusted as an almost certain SNP victory.

No doubt there will be analysis and reasons proffered in the coming days.

Disappointing for local democracy

It is disappointing that so many voters were either disinterested, apathetic or even both, that they had no real motivation to exercise their democratic right to influence local policy and decisions.

It is situations like this that encourages some commentators to call for compulsory voting.

But, what real benefit would that achieve other than significantly more spoiled papers.

Certainly, not more democracy.

Total number of votes cast - 2,823 with total number of rejected votes -19 leaving total number of valid votes cast - 2,804 with a Quota required for election of 1,403.


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