Friday, 12 August 2011

City Centre by-election

Whither now for Edinburgh's City Chambers?
David Beckett, has resigned as SNP councillor for neighbouring City Centre ward.  David was the youngest of the 58 Edinburgh councillors and found an opportunity to do a Masters course at Harvard which was too good to miss.

In 2007 the ward elected (under the PR system) a Conservative, a Liberal Democrat and now ex-councillor Becket.  The SNP (12 councillors) formed a coalition with the Lib Dems (17) councillors giving an administration with exactly half the total number of councillors dependant on the casting vote of the Lord Provost for a majority. (Labour have 15, Conservatives 11 and Greens 3).

The recent defection of Cllr Elaine Morris from the Lib Dems to the SNP has not changed the overall balance of the Council.  If, however, the by-election to replace David Beckett is won by a candidate from a non administration party then the Lib Dem/SNP groups will no longer have a majority and leadership of the council will be up for renegotiation - with all sorts of permutations possible.

The 2007 results proved very close.  You can find the detail here.  A list of the candidates can be found at this report of a hustings event.

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