11th May 10.30: Vote analysis.
At a personal level, this was a public vote of support for Dick Walsh, who topped the poll, got the highest percentage of the vote, was elected at the first count – as was the SNP’s Michael Breslin – and got the highest percentage of his 2007 vote, keeping 90.87% of it.
This last factor is interesting because turnout has no bearing. This is about vote retention – the relative percentage of those who vote, who are persuaded to vote for a particular candidate/group on each occasion.
James McQueen, Mr Walsh’s Alliance colleague, saw a sharp fall in his stock value, keeping only 57.29% of the vote he enjoyed in 2007.
Tony Miles, the Liberal Democrat Candidate, saw a retention of only 40.95% of his 2007 vote; and William Green, the Conservative candidate, kept only 39.33% of Sandy MacPherson’s 2007 vote.
Mick Rice, the Labour candidate had the second highest retention vote, with 82.68% of David Graham’s 2007 vote; and Michael Breslin, SNP candidate was third best in vote retention, keeping 80.75% of Alister McAlister’s 2007 vote.
Ward 7 Dunoon: Number of valid votes cast: 2367. Turnout 41.42%
Candidate: Dick Walsh, Independent/Alliance (Elected at 1st count)
2012 Vote: 777
% 2012 Vote: 32.82%
2007 Vote: 855
% 2007 vote: 24.59%
% 2012 Vote against 2007 Vote: 90.87%
Candidate: Michael Breslin, SNP (Elected at 1st count)
2012 Vote: 663
% 2012 Vote: 28.01%
2007 Vote (Alister McAlister): 821
% 2007 vote (Alister McAlister): 23.61%
% 2012 Vote against 2007 Vote: 80.75%
Candidate: James McQueen, Independent/Alliance (Elected at 5th count)
2012 Vote: 432
% 2012 Vote: 18.25%
2007 Vote: 754
% 2007 vote: 21.68%
% 2012 Vote against 2007 Vote: 57.29%
Candidate: Mick Rice, Labour
2012 Vote: 296
% 2012 Vote: 12.50%
2007 Vote (David Graham): 358
% 2007 vote (David Graham): 10.29%
% 2012 Vote against 2007 Vote: 82.68%
Candidate: Tony Miles, Liberal Democrat
2012 Vote: 105
% 2012 Vote: 4.43%
2007 Vote: 257
% 2007 vote: 7.39%
% 2012 Vote against 2007 Vote: 40.85%
Candidate: William Green, Conservative
2012 Vote: 94
% 2012 Vote: 3.97%
2007 Vote (Sandy MacPherson): 239
% 2007 vote (Sandy MacPherson): 6.87%
% 2012 Vote against 2007 Vote: 39.33%
10th May running news
00.45: This final result, as things currently stand, gives the coalition a 21-15 majority over the Alliance of Independents, Conservative and Liberal Democrat opposition.
23.45: Dunoon did switch off. If turnout of 41.42% is verified, it will see Dunoon with the lowest turnout of any ward in Argyll and Bute. We need to see the voting breakdown to see how this played out. The next lowest was Helensburgh and Lomond South at 43.32%. The highest of the lot was Kintyre and the Isles at 50.62%. Proof of loss of heart in Dunoon is that the ward of Cowal, wrapped around Dunoon, had the second highest turnout last Thursday, 3rd March – at 49.86%
23.40: That looks like the coalition for progress’s Spokesman for Education and Lifelong Learning in the job – Michael Breslin.
23.35: Dick Walsh, Michael Breslin and James McQueen elected. As expected. Voting figures not yet known. Speeches.
23.30: Adjudication over and candidates joining Returning Officer, Council CEO, Mrs Sally Loudon.
23.20: Into adjudication process. The question is whether Dunoon, seen as the HQ of the Alliance of Independents, stages a fierce last stand against the invader or goes with the flow. In 2007, the SNP’s Alister McAlister was only 34 votes behind Dick Walsh – although Mr Walsh was elected at the first count and Mr McAlister at the third – the last to be elected, James McQueen for the Alliance, was elected at the second count, with 67 votes fewer than Mr McAlister but benefiting from transfers from Mr Walsh’s surplus in round 1.
23.10: Dunoon – Ward 7 – went to the vote today, the last to do so in Argyll and Bute and later than the main body of the election because of the sad death of the very likeable Alister McAlister.
The polls closed over three quarters of an hour ago and counting is about to begin, with turnout said to be over 41%. This would be in line with – if at the lower end of the scale – the turnout at the other wards in Argyll and Bute that voted a week ago.
Postal votes are scanned and the last of the ballot boxes from today is being scanned now.
The nature and direction of the new administration already seems clear but, despite that, this has been quite a bitterly fought contest.
There is particularly bad blood between the Alliance of Independents and the SNP, probably, like most marriages that end in divorce, due to belatedly discovered mutual incompatibility. That background may have put a particular edge on proceedings.
However, listening to a lot of what has been said during the Dunoon campaign – not necessarily by the contestants – and setting this in the same frame of the weekly bawlfest that is First Minister’s Questions at Holyrood, really, we do have to change the way we do politics.
We dropped the ball when we got our own parliament. We could have done things very differently but we just imported the old imperial model from Westminster and got shouting.
The Dunoon show is not a bad place to bring this election to an end. Mort of the main groups are standing major figures in this ward, with the key figures being:
- Dick Walsh, a sitting tenant and former Council Leader and Leader of the Alliance of Independent Councillors which has led the council for some considerable time.
- Michael Breslin, candidate for the SNP and Principal of Argyll College, University of the Highlands and Islands.
- James McQueen, also a sitting tenant and a colleague of Mr Walsh in the Alliance of Independent Councillors.
- Mick Rice, candidate for Labour with substantial local authority experience as an elected member south of the border.
- Tony Miles, candidate for the Liberal Democrats, election agent for Alan Reid, Liberal Democrat MP for Argyll and Bute.
- William Green, candidate for the Scottish Conservative and Unionist group.