SCP Highlands and Islands local council results
7 May 2012
The Scottish Christian Party results for The Highland Council and the Shetland Isles Council are analysed below.
This analysis shows that if Christians who voted for the SCP had understood the voting system better, then we would have had electoral success in The Highland Council. Those who think that it cannot be done need to take note of these results. Besides, we had electoral success in Wales at the same elections; see below.
Published results in newspapers often show the vote of each candidate at the stage at which they were knocked out of the contest. So if a person is eliminated in the first stage, there is no opportunity for them to pick up second and third votes transferred from other unsuccessful candidates. If a person survives a few stages, they have picked up second and third preference votes and it is this final figure which is published. Therefore these published results are not comparing like with like.
It is more meaningful for those interested in the SCP performance to look at the fuller picture. These results are available for download here.
|Candidate||Ward||Number of candidates||Total valid votes cast||Target to elect||Preference Votes||% 1st||Total of 1 to 4||% 1 to 4|
|Hector Maclennan||NW & Central Sutherland||9||2387||451||127||117||120||44||5.32||408||17.09|
|David Forbes||Dingwall & Seaforth||10||3566||270||90||88||104||74||2.52||356||9.98|
|Paul Horwood||Black Isle||10||4221||610||57||40||44||38||1.35||179||4.24|
|Susan Wallace||Caol & Mallaig||8||2774||506||45||55||71||52||1.62||223||8.04|
|Alan Petitt||Inverness West||8||2472||458||56||71||107||33||2.27||267||10.8|
|Richard Omand||Inverness Central||7||3289||378||75||93||148||101||2.28||417||12.68|
|Alasdair Moodie||Inverness Ness-side||7||3701||621||116||135||140||100||3.13||491||13.27|
|Donald Boyd||Inverness South||8||3421||335||160||116||145||102||4.68||523||15.29|
|Peter Jamieson||Shetland Central||6||1028||143||48||42||40||50||4.67||180||17.51|
|Andrew Shearer||Shetland South||4||1508||337||68||95||170||206||4.51||539||35.74|
Typically there were 6-10 candidates in each ward, so that the first four votes can be considered to be votes in favour of our candidates, and lower votes may be considered to be protest votes against us, although some of these may still be supporting votes.
When we calculate the total of the first four preference votes for each candidate, we see that on average the first preference vote amounts to about 30% of these total votes. This means that there is scope for persuading the other 70% of our supporters to give their first vote to the SCP rather than their second, third or fourth vote, which did not benefit us.
The largest percentage of first preference votes was 5.32% of the total votes cast. When we remember that the recent Inverness by-election was won by the Lib Dem candidate with 7.7% of first preference votes, we encourage our supporters to analyse the results to see how they can cast their votes more effectively. In Shetland South, 35% of voters gave the SCP candidate either their 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th vote, although this result is skewed by the fact that there were only four candidates standing. The Shetland Central candidate got 17.5%; the North, West and Central Sutherland candidate got 17% and Inverness South 15%. The four other Inverness wards each got more than 10% of voter support. These figures could be more than enough to elect an SCP councillor if they were first preference votes.
Target to elect
The importance of this column is that it gives you the number of first preference votes of the candidate who just managed to be elected. The SCP need to hit this target with first preference votes, and some are attainable.
For example, the Lib Dem councillor elected in the Inverness Raigmore ward received 200 first preference votes and was elected by transfer of lower preference votes. The SCP candidate received 91 first preference votes, but 372 of 1st to 4th preference votes, which could have been more effectively cast for the SCP. The Lib Dem collapse throughout the UK was reflected in the Highlands where they returned 15 councillors, down from 22. However in the Inverness South ward, where the leader of the Scottish Christian Party stood, a second Lib Dem councillor scraped in by the skin of his teeth, bucking the national trend. This ward was fought furiously with two sitting Lib Dem councillors and two new SNP candidates like ferrets in a sack, with posters everywhere but Danny Alexander, the local Lib Dem MP, out of sight. The Lib Dems have a fight on their hands because of their Westminster coalition with the Tories, their betrayal of their pledge to University students, recent councillor defections and the recent resignation from the Lib Dem party of the widow of former leader Sir Russell Johnston. However, the numbers show that if those who voted for Dr Boyd at number 2 and 3 had only voted for him number 1, he would have been elected.