Friday 11 September 2015

SNP and Labour win in Leith Walk

Labour and the SNP took the two seats that were up for grabs in yesterday's Leith Walk by-election for Edinburgh Council. On a 25.1% turnout, the SNP romped home on first preferences, with Labour hanging on to claim the second on the tenth round of counting. If anyone cares that much, the full voting figures can be downloaded as a PDF by clicking this link.

At 83, the number of ballots rejected was disturbingly high, with far too many people putting the number "1" next to more than just one candidate. The simple truth is that the STV system in giant multi-member wards is over-complicated. and causes far too much confusion. It was only introduced to keep the Liberal-Democrats happy when the SNP did not have an overall majority in Holyrood, and now that the Lib-Dems are reduced to the status of also rans, it is politically possible to abolish it.

That aside, what the vote showed is that the SNP is still on a roll, and that Labour knows how to hang on in there by using traditional campaigning methods. Labour put its faith in trying to canvass as many actual voters as it could by knocking on the doors and asking the punters to turn out for the good old cause, and it worked.

The omens for Scotland getting a new two party system of Labour and SNP are good, and what's not to like about a country with two leftist parties competing for votes?

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