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Caithness News Bulletins Elections 2007

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Elections May 2007
Scottish Parliament & Highland Council

29 October 07
Independent Councillors Group Gain As Lib Dem Richard Durham Resigns From Lib Dems
Councillor Richard Durham, Tain and Easter Ross, advised The Highland
Council at its meeting on Thursday 25 October that he had resigned as a member of the Liberal Democrat Group on the Council and was becoming an Independent.

This means that the make up of the Council now is: -
Independents, 35
Liberal Democrats 21
Scottish National Party 17
Labour 7

The Administration of the Council comprises members of the Independent Group and the SNP.

Councillor Durham continues his role as Convener of the Highland and
Islands Fire Board but his switch of Group means he is no longer a
member of the Transport Environmental and Community Services Committee (TECs), nor the Planning Environment and Development Committee (PED).

His membership on the TEC Services Committee is taken by Councillor
David Henderson, Inverness Ness-side, and his position on the PED Committee is taken by Councillor Thomas Prag, Inverness South. Both of these councillors are Liberal Democrat members.

More on Scottish Parliament Candidates In Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross
Results Now in

Scottish Parliament Nominations for Highland

More On Caithness Candidates For Highland Council
Results Now In

All Highland Council Wards Candidates

2007 Election Results At Highland Council

Numbers of Women Elected Drops

COSLA Connections - Election Special
Results and commentary on the Scottish 2007 local elections - out shortly

30 April 07
Replacement Postal Votes

Postal voters, who have not yet received their ballot papers or have lost their papers, are being advised they can apply for a replacement postal vote up until 5 pm on Thursday - the day of the election. Voters seeking a replacement postal vote require to provide proof of identification when visiting one of the following Council offices: -
Council HQ, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness
Market Square, Wick;
The Meadows, Dornoch;
Council Offices, Dingwall
Tigh na Sgire, Portree
Lochaber House, Fort William

The most secure examples of identification are full, valid current passport and photocard driving licence. If the voter does not have photographic identification, then a utility bill and one other item of identification, such as a cheque book/card or council tax payment book, can be used as proof of identification.

Voters have until 5 pm on Thursday to apply for a replacement postal vote and must return the vote by the close of voting at 10 pm on Thursday.

An election helpline has been set up to help those people who require a replacement postal vote. The number is 0845 603 5528.

A total of 17,635 people in the Highlands have applied to vote by post. The Returning Officer for the three Highland Scottish Parliamentary constituencies is one of a number of Returning Officers across Scotland, who has experienced problems with the printing and distribution of postal votes.

A final issue of 925 votes was due to arrive at homes in Highland today (Monday).

Returning Officer Arthur McCourt said: "We need to ensure that everyone who has registered for a postal vote is able to do so. Replacement ballot papers will be available up until 5 pm on polling day and can be returned to polling stations by close of poll at 10 pm."

Scottish Parliament Election


Date of Election: Thursday 3 May 2007
Statement of Persons Nominated and Notice of Poll

Highlands and Islands Region

The Highland Council Election

Date of Election: Thursday 3 May 2007 - Notice of Poll

Scottish Parliament Elections - Thursday 3rd May 2007
sample ballot paper •

Highland Council Elections - Thursday 3rd May 2007
sample ballot paper •

Frequently asked questions about the May elections

Information on the Voting Systems

29 April 07
Researcher To Gauge "quality of life" In Rural Scotland
People living in rural areas of Scotland have been urged to take part in a quality of life survey being carried out on Election Day. Dr Holger Bergmann, a researcher at the University of Aberdeen's Business School, is asking residents in Caithness, Sutherland, Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen to take a few minutes to give their views on rural life after leaving their polling station on May 3. Questions will touch on a number of topics such as the impact of local farming on the environment, community spirit in countryside areas, and the role of farming and forestry in the region. "The survey is aimed at getting a broad and thorough understanding of the general quality of life perceptions among residents in Scottish communities," said Dr Bergmann. "Anyone who takes the time to answer the questions can be assured that their responses will remain confidential, and will in no circumstances be made available to anyone else other than the research team without explicit consent."

A Mock STV Election  Electoral Reform Society Web Site

Single Transferable Vote (STV) - how it works for the council elections for the first time.  This animation is from Australia but it is the same system being used for the council elections now.

29 April 07
Female Candidates For Scottish Parliament
From Fem Scot

The parties have put forward 95 female candidates in the constituency contests, one third of all candidates, (the major parties in descending order of women selected: Labour, the SNP, Liberal Democrats and Conservatives). On the party regional lists 37% of the highest places (first, second and third) have gone to women from the four major parties. 66 women are among the top three places for the plethora of independents and smaller parties standing. Seats to watch: An all female race in Edinburgh Central, though incumbent Sarah Boyack has a healthy majority.

29 April 07
Female Candidates In Scottish Local Government Elections
From Fem Scot

Almost 600 women will compete in Scotland's first council elections under the Single Transferable Vote. Scotland's councils have just 22% women, but it seems parties have resisted campaigners' calls to select more women this time round. The proportion of women selected by Labour is particularly disappointing, at 19%, though SNP women don't fare much better at 22%. Conservatives (25%), Liberal Democrats (31%) and Greens (37%) have all made progress though. It remains to be seen whether, once selected, women fare any better under STV.

29 April 07
Women's Parliamentary Radio Launched
From Fem Scot
A web based radio station for women parliamentarians has been set up, backed by a cross party group of MPs and women's sector NGOs. Founder and Executive Producer, Boni Sones explained the reason for having an outlet specifically for women parliamentarians: "By letting women MPs broadcast directly to other women we believe that Women's Parliamentary Radio can play an important role in social cohesion and engaging people in the political process." Bringing together BBC content and newly-commissioned items on one website, you can download or listen online at www.wpradio.co.uk

7 April 07
Ex Councillor Jim Fry From Thurso Aims For Scottish Parliament
Jim Fry who stood as a councillor for 28 years in Thurso is now aiming to be list MSP and is standing under the banner of the Scottish Senior Citizens Unity Party.  Jim has been on many committees over the years and has experience of representing people at all levels.  A determined campaigner on w die range of issues and he is determined to make a mark for Highland at the Scottish Parliament if elected.

25 March 07
Scottish Socialist Party selects Donnie Nicolson at top of Highlands and Islands List
The SSP has announced its list candidates for the Holyrood elections for the Highlands and Islands region. Top of the list and aiming to be elected as the party's first MSP from the region is Donnie Nicolson, a former pupil of Lochaber High School. Inverness born Donnie, 27, said, "I’m delighted to be leading the SSP’s campaign for Holyrood 2007. We have a number of excellent policies for introducing a free integrated public transport system, improving rural public services, and investing in social housing. The Highlands and Islands will benefit from a young, radical voice at Holyrood. The way to achieve this is to give your Regional List vote to the SSP.”

25 March 07
Donald McDonald, the Scottish Conservative Party's prospective parliamentary candidate in Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, made a fact-finding visit to Scotland's largest nuclear decommissioning project at Dounreay on March 21. The former head teacher saw at first hand the progress being made to demolish the fast reactor experiment. He also met management and trade union officials. A key topic of discussion was the efforts being made to develop alternative jobs to replace those that will be lost as decommissioning progresses.

25 March 07
Rob Gibson Formally Adopted As Candidate For SNP
Rob Gibson SNP MSP for Highlands and Islands since 2003 has been formally adopted as the SNP candidate for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter to fight the election on 3rd May. At its meeting in Golspie on Friday night, Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross SNP Constituency Association unanimously adopted Rob Gibson MSP as their candidate. Mr Gibson contested the seat in 2003 coming third. He was then elected to Holyrood as an SNP list member for Highlands and Islands.

23 March 07
Scottish Parliament and The Highland Council Elections Called
The Scottish Parliament and The Highland Council elections called Thursday 22 March when public notices seeking nominations from candidates were be published by the Regional Returning Officer. The deadline for nominations is 4.00 pm on Wednesday 11 April.

Nominations can be handed in to the Elections Office at Council HQ, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness, as well as Council offices at Barron House, Nairn; Town House, Inverness; Council Offices, Dingwall; Tigh Na Sgire, Portree; Lochaber House, Fort William, The Meadows, Dornoch and Market Square, Wick.

The elections take place on Thursday 3 May, with voting taking place between 7 am ~ 10 pm.

The Returning Officer for the Highland and Islands Region is Arthur McCourt, Chief Executive, The Highland Council.

He is responsible for returning results in:

1. The three Highland constituencies:
~ Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross (41,606 electors)
~ Ross, Skye and Inverness West (59,207)
~ Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber (71,102).

2. The 7 Additional Members to represent the Highlands and Islands Region on the Scottish Parliament.

3. The 80 members to represent The Highland Council.

For the first time in a Highland Council election, electors will be voting by Proportional Representation, using a single transferable vote. This has resulted in the creation of 22 multi member wards ~ 14 four-member wards and 8 three member wards, which will replace the existing 80 individual wards.

Another first is that counting will be conducted electronically. All counting will take place at Inverness Leisure Centre, Bught Park.

An election helpline has been set up by the Returning Officer to assist the public and candidates with any queries. The number is 0845 603 5528.

Extensive information about the elections is posted on The Highland Council's web site www.highland.gov.uk  A new feature will be a post code finder which allows electors to identify their polling station by typing in their postal code.

14 March 07
Thurso Pre-Election Hustings
A pre-election hustings meeting is to be held in Thurso High School Hall on Friday 27th April. This is the opportunity for all candidates for this constituency to present their case to the electorate. For the voters of Caithness this is the opportunity to ask questions that matter to you directly to those people who seek to represent you in Edinburgh.
Start time will be published closer to the event.

13 March 07
Election Helpline to go live on 22 March
An Elections Helpline will be available to the public from Thursday 22 March when nominations are invited for the Scottish Parliament and The Highland Council elections. The number is 0845 603 5528. The helpline is being introduced to assist prospective candidates and voters with any queries they may have in the run up to the elections on Thursday 3 May.

Those interested in seeking election to the Scottish Parliament or The Highland Council have until 4.00 pm on Wednesday 11 April to submit their nominations.

Extensive information about the elections is posted on The Highland Council's web site www.highland.gov.uk A new feature will be a post code finder which allows electors to identify their polling station by typing in their postal code.

The Returning Officer for the Highland and Islands Region is Arthur McCourt, Chief Executive, The Highland Council.

He is responsible for returning results in:

1. The three Highland constituencies:
~ Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross (41,606 electors)
~ Ross, Skye and Inverness West (59,207)
~ Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber (71,102).

2. The 7 Additional Members to represent the Highlands and Islands Region on the Scottish Parliament.

3. The 80 members to represent The Highland Council.

More than 16,000 electors have already applied to vote by postal ballot. Those choosing to vote at one of the 336 polling stations in Highland will be given two ballot papers.

There will be a single ballot paper for the Scottish Parliament. The right hand column will feature the names of the candidates and parties to elect a constituency MSP. This will be coloured violet. The left hand column will feature the parties and independent list candidates for the Additional Members on the Regional List. This will be brown.

Voters mark their choices for the people and parties they want to vote for - one ~X~ for their constituency vote one ~X~ for their Additional Member vote.

For the first time in a Highland Council election, electors will be voting by Proportional Representation, using a single transferable vote. This has resulted in the creation of 22 multi member wards - 14 four-member wards and 8 three member wards, which will replace the existing 80 individual wards.

In the Council election, voters number the candidates in order of preference: 1 for first choice, 2 for second choice, 3 for your third and so on. The ballot paper is white.

Voting will take place between 7 am ~ 10 pm. Information Officers will complement the Presiding Officer and Polling Clerk at 100 of the busiest polling stations to assist voters.

Another first is that counting will be conducted electronically. All counting will take place at Inverness Leisure Centre, Bught Park. Ballot papers will be scanned into 13 scanners and processed via 23 computers.

The count for the three Scottish parliamentary constituencies will be completed overnight with the results announced in the early hours of Friday 4 May.

The results of the Scottish Parliament Additional Members and The Highland Council will be announced later on Friday.

8 March 07
'Wanted: Volunteers To Monitor The 2007 Elections'
Unlock Democracy is a voluntary organisation dedicated to democratic renewal and connecting people in politics: www.unlockdemocracy.org.uk  The group are looking for volunteers to monitor the 2007 elections in every constituency in Scotland.  The group are still looking for volunteers in Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross.

The research project is designed to study and improve the quality of democracy in Scotland. It is based on a successful project we completed in the 2005 General Election.  This is not a large commitment - it should take no more than two or three hours, over the course of a month. This research is supported by the Electoral Commission in Scotland. This work is funded by the Scottish Electoral Commission: www.electoralcommission.gov.uk

Previous work on elections includes General Election 2005: what the voters saw, E. Robinson & Dr Justin Fisher, 2005. For more details see here: http://www.unlockdemocracy.org.uk/?p=181

Tasks involved:

  • collect election leaflets that come through your door

  • keep a record of telephone calls and doorstep visits from political parties

  • complete a short survey about your experience of election day

  • It is not necessary to be knowledgeable about politics or the electoral process.

Click Here For Contact Details

20 February 07
Candidates In Caithness For Highland Council Elections as at 20 Feb 2007

There will be three wards instead of ten for Caithness under the new Electoral system in May 2007.  Thurso, Wick and Caithness Landward with Wick and Thurso having extended boundaries.

7 February 07
Highland Council To Debate
Elections 2007 Public Awareness on 8 February 2007

The Full Agenda for 8 February 2007

1 February 07
Solidarity Finalises Line Up For Highland and Islands

Tommy Sheridan's new party Solidarity that has left behind the SSP has selected its candidates for the May 2007 election for the Scottish Parliament. The Solidarity party in the Highlands and Islands has selected its group of candidates to stand on the party list at May's forthcoming Scottish Parliamentary elections. Leading the way for the party at No1 on the list is veteran campaigner Anne Macleod of Inverness.  Frank Ward will once again be standing and is joined by Steve Arnott. The list is completed by Saltire Prize-winning author John Aberdein of Orkney, community activist Norma Anderson of Elgin, teacher Liz Walker of Alness, Fair Trade and environmental campaigner Deirdre Henderson of Kintyre and Special Needs Education Trainer Shona Laughland of Bute.

25 January 07
Labour Field Candidates In all Seats In Caithness For May 2007 Elections
Scottish Labour looking to sweep the board by standing candidates in all of the new Caithness council wards to add to their candidates for MSP and a list candidate for the Scottish Parliament. Candidates with a wealth of experience in local government will contest every seat in the new-look Highland Council. They will join Scottish Parliament prospective candidates John McKendrick, who is bidding to become the next MSP for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, and Bilbster's Simon Harrison, a candidate on the Labour list for second votes, on the local campaign trail. In the Council Wards the current councillor Roger Saxon will stand in Thurso, with former councillors Jim Oag in Wick and Bill Mowat in Caithness Landward throwing their hats back in the ring.....more

8 December 06
What's New In Elections
Highland council will post items with new information about the election process and changes as they come to notice.  In the run up to the 2007 elections, the organisations involved in administering the conduct of the election will be posting a considerable amount material on their websites. 

Independents in talks on joint election campaign - Scotsman

15 October 06
Plea to Householders to Assist with Electoral Registration

Householders in the Highlands and Western Isles are being urged to register everyone in their homes who qualifies in order to ensure that they can vote in the Scottish Parliament and local council elections in May of next year.

The annual electoral canvass is in full swing and all households in the areas have received an initial postal canvass form and where this was not returned, a reminder.

Over the next ten days or so, households that have failed to make a return will be issued with a further reminder. Householders are asked to return the form already in their possession without delay to save the expense to the public purse of additional postal reminders and other follow up work on the doorstep.

Douglas Gillespie, Electoral Registration Officer for the Highlands and Western Isles, said: "This year's register is particularly important as it will be used for the fixed term Scottish Parliamentary and Local Government elections in May 2007. Failure to return a form could result in the inability to vote next May.

"Failure to register can also prejudice the granting of credit as traders routinely carry out checks, which include the electoral register. Householders should remember to include any young people over the age of 16 and any EU, Commonwealth or Irish citizens resident at the address."

Anyone unsure of how to proceed should telephone the Electoral Registration Officer on Freefone 0800 393783.

15 October 06
First Minister in Highlands and Islands Holyrood Campaign boost
First Minister Jack McConnell MSP recently visited Inverness to meet with Labour activists ahead of the 2007 election. Jack McConnell met with over 50 local Labour candidates and activists from across the Highlands and Island region, and took the opportunity to meet activists and discuss strategy and policy ahead of Holyrood poll in May.

Following the event, Jack McConnell: "Labour's team for the Highlands and Islands is stronger than ever.""Our experienced and hard working list and constituency candidates will take Scottish Labour's message to every household across the Highlands and Islands."

"Labour stands on a stronger record than at anytime in the past seven years. The economy is growing, there are more jobs than ever before, the National Health Service has delivered best ever waiting times in Scotland, crime is down and we have taken the tough action necessary to tackle anti-social behaviour. But Labour will not fight the 2007 election on our record."

"It will be the substance of our future programme that we will take to the people of the Highlands and I look forward to the months ahead."

Labour's Peter Peacock added, "As a native of the Isle of Arran, Jack McConnell appreciates the impact remoteness has on the delivery of public services and during his time as First Minister he has been very supportive of our area. "In the Highlands and Islands we are seeing the benefits of record investment in education, where the school rebuilding and refurbishment programme is now well under way. We now have more police officers in our communities that at any time in the past and have seen record levels of investment in the health service. The economy of the Highlands and Islands has grown considerably since devolution and population decline in the area well and truly reversed."

"Together with the other Labour constituency and regional list candidates I look forward to the forthcoming campaign and the continuing opportunity to work to improve the lives of constituents across the Highlands and Islands."

13 October 06

Tom McCabe has highlighted the important contribution councillors make to local communities, ahead of the introduction of a new form of voting for the local government election on May 3 2007.

Councillors across Scotland will be elected using a system of proportional representation, Single Transferable Vote (STV). There is a dedicated website and phone number to ensure that voters and candidates are fully informed on how the new system works.

Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform Tom McCabe said: "The majority of Scotland's 1222 councillors represent a registered political party, although around 20 per cent of them are currently elected as independents. Regardless of political affiliation, the one thing that all councillors share is an unstinting drive to do what's best for their local communities.

"Councillors do an invaluable, and often undervalued, job in contributing to their local community. By highlighting the importance of the role of councillors, we hope more people from all walks of life will be inspired to get involved in local politics now or in the future."

Key facts on the Local Government Elections for 2007:

  • Most of the 1222 councillors currently represent a registered political party, with around 20 per cent of them elected as independents;

  • STV is designed to be a more proportional system than the previous local government system of 'first past the post' - resulting in each of the party's share of seats in the council more closely reflecting its share of voter support;

  • Voters rank candidates numerically in order of preference - ranking as many or as few candidates as they wish;

  • Voters should ensure they only rank candidates they would be happy to see elected as every preference could count;

  • There will be new council wards - each one three to four times bigger than current wards; and

  • These wards will be represented by either three or four councillors who may represent a mixture of political persuasions.

For more information on how to become a councillor, or how to vote using STV in the next local government elections go to: www.votescotland.com or call 0131 244 7039.

10 September 06
Scottish Socialist Party In Highland Crisis
Members of the Highlands and Islands Regional Council of the Scottish Socialist Party, as a group, have voted overwhelmingly to leave the SSP and join Solidarity, Scotland's Socialist Movement. Three branches in the region had already voted to join Solidarity en masse with 3 more to vote this week.

The move means that the SSP are now left with only a handful of members in the Highlands and will struggle to put together an electoral list for next May. All but two of the nine listed candidates who were selected earlier this year, to stand for the SSP in May, have now joined Solidarity.

This follows a similar situation in the South of Scotland region where over 100 members have now left to join Solidarity leaving less than 20 SSP members in that region.

Steve Arnott, former Regional Organiser of the SSP in the Highlands and Islands, and now a member of Solidarity said: " The Regional Council voted 13 to 1 in favour of transferring all memberships, assets and activity to Solidarity, Scotland's Socialist Movement. The SSP will have to parachute candidates in from Glasgow next May and that will not be appreciated up here."

Over twenty branches and two entire regions have now left the SSP completely, casting doubt over the SSP's ability to fight the Scottish Elections in May.

The launch meeting of Solidarity, which was held in Glasgow last Sunday, was well attended by former members of the SSP from the Highlands & Islands Region.

Tommy Sheridan MSP added: This was a truly national meeting with representation from all over Scotland. We believed our choice was to face ongoing interminable warfare within the old party - or to launch a new socialist political force that would rapidly become a party the people of Scotland could believe in and which is dedicated to fighting poverty, injustice and inequality in all its forms and which would campaign for an independent socialist Scotland.

The Socialist Workers Platform (SWP) of the SSP withdrew all of its 300 members from the SSP two weeks ago. The Committee for a Workers International (CWI) have also left to join Solidarity taking around 150 members with them.

9 of the SSP's elected Executive Committee have joined the new party along with half of the elected Regional Organisers and over half of the powerful Trades Union Committee.

All 11 of the selected list for 2007 in the South region have also left to join Solidarity.

10 September 06
Independents - Determined To Survive Political Party Challenges in 2007 Elections
The council elections in May 2007 will be held on the same day as the elections for the Scottish Parliament.  Independent councillors fear they could be at disadvantage as the new wards will be three times larger making it difficult to get round to canvass the electorate whilst party label candidates will have the party members moving around supporting the candidates for the Scottish Parliament and will co-ordinate canvassing and leaflet drops for the local council candidates who belong to that party.  A loose association might mean that independent councillors who wish Highland to remain and independent council might co-operate in putting out information on their record even though they vote on all matters as they see fit in the best interests of their constituents and do not toe any party line as is the case in councils further south where a Labour or Lib Dem administration is formed.  Are the days of Highland independent councillors numbered or will the electorate decide to maintain a majority of independent councillors?  At present their are 54 independent councillors out of the 80 in Highland.  At present the independent councillors in Caithness are Bill Fernie (Wick West), Katrina MacNab (Pulteneytown), Donnie Mackay (Thurso Central), Bill Mowat (Caithness South East), Tom Jackson (Thurso East), John Green (Caithness North East)
Councillors who stood under party tickets ate listed here.  There are three Lib Dems - David Flear (Caithness Central), Alastair MacDonald (Caithness North West) and Graeme Smith (Wick) and one Labour Roger Saxon (Thurso West)..................More.

11 July 07
Labour Party Announces List Candidates For 2007 Election

Following the Scottish Executive Committee meeting of the Scottish Labour Party, the full ordered list ranking for the Highlands and Islands has been published.
Highlands and Islands
1. Peter Peacock
2. Rhoda Grant
3. David Stewart
4. Christine Conniff
5. Michael Macmillan
6. Dawn Graham
7. Simon Harrison

28 June 06
Labour Candidate Opens Up Blog Web Site
Blogging in Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross
John McKendrick, Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross has launched a blog to help connect with as many residents of the far north as possible. He particularly hopes to reach out to more young voters. His first blog deals with the world cup and local sports facilities, where he reveals he supported England against Ecuador, but will not do so against Portugal this Saturday. He is asking local people to contact him on-line and start a discussion about what further sports facilities are needed in their local communities.

3 May 06
Gordon Campbell Independent Heads For 2007 Election
Gordon Campbell is setting out to win and is as determined as ever to fight  the 2007 election with as much fervour as in his previous campaigns.  He passionately loves his adopted area and Dornoch where he lives.  A tireless campaigner he is already well on his way to getting to all parts of the most northerly mainland constituency of Caithness Sutherland and Easter Ross.

3 May 06
Scottish Socialist Party Select Candidates For 2007 Election
The SSP have selected their list candidates to contest next year's Scottish parliamentary elections in the Highlands and Islands region. Top of the list and aiming to be elected as the party's first MSP from the region is SSP regional co-ordinator and spokesperson, Steve Arnott, who was selected by members with 77% of all first preference votes cast in a Single Transferable Vote ballot. Frank Ward will stand in Caithness, Sutherland. Announcing the result of the ballot to members on May 1st - the traditional worker's day throughout the world - Ray Stewart, the party's regional returning officer for internal elections, said "this will be a team effort. All the candidates who have put themselves forward will have a valuable role to play in the coming year. We missed out narrowly in 2003 - this time we believe we can go one better."  The SSP failed to get a list MSP elected in 2003 by just 870 votes out of an electorate of over 200,000 throughout the geographically vast region, which includes the Highlands, Moray, the Northern Isles, the Hebrides and Argyll & Bute.

22 February 06
Labour Candidate Selected for 2007 Election
Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross constituency Labour Party have selected their candidate for the 2007 Scottish parliamentary elections. He is John McKendrick, a 29 year-old barrister. John was born in Alexandria, on the shores of Loch Lomond almost thirty years ago. He grew up in the countryside in Stirlingshire, where his family still live, went to school in Glasgow and studied at the LSE and Oxford before qualifying as a barrister.

22 February 06
New Section for the 2007 Elections
Yes we know it seems along way off but the first signs are already there that things are stirring with the Labour candidate John McKendrick being selected to contest the seat.  We will add other candidates and information all the way to the final results in May 2007.

Council Elections
The council elections will be different next time round as we move to multi member ward system. The proposals for the Highland Multi Member wards can be found Here

Other changes include the elections arrangements which for the first time will be electronic and due to the need to use electronic equipment it is likely that all Highland votes will be counted in Inverness with no count in Wick as in the past.

The voting system is to change to a Single Transferable Vote system  - a form of proportional representation agreed by the Scottish Parliament in 2004. Councillors elected will receive an increase in their payments but decrease in what they can claim as expenses with lower mileage allowances and payment for night subsistance based on actual expenditure rather than a fixed rate.

Councillors who do not choose to stand again will be a paid £1000 for each year they have stood as a councillor if they stand down and do not put themselves forward again. This is seen as move to get younger people involved in standing as councillors.  A slightly higher payments system is also aimed at attracting younger people and women to stand in elections for local councils.

 Women's Parliamentary Radio

Women's Electoral Reform Society

Electoral Reform Society

Election Day Guide - How To Vote - BBC

Scottish Elections NEWS From BBC

Election 2007 BBC

Frequently Asked Questions

Vote Scotland

Engender - For a woman's perspective on politics and more

Scottish Parliament
Counting The Votes - How It Works
More Information On Scottish Parliament Elections

Scottish Councils
Counting the Votes - How It Works 2007

More Information On Council Elections

Election Information At Highland Council

Scottish Parliament 2007 Details

Highland Council 2007 Details

2003 Election Pages

2005 Westminster Election Pages

Web Sites
Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party
Scottish Green Party
Scottish Labour Party
Highland Labour
Scottish Lib Dems
Scottish National Party
Scottish Socialist Party

Solidarity -
The New Socialist Party Launched by Tommy Sheridan on Sunday 3rd September 06
Scottish Senior Citizens Unity Party
The People's Alliance

Political News & Links
Scottish Parliament Voting System

Civic Forum
Electoral Reform Society     Additional Member System
Electoral Commission
Electoral Commission 1 May - 2003 Election Information
Electoral Registration
Frequently Asked Questions
Postal Votes
Constituency Locata
Lord Chancellors Dept - Elections

Conservative Candidates 2007 All Scotland
Labour Candidates 2007 All Scotland