The candidates for this year’s local council election have been announced, five weeks before voters head to the polls.
For the fourth year in a row, the electorate is once again set to travel to their polling place, this time to chose 18 locals to make up Midlothian Council. Polls will open at 7am on Thursday 4 May and the results will be known by Friday.
The deadline for nominations passed at 4pm on Wednesday and the candidates for each of the six wards have now been announced.
Fielding two candidates in every ward, the Scottish National Party are hoping to remain the ruling administration come May 5. Amongst their selection are some current councillors, Joe Wallace (Penicuik), Kelly Parry (Midlothian West) and current council leader Catherine Johnstone (Midlothian South). However, current councillors Derek Rosie (Penicuik), Bob Constable (Bonnyrigg) and Lisa Beattie (Midlothian East) will not be standing. Jim Bryant (Dalkeith) will stand as an independent having become disillusioned with the SNP as will Andrew Coventry (Midlothian West).
Scottish Labour also have high hopes with ten candidates standing. Incumbent Adam Montgomery will again stand for election in Penicuik. He’s joined by fellow incumbents Derek Milligan (Bonnyrigg), Margot Russell (Dalkeith), Russell Imrie (Midlothian West), Jim Muirhead (Midlothian South) and Bryan Pottinger (Midlothian South). Joining the roster is John Hackett (Midlothian East), Stephen Blain (Midlothian West), Stephen Curran (Dalkeith) and Louise Lorraine Milliken (Bonnyrigg).
Both the Scottish Conservative and Unionists and Scottish Greens are fielding a single candidate in each ward. Both are hoping to make significant gains following increase support in last year’s Scottish Parliament election. The Tories leapt into second place, overtaking Labour, in Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale.
The Scottish Liberal Democrats have a single candidate in both Penicuik and Midlothian West. Excluding the aforementioned former SNP councillors, three Independents will stand: Jason Ferry (Midlothian South), Robert Hogg (Midlothian East) and George McIntyre (Bonnyrigg).
The council elections use the single transferable vote method, meaning that each voter ranks the candidates from one through to the number of people standing in the ward. However you can number as many or as few as you like, as long as your first preference is marked with a number one and not a traditional cross.
Returning Officer Kenneth Lawrie said:
The local council elections are literally ‘on your doorstep’. Anyone not yet registered to vote should do so as soon as possible so they can have their say on issues that affect their day-to-day lives locally. I’d urge people living in Midlothian to spread the message amongst family and friends that it only takes a few minutes to complete the form and register to vote online.
The deadline to register to vote is Monday 17 April.
Full list of candidates by ward:
Ken Brown (LibDem)
Jim Garry (Green)
Andrew Hardie (Con)
Debbi McCall (SNP)
Adam Montgomery (Lab) – Incumbent
Joe Wallace (SNP) – Incumbent
Dianne Alexander (SNP)
Ian Baxter (Green) – Incumbent
Colin Lawrie (SNP)
Janet Lay-Douglas (Con)
George McIntyre (Independent)
Derek Milligan (Lab) – Incumbent
Louie Lorraine Milliken (Lab)
Jim Bryant (Independent) – Incumbent (previously SNP)
Colin John Cassidy (SNP)
Stephen Curran (Lab)
Margot Russell (Lab) – Incumbent
Jill Simon (Green)
Robin Traquair (Con)
Gary Young (SNP)
Helen Blackburn (Green)
Stephen Blain (Lab)
Andrew Coventry (Independent) – Incumbent (previously SNP)
Russell Imrie (Lab) – Incumbent
Ross Laird (LibDem)
Kelly Parry (SNP) – Incumbent
David Temple (SNP)
Pauline Winchester (Con)
Helen Armstrong (Green)
Kenneth James Baird (SNP)
Louise D’Arcy-Greig (SNP)
John Hackett (Lab)
Robert Hogg (Independent)
Peter Smaill (Con)
Jason Ferry (Independent)
Cath Johnstone (SNP) – Incumbent
Jim Muirhead (Lab)
Kieran Munro (Con)
Bryan Pottinger (Lab) – Incumbent
Ellen Scott (SNP)
Malcolm Spaven (Green)