2022 Comhairle nan Eilean Siar election

← 2017 5 May 2022 (2022-05-05) 2027 →

All 29 seats to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
15 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party
 
Leader Roddie MacKay Gordon Murray[1]
Party Independent SNP
Leader's seat Steòrnabhagh a Tuath Steòrnabhagh a Tuath
Last election 23 seats, 77.5% 7 seats, 19.2%
Seats before 22 6
Seats after 20 6
Seat change Decrease3 Decrease1
Popular vote 6,573 1,880
Percentage 74.2% 21.3%
Swing Decrease3.3 Increase2.2

  Third party
 
Leader Ranald Fraser
Party Conservative
Leader's seat Sgìr' Ùige agus Carlabhagh
Last election 1 seat, 3.4%
Seats before 1
Seats after 1
Seat change Steady
Popular vote 131
Percentage 1.5%
Swing Decrease1.9

2022 Comhairle nan Eilean Siar election, parties.svg
2022 Comhairle nan Eilean Siar election, incumbency.svg

Council Leader before election

Roddie MacKay
Independent

Council Leader after election

Paul Steele
Independent

Elections to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Scottish Gaelic for 'Council of the Western Isles') took place on 5 May 2022 on the same day as the 31 other Scottish local government elections. The election will be the first to use the nine wards created under the Islands (Scotland) Act 2018 which allowed for single and dual member wards, with 29 councillors being elected. Each ward elected either 2, 3 or 4 members, using the Single Transferrable Vote electoral system, a form of proportional representation.[2] Following a boundary review the number of wards will increase from nine to 11 while the number of councillors elected will fall from 31 to 29.

In the previous election in 2017, independent councillors retained a large majority of the seats on the council and retained control of the administration. The first two female councillors were elected since 2012.[3]

Background

Composition

Since the previous election, there has been a single change in council composition, with SNP Cllr Calum MacMillan joining the Alba Party.[4] A single by-election was held and resulted in an independent hold.[5][6]

Party 2017 result Current composition
Independents 23 23
SNP 7 6
Conservative 1 1
Alba 0 1

Retiring councillors

Ward Party Retiring councillor
Barraigh, Bhatarsaigh, Eirisgeigh agus Uibhist a Deas SNP Donald Manford
Na Hearadh agus Ceann a Deas nan Loch Independent Finlay Cunningham
Sgir’ Uige agus Ceann a Tuath nan Loch Norman Alexander MacDonald
Sgire an Rubha Alasdair MacLeod
Steòrnabhagh a Deas Keith Dodson
Charlie Nicolson
Steòrnabhagh a Tuath Neil MacKay
Roddie MacKay
An Taobh Siar agus Nis John MacKay
Kenny John MacLeod

Boundary changes

Following the implementation of the Islands (Scotland) Act 2018, a review of the boundaries was undertaken in North Ayrshire, Argyll and Bute, Highland, Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. The act allowed for single- or two-member wards to be created to allow for better representation of island communities. As a result, the number wards was increased from nine to 11 but the number of councillors was reduced from 31 to 29. The An Taobh Siar agus Nis ward was the only ward to remain with the same boundaries but the number of councillors was reduced from four to three. There were changes to the boundaries for the Loch a Tuath, Sgìre an Rubha, Steòrnabhagh a Tuath and Steòrnabhagh a Deas wards but the number of councillors remained the same for each except Sgìre an Rubha which was reduced to two seats. New dual-member wards were created for Barraigh agus Bhatarsaigh, Na Hearadh, Sgìr’ Ùige agus Carlabhagh, Sgìre nan Loch and Uibhist a Tuath.[7]

Controversy

After nominations closed on 30 March 2022, two wards – Barraigh agus Bhatarsaigh and Sgìr’ Ùige agus Carlabhagh – received less candidates than seats available. Both are dual member wards and only one person stood for election in each. As a result, both candidates – along with the two candidates who stood for election in the dual-member Sgìre an Rubha ward – will be automatically elected without a poll being conducted. The lack of interest in standing for election was called a "threat to local democracy" by the Greens. Across Scotland, 18 councillors will be automatically elected because the number of candidates was not enough to trigger an election. During the 2017 local elections in Scotland, just three council wards were uncontested but votes were held in every ward in both 2007 and 2012 – the first elections to use multi-member wards and the Single transferable vote. By-elections will be organised in Barraigh agus Bhatarsaigh and Sgìr’ Ùige agus Carlabhagh to elect a second councillor. Public disinterest in standing for election to local councils has been linked to the "ridiculous" size of some local authorities and the low pay councillors receive for their work.[8][9][10]

Results

2022 Comhairle nan Eilean Siar election result[11]
Party Seats Gains Losses Net gain/loss Seats % Votes % Votes +/−
  Independent 20 Decrease3 69.0 74.2 6,573 Decrease3.3
  SNP 6 Decrease1 20.7 21.3 1,880 Increase2.2
  Conservative 1 Steady 3.4 1.5 131 Decrease1.9
  Green 0 Steady 0 2.0 176 Increase2.0
  Alba 0 Steady 0 1.0 92 Increase1.0

Note: "Votes" are the first preference votes. The net gain/loss and percentage changes compare with the previous Scottish local elections. These figures may differ from other published sources showing gains/losses in comparison with the seats held at the dissolution of the council in 2022.

Ward summary

Results of the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar election, 2022
by ward
Ward %
Cllrs
%
Cllrs
%
Cllrs
%
Cllrs
%
Cllrs
Total
Cllrs
Independents SNP Conservative Green Alba
Barraigh agus Bhatarsaigh 1 Uncontested 1[A]
Uibhist a Deas, Èirisgeigh agus Beinn na Faoghla 62.6 2 16.9 1 13.5 0 7.0 0 3
Uibhist a Tuath 2
Na Hearadh 2
Sgìre nan Loch 2
Sgìr’ Ùige agus Carlabhagh Uncontested 1 1[A]
An Taobh Siar agus Nis 3
Loch a Tuath 3
Steòrnabhagh a Tuath 4
Steòrnabhagh a Deas 4
Sgìre an Rubha 2 Uncontested 2
Total 20 6 1 0 0 27[B]


Notes
  1. ^
    A: Only one candidate stood for election in the two-member Barraigh agus Bhatarsaigh and Sgìr’ Ùige agus Carlabhagh wards. A by-election will be held at a later date to elect a second member.
  2. ^
    B: As a result of less candidates standing for election than seats to be fill in two wards, only 27 councillors will be elected instead of 29.

Ward results

Barraigh agus Bhatarsaigh

Barraigh agus Bhatarsaig - 2 seats[12]
Party Candidate FPv% Count
1
Independent Kenneth John MacLean unopposed unopposed
Valid:   Quota:  


Uibhist a Deas, Èirisgeigh agus Beinn na Faoghla

Uibhist a Deas, Èirisgeigh agus Beinn na Faoghla - 3 seats[13]
Party Candidate FPv% Count
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Independent Paul Francis Steele[BBE] 21.06% 275 290 305 352
SNP Susan Thomson 16.92% 221 230 243 262 266.8 332.7
Independent Iain Murdoch MacLeod[BFU] 13.55% 177 188 205 250 255.5 302.1 303.3 384.9
Green Roddy MacKay[BFU] 13.48% 176 182 186 197 201.5
Independent Donnie Steele 11.87% 155 161 180 200 206.9 253.2 254.7
Independent Iain Archie MacNeil[BBE] 10.57% 138 147 159
Alba Calum MacMillan[BBE] 7.04% 92 98
Independent Andrew Veitch Walker 5.51% 72
Electorate: 2,541   Valid: 1,306   Spoilt: 36   Quota: 327   Turnout: 1,342 (52.8%)  

Uibhist a Tuath

Uibhist a Tuath - 2 seats[12]
Party Candidate FPv% Count
1
Independent Mustapha Hocine 41.75 276
Independent Uisdean Robertson[BFU] 38.43 254
Conservative Kenny Barker 19.82 131
Electorate: 1,360   Valid: 661   Spoilt: 8   Quota: 221   Turnout: 49.2  


Na Hearadh

Na Hearadh - 2 seats[12]
Party Candidate FPv% Count
1 2
Independent Grant Fulton[HCD] 50.34 372  
Independent Paul Finnegan[HCD] 31.53 233 301
SNP John Graham Mitchell[HCD] 18.13 134 171
Electorate: 1,553   Valid: 739   Spoilt: 22   Quota: 247   Turnout: 49.0  


Sgìre nan Loch

Sgìre nan Loch - 2 seats[12]
Party Candidate FPv% Count
1 2
Independent Angus Morrison[SUC] 49.94 425  
Independent Robert MacKenzie 30.79 262 336
Independent Annie MacDonald 9.75 83 109
SNP Norman Smith 9.51 81 87
Electorate: 1,458   Valid: 851   Spoilt: 4   Quota: 284   Turnout: 58.6  


Sgìr' Ùige agus Carlabhagh

Sgìr' Ùige agus Carlabhagh - 2 seats[12]
Party Candidate FPv% Count
1
Conservative Ranald Fraser[SUC] unopposed
Valid:   Quota:  


An Taobh Siar agus Nis

An Taobh Siar agus Nis - 3 seats[12]
Party Candidate FPv% Count
1 2 3 4 5 6
Independent John Norman MacLeod (incumbent) 24.98 346 356        
SNP Kenny MacLeod (incumbent) 21.81 302 365        
Independent Donald MacSween 19.57 271 282 288 290 339 479
Independent Dorothy Morrison 16.82 233 242 248 250 283  
Independent Donald John MacLeod 9.46 131 133 135 138    
SNP Finlay John MacLeod 7.36 102          
Electorate: 2,552   Valid: 1,414   Spoilt: 29   Quota: 347   Turnout: 55.4  


Loch a Tuath

Loch a Tuath - 3 seats[12]
Party Candidate FPv% Count
1 2
Independent Donald Finlayson Crichton (incumbent) 41.12 461  
Independent Calum MacLean (incumbent) 22.21 249 330
SNP John A. MacIver (incumbent) 21.94 246 281
Independent Catriona Murray 11.23 126 168
Independent Hazel Glenys Mansfield 3.48 39 46
Electorate: 2,216   Valid: 1,121   Spoilt: 27   Quota: 281   Turnout: 51.8  


Steòrnabhagh a Tuath

Steòrnabhagh a Tuath - 4 seats[12]
Party Candidate FPv% Count
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
SNP Gordon Murray (incumbent) 23.26 315                
Independent Duncan MacInnes 20.01 271                
Independent Iain MacLean MacAulay (incumbent) 17.87 242 252 256 259 272        
Independent Malcolm Kenneth MacDonald 14.84 201 210 213 215 226 227 243 265 328
Independent Calum Barney MacKay 9.89 134 137 139 141 147 148 162 179  
Independent Tracy Dinner 4.21 57 61 61 71 74 74 80    
Independent Malcolm Ivor McTaggart 4.06 55 57 60 63 65 65      
Independent Willie MacRae 3.25 44 46 46 49          
Independent Maxi MacNeill 3.25 23 25 25            
Independent John Murdo MacMillan 0.89 12 13              
Electorate: 3,097   Valid: 1,354   Spoilt: 25   Quota: 271   Turnout: 44.5  


Steòrnabhagh a Deas

Steòrnabhagh a Deas - 4 seats[12]
Party Candidate FPv% Count
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Independent George Murray 25.38 367            
SNP Rae MacKenzie (incumbent) 19.85 287 296          
Independent Angus McCormack (incumbent) 19.57 283 300          
SNP Frances Murray 14.04 203 213 215 217 231 246 301
Independent Archie MacDonald 7.67 111 120 122 122 158 206  
Independent Callum Ian MacMillan 6.98 101 113 115 116 144    
Independent Frank Stephen Burns 6.50 94 102 104 104      
Electorate: 3,105   Valid: 1,446   Spoilt: 30   Quota: 290   Turnout: 47.5  


Sgìre an Rubha

Sgìre an Rubha - 2 seats[12]
Party Candidate FPv% Count
1
Independent Norrie Tomsh MacDonald (incumbent) unopposed
Independent Finlay MacKenzie Stewart (incumbent) unopposed
Valid:   Quota:  


Aftermath

By-elections were called shortly after the election in Barraigh agus Bhatarsaigh (Ward 1) and Sgìr’ Ùige agus Carlabhagh (Ward 6). This was due to the lack of nominations received for the wards at the full election of the council. The by-elections are scheduled for 30 June 2022.[14]


Barraigh agus Bhatarsaigh By-election - 1 seat (30 June 2022)
Party Candidate FPv% Count
1
Independent Gerard Macdonald
Independent Calum Macmillan
Independent Iain MacNeil
Valid:   Quota:  


Sgìr Ùige Agus Carlabhagh By-election - 1 seat (30 June 2022)
Party Candidate FPv% Count
1
Independent Sophie Brown
SNP Laura Cameron-Lewis
Liberal Democrats Jamie Dobson
Green Anne Edwards
Independent Norman Macdonald
Independent Iain MacKinnon
Independent Donald MacLeod
Valid:   Quota:  


Notes

  1. ^
    BBE: Sitting councillor for Barraigh, Bhatarsaigh, Eiriosgaigh agus Uibhist a Deas.
  2. ^
    BFU: Sitting councillor for Beinn na Faoghla agus Uibhist a Tuath.
  3. ^
    HCD: Sitting councillor for Na Hearadh agus Ceann a Deas nan Loch.
  4. ^
    SUC: Sitting councillor for Sgir’ Uige agus Ceann a Tuath nan Loch.

References

  1. ^ "SNP pass torch to a new leader". Stornoway Gazette.
  2. ^ "2019 Reviews of Electoral Arrangements". Boundaries Scotland.
  3. ^ "Scottish election results 2022: Isles' first female councillors since 2012". BBC News. 6 May 2022. Retrieved 6 May 2022.
  4. ^ "Council Members". Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. Retrieved 1 April 2022.
  5. ^ "Western Isles Councillor steps down". Stornoway Gazette. 23 July 2020. Retrieved 1 April 2022.
  6. ^ "Local Government By-Election - 8 October 2020 Na Hearadh agus Ceann a Deas nan Loch Ward Results". www.cne-siar.gov.uk. Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.
  7. ^ "Review of Electoral Arrangements Na h-Eileanan an Iar Council Area Final Proposals" (PDF). Boundaries Scotland. May 2021. Retrieved 1 April 2022.
  8. ^ Bhadani, Anita (31 March 2022). "'Threat to local democracy' as councillors elected without votes". The National. Retrieved 3 April 2022.
  9. ^ Learmonth, Andrew (31 March 2022). "Eighteen councillors already elected in Scotland's local elections". The Herald. Retrieved 3 April 2022.
  10. ^ Bowie, Justin; Philip, Andy (1 April 2022). "18 councillors are already elected ahead of May vote – here's why you should be alarmed". The Press and Journal. Retrieved 3 April 2022.
  11. ^ "Declaration Of Contested Election". Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Notice of Poll" (PDF). Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  13. ^ "Declaration Of Contested Election". Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. Retrieved 21 May 2022.
  14. ^ "Notice of Election". Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. Retrieved 21 May 2022.