Record-breaking Kelly wins Midlothian West by-election

Kelly Parry SNP is elected as a councillor in the Midlothian West by-election count at Ladywood Leisure Centre in Penicuik
Kelly Parry SNP is elected as a councillor in the Midlothian West by-election count at Ladywood Leisure Centre in Penicuik

Midlothian has elected its youngest ever female councillor following a by-election victory for the SNP in the Midlothian West ward last week.

Kelly Parry (32) of the SNP was elected at stage four of the count with 1,701 votes. The former St David’s High pupil will now join Andrew Coventry (SNP)and Russell Imrie (Lab)in representing the ward which covers Loanhead, Bilston and Roslin.

Councillor Parry told the Advertiser: “I’m delighted to be elected and I’m looking forward to the hard work ahead.

“I obviously want to be the best councillor that I can be, and also make a positive contribution to the council administration group as well.”

And what does she think about becoming the youngest woman councillor in Midlothian’s history?

Councillor Parry said: “Obviously that’s a very good thing, as it’s important that we try to engage with as many different voices as possible.

“Hopefully it will encourage more woman into local government. It’s good to break those moulds.”

The result means the council make-up at Midlothian House remains the same. The SNP and Labour each have eight councillors, with one independent councillor and one Green councillor.

The council therefore is still controlled by the SNP, in coalition with independent councillor Peter De Vink.

The Green party was also celebrating, after doubling its share of the vote in the Midlothian West ward from 5.2 per cent in 2012 to 10.4 per cent.

Midlothian’s only current Green councillor Ian Baxter (Bonnyrigg ward) said: “It’s a tremendous base to start from ahead of the 2017 local elections, when we hope to get more Green councillors elected.”

The by-election was held after Councillor Owen Thompson stepped down in the summer after becoming the Westminster MP for the Midlothian constituency.

The candidates and the number of first preference votes each received were as follows: Kelly Parry, Scottish National Party: 1,540; Ian Miller, Labour and Co-operative Party: 945; Pauline Winchester, Scottish Conservative and Unionist: 524; Daya Feldwick, Scottish Green Party: 372; Jane Davidson, Scottish Liberal Democrats: 162; David Tedford (Indp): 25.

Turnout was 31.2 per cent.