SNP win crucial Penicuik vote

The SNP is now the largest party at Midlothian Council after its candidate Joe Wallace won the Penicuik by-election today.

Former Midlothian Provost Joe Wallace was declared as the town’s new councillor at Ladywood Leisure Centre this afternoon, with the vote called following the death of Labour councillor Adam Montgomery in January.

The SNP celebrate at the Penicuik by-election won by SNP candidate Joe Wallace (centre - grey suit).

The SNP celebrate at the Penicuik by-election won by SNP candidate Joe Wallace (centre - grey suit).

Councillor Wallace’s re-election comes less than a year after he lost his seat at last May’s council elections. The Conservatives finished second in this by-election, with Labour third and the Greens fourth.

This result sees the SNP, now with seven councillors, replace Labour as the biggest party in Midlothian. Labour are left with six councillors at Midlothian House, with the Conservatives on five.

It appears that no formal coalition will take place between the Conservatives and Labour to block the SNP taking power, meaning an end to Labour’s 10 months in power.

Final result:

SNP's new councillor in Penicuik,  Joe Wallace.

SNP's new councillor in Penicuik, Joe Wallace.

Joe Wallace (SNP) 2,237

Murdo Macdonald (Con) 1,788

Vivienne Wallace (Lab) 1,310

Helen Armstrong (Greens) 344.

Turnout: 42.9 per cent.

Full result: Stage One

The total number of votes cast was 4,781 and 31 rejected.

Helen Armstrong: 344 votes

Murdo Macdonald: 1,433 votes

Joe Wallace: 1,663 votes

Vivienne Wallace: 1,310

No candidate attained the 2376 quota so the count proceeded to Stage 2. The candidate with the lowest number of votes, Helen Armstrong was excluded and her votes transferred to the remaining candidates in accordance with the voters’ next preferences.

Stage 2

Murdo Macdonald: 36 transferred so total of 1,469 votes

Joe Wallace: 140 transferred so total of 1,803 votes

Vivienne Wallace: 104 transferred so total of 1,414 votes

Vivienne Wallace was then excluded and her votes transferred to the remaining candidates in accordance with the voters’ next preferences.

Stage 3

Murdo Macdonald: 319 transferred so total of 1,788 votes

Joe Wallace: 434 transferred so total of 2,237 votes.

There were 661 non-transferrable votes identified at Stage 3 giving total non-transferable votes of 725.