We’re live from the Clickimin reporting the council election count as it happens. Councillors for six of Shetland’s seven council wards will be announced this morning, with the results in the uncontested South ward already known. Be sure to refresh this page for live updates.
12.04 – That’s it from our live update. The new councillors have been elected, including five women, a very youthful ward in the North Isles, ten newcomers and Shetland’s first SNP councillor in the South. The new administration will be formed a week on Thursday, with speculation on the roles of council leader and convenor likely to follow between now and then. The big shock of the day was ex-council leader Gary Robinson failing to retain his seat in the West ward.
12.00 – Beatrice Wishart and Duncan Simpson both speak about their election success below.
11.58 – Malcolm Bell, who secured a massive majority of first preferences in Lerwick North, said he was “delighted” to be re-elected to the council.
Reflecting on the result, he said: “I think a lot of the credit goes to the work of the last council. The general feeling on doorstep was that we did not have everything right but the last council was strong and stable.
“We built a new school, a new hall of residence and new Eric Gray Centre. At the same time we have had the most severe budget cuts post-war and managed deliver balanced book.”
11.43 – Only 43.7 per cent of the Lerwick South electorate cast their vote yesterday. In Shetland’s only four councillor ward three of those elected are returning councillors. Peter Campbell and Cecil Smith secured victory in the first stage, while Amanda Westlake had to wait until the fourth stage of counting to secure a spot. The final spot was taken by newcomer Beatrice Wishart, who also won through in the first stage of counting.
11.39 – A turnout of just 42.8 per cent saw Malcolm Bell re-elected to Lerwick North with 715 first preference votes. Stephen Leask was second with 130 first preference results and John Fraser third with 124. Tory ‘paper’ candidate Thomas Williamson, who pleaded with voters not to vote for him, secured just 26 first preference votes.
11.35 – The final announcement is Lerwick South. Amanda Westlake, Peter Campbell and Cecil Smith have been returned to the council. Beatrice Wishart takes the final spot in the four councillor ward.
11.33 – No surprises in Lerwick North as Malcolm Bell, John Fraser and Stephen Leask beat paper candidate Skerries Tom.
11.30 – The candidates from Lerwick South have been taken aside by Jan Riise to be informed of the result in their ward. The results for both the Lerwick wards expected shortly.
11.20 – Alec Priest, 32, from Yell, says that he feels “proud that the people of the North Isles have faith in [himself] and Duncan and Ryan.”
The three were inspired to stand was because they saw the North Isles as “vulnerable,” he said.
“We see the long-term viability of the North Isles as being under threat.”
Mr Priest is the oldest councillor in the youthful North Isles ward. The youngest, Duncan Simpson, is just 27.
11.10 – Council newcomer Catherine Hughson speaks to The Shetland Times following news of her successful campaign.
11.00 – Here we have a video interview with Gary Robinson, speaking of his disappointment in losing his West ward seat.
10.53 – In Shetland North just under 50 per cent of the electorate chose to use their vote. Andrea Manson had the most first preference votes (509) and Alastair Cooper was second (395). Newbie Emma MacDonald was third with 240. Tory ‘paper’ candidate Isobel Johnson had just 48 first preference votes.
10.48 – Nearly two thirds of the electorate turned out to vote in the North Isles yesterday. Duncan Simpson took the highest proportion of first preference votes with 453. Ryan Thomson had 372 and Alec Priest 327. Cecil Hughson and Lynsay Cunningham failed to attain a seat earning 185 and 76 first preferences respectively. All three North Isles councillors are new to the council.
10.44 – In Shetland North Alastair Cooper and Andrea Manson have been returned to the council. Emma MacDonald takes the third spot.
10.42 – A high turnout in the North Isles sees three new councillors elected. They are Duncan Simpson, Ryan Thomson and Alec Priest.
10.36 – Candidates from the North Isles have been taken into private by Returning Officer Jan Riise. Result to be announced officially any minute.
10.34 – Shetland South councillors George Smith, Robbie McGregor and Allison Duncan are here to find out who their colleagues will be for the coming five years.
10.29 – Ian Scott, who did not attend the count, has spoken to The Shetland Times by phone following the news that he has finally, after three decades of trying, won a seat at the council.
He said: “I have always had a good support in my area. There are a lot of people there who are not dyed in the wool Tories or Liberals. There are people who do see fairness as a way forward. The fight goes on, the hardest bit is yet to come.”
10.20 – Votes from Shetland North and the North Isles are being scanned. Results expected soon.
10.06 – Both Mark Burgess and Davie Sandison gained enough first preference votes in the Central ward to coast through in the first stage. Third placed Ian Scott squeezed through in the fourth stage of the count.
10.04 – Results show that Theo Smith romped to victory in the West ward taken nearly three times more first preference votes than second placed Catherine Hughson. Ex-council leader Gary Robinson had the third highest first preference vote but was eliminated at later stages.
10.01 – Turnout in the West ward was just over 60 per cent. In Central the turnout less than half, at around 40 per cent.
9.58 – In the Central ward Mark Burgess and Davie Sandison have been returned. Perennial candidate Ian Scott takes the third spot.
9.56 – Councillors for Shetland West are Steven Coutts, Catherine Hughson and Theo Smith.
9.54 – West ward announced with the first shock of the election. Ex-leader Gary Robinson has not been returned to the council.
9.47 – Candidates from Shetland West and Central have been taken aside to be informed of the result. We are expecting the official announcement any minute.
9.20 – Votes from Shetland West and Central are being scanned at the moment. Results expected just after 10am.
9.00 – By 5pm last night turnout across Shetland was 25 per cent. Tingwall Hall had recorded the lowest, at just 13 per cent, and Uyeasound Hall the highest at 42 per cent.