19 May 2012

Langside, recounted...

Tuesday's recount of the local election result in Glasgow's Langside ward produced no drama.  As predicted, when the contents of ballot box 139 was added to the rest of the votes cast in the ward, the Green's Liam Hainey kept the Glasgow Council seat he was first elected to on the 4th of May.  After a few days footering, the Council have now released the full recount data for the ward, including the previously neglected Battlefield votes.  For completeness, I've totted these figures up into a new, revised Langside chart.  To make drawing comparisons more straightforward, I've also attached the original calculation in the ward, to be followed by a breath or two of commentary from me.

And the original Langside result:



For the SNP to snatch the seat back the third seat in the recount was always going to be tricky, but as you can see, the Greens actually won more comfortably when the Battlefield ballots were included. Wild speculations about what might have happened if Battlefield proved an unexpected Liberal Democrat haven proved wildly far of the mark.  Paul Coleshill for the Liberals polled only 7% of first preferences in the additional box of papers, effectively ending any chance they might have had to eliminate the Greens in the sixth round of the allocation. Like many SNP candidates across the city, Hewetson suffered for his alphabetical placing on the ballot paper, disadvantaging him against Hainey in subsequent rounds...


The other first preferences added to the recount calculation were spread as follows:

One factor which might have weighed against the Nationalists was the increase quota. If Susan Aitken's first preferences didn't keep pace with the increases in the quota, her running mate Hewetson would find fewer surplus votes tacking his way.  In the event, this didn't materialise, and Aitken's first preference support increased more than the quota for election increased, as did Labour's Archie Graham's.  The Greens were greater beneficiaries of Labour surplus transfers (taking 149 votes to the SNP's 81), however, putting them just ahead of the Nationalists on the second round of the recount.  With Aitken's transfers reallocated, Hewetson soon clawed back that lead, albeit with a narrower advantage than he'd enjoyed on the first calculation of the results.  By round six, the Greens had entirely closed the gap, and were eeksie-peeksie with the SNP. In the seventh round of the original allocation, which saw the Nationalist eliminated, he trailed the Green candidate by 121 votes.  In this recount, by round seven, Hewetson was 174 behind.  Not a palatial margin of victory for Hainey, but certainly a more comfortable one than he enjoyed in the initial declaration.

Sighs of Green relief all round.

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