Within minutes of polling stations closing on Thursday 3 May, white vans were being packed with the ballot boxes to deliver to the SECC. The first arrived from Jordanhill within 25 minutes. In the course of the following hour, 110 vehicles from City Building and GHA delivered all the others.
They were guarded through the night by security staff who were keeping a sharp look-out for the inquisitive fox which managed to enter the building earlier in the week. Counting of the votes in this council election was scheduled to start at 9am on Friday morning and will be done electronically.
There was a poor turnout at polling stations according to the sample visited by this website. Most campaigners at the gates estimated between 10 and 15% of those entitled to make their mark, actually did so. But 50,000 people across the city requested a postal vote and around 70-80% of them were anticipated to have submitted that by the deadline.
At Hyndland Secondary School, one of several places for voters for the Hillhead Ward, 1394 people had slipped their ballot paper into the box out of the possible 5168 on the electoral roll. This would suggest almost one person in four had voted. But another 500 people used a postal vote taking the turnout to nearer one person in three.
The complex single transferable vote (STV) system establishes a quote figure by dividing the number of ballot papers counted in the ward by the number of seats to be filled + 1 and finally adding another 1 to that total.
Glasgow’s Chief Executive, George Black, is the returning officer who announces the results. He is responsible for the election mechanics, security and scrutiny. ‘I expect the job will be done by 5pm on Friday,’ he forecast as he supervised the arrival of the ballot boxes in the SECC.
By Laura Montgomery
Voting day has a special significance for Glasgow City, the women’s football team based at Petershill Park in Springburn. They meet Forfar Farmington in the Premier League Cup semi-final on Thursday 3 May when local elections take place across Scotland.
Having won the trophy two seasons ago, but knocked out at this stage of the competition last year, Assistant City Coach Donald Jennow knows his side need to keep their focus to progress against a talented and committed Forfar side.
He said: ‘On Thursday we will take on Forfar for the second time this season. As is so often the case at City, the big games keep coming. Having just faced Hibs and Celtic, back to back, we have this midweek game against a stubborn Forfar side. It was at this stage last year I tasted defeat for the first time with City and in seasons past the League Cup has proved a bit of a stumbling block for us. ‘We hope to put that right this year. All involved at the club are very keen to progress in the competition but are fully aware of the challenge we will face. Forfar will be a determined side and I’m sure all involved at Forfar will relish the opportunity to compete in the club’s first semi-final. For us, we will rely on our experience to hopefully guide us through to the final. Make no mistake, we do not take any opposition or any competition for granted. We must earn every victory, every point and every trophy we ever want to hold and that is what we aim to do on Thursday.’
Glasgow City defeated Forfar 4-0 on Thursday at Hill of Beith to progress to the final of the SWPL Cup. Goals from Lisa Evans, Leanne Ross, Eilish McSorley and Jane Ross. Full match report elsewhere on website.
With only days to go before voting for new local councillors (Thursday 3 May in case you’ve forgotten!) the campaigning seems slow in most places – unless you are actively involved. From the outside it is clear that knocking on doors and traditional hustings, while important, don’t make much of a dent in anyone’s thinking.
Lip service is being paid to the serious local concerns that citizens have. Personalisation is being sidelined expect by those who have to bear the brunt of sometimes as much as 50% of the care allowance they once had. Destitute asylum seekers don’t have a voice so prospective candidates can avoid that issue. It is a ‘no voter’. The cuts and how they impact on communities is only slowly being understoon. When the councillors are duly elected it will be too late to expect them to change their ways and keep election promises – not that anyone seems to be making any promises. Yes individuals are following their party’s line and reading the words from the script they have in their hand. But it is – for the most part – not being said from the heart. It will be a difficult choice for those who bother to vote, to work out how best to place their 1,2,3 and more numbers. And there will not be a result on Thursday night because counting won’t start till Friday morning. A simple hope is that enough people will actually go to their voting station and make their mark to make the results worthy of being called democratic.