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Postal votes crucial to council election result

23 Apr 2012

Around half a million postal votes are expected to drop through letter boxes across Scotland within the next few days.

With turnout in the forthcoming council elections predicted to drop to 45 per cent, it means that a third of all votes could be cast within the next few days – and the results of many wards determined by the end of the week.

Some council candidates could have received enough votes through the post to effectively elect them before a single ballot is cast next Thursday.

Consequently, Scottish Conservatives are mounting a huge push this week to get out the postal vote – urging party supporters to use their vote to help elect candidates who will stand up for the local issues that affect people’s everyday lives.

Today, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson was manning a phone bank in Perth, urging supporters to use their postal vote to elect more Conservative councillors to fight for communities, before moving on to Inverness to help local candidates go door-to-door to garner support.

Ruth said:

“This is a crucial week for voters, as the result of the election could be largely determined by the hundreds of thousands of postal votes cast from around Scotland.

“It is no exaggeration to say that some candidates may receive enough postal ballots to be all but elected before a single polling booth is open or ballot cast in the traditional manner.

“With turnout predicted to be as low as 45 per cent, up to a third of all votes are expected to be posted.

“Because of the multi-member voting system used in the council elections, candidates do not need to get a majority to be elected.

“It means that with candidates needing as little as 25 per cent in some areas of the country to win a council seat, the results of many wards could be partially decided by the end of the week.

“The Scottish Conservatives are contesting every mainland ward for the first time and will urge people to use their postal votes to elect candidates who will fight for local issues on everything from education, pot holes and anti-social behaviour – while also getting value for money for the taxpayer.

“This is an election about local issues and any attempt by the SNP to hijack it as a vote for separation is nothing more than a cynical attempt to hoodwink the voters of Scotland.”