Contents

Overall 2022 Result

Council-Wide Results

NOTE: Buckie ward was uncontested, meaning no vote was held. This will impact vote share significantly. In 2017, Buckie was an SNP led ward.

The seat held at Westminster by Conservative leader Douglas Ross, Moray should have been a key battleground. It ended up the most outright bizarre election in Scotland, even before a single vote was cast. Despite having 10 councillors elected in 2017, the SNP only stood 9 candidates, of which they then elected 8. I’m told by sources they struggled to find willing candidates, with women in particular blaming the local political culture. That meant the Buckie ward, with a retiring Independent, went uncontested.

That then did two things. First, it led to a surprise seat for the Lib Dems, who’d otherwise never have been elected. Secondly, I noted before the election that given it was the SNP’s strongest ward in Moray, it would impact their ability to take a vote lead over the Conservatives. That’s exactly what happened, with the Conservatives squeaking ahead on the vote, as well as gaining three councillors for a final haul of 11.

Underlying that was another peculiarity I’d mentioned pre-election – the complete evaporation of Moray’s Independents. Of the 8 elected in 2017, only 2 were standing again, and those were the only Independents elected. That sent 16% of the vote flying every which way as well. That may have helped contribute to a very good result for Labour, who experienced a positive swing of 8% and gained two more councillors, giving them 3. Rounding things out, the Greens managed to pick up a seat in their strongest ward, even with a different candidate to the last two elections. 

Administration

After the election, a Conservative minority administration was formed.

Interactive Map

Overview

Moray is in many respects quite similar to neighbouring Aberdeenshire. Like Aberdeenshire, it’s somewhat different to the historic county, having lost the Cromdale are to Highland but absorbing the geographic bulk of what used to be Banffshire. And it similarly combines fishing communities along the coast with agricultural hinterland. However, the local character is also shaped by two other major sectors – the Speyside whisky distilleries and the military presence at Kinloss and Lossiemouth.

Politically, Moray has long been a clear SNP-Conservative battleground. The old Moray and Nairn seat was won by one of the SNP’s biggest names, Winnie Ewing, in 1974, and though they lost the area in 1979, they regained it in 1987 and held it for three decades. Their loss here in 2017 was particularly dramatic, as it removed their Westminster group leader Angus Robertson from office. In his place was now-leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Douglas Ross, though he himself hung on by his fingernails in 2019. At Holyrood however the seat has never been anything but SNP.

Throughout the previous local government era, voters consistently elected Independent councils, though after the SNP had took the Westminster seat they came close to winning the council too. At the shift to unitary governance, the SNP took a clear majority for a term, before losing to Independents again for two elections – and indeed, winning fewer seats than Labour despite many more votes.

Previous STV Elections

2007
2012
2017

Individual Ward Results

Speyside Glenlivet (Ward 1)

Councillors and Key Stats

3 Councillors, in order elected:
🟡SNP: Juli Harris
🔵Conservative: David Gordon
Independent: Derek Ross
Change vs 2017: No change
Turnout: 45.7%
Electorate: 7382
Valid: 3337 (98.9%)
Spoiled: 37 (1.1%)
Quota: 835

Candidates

🟢Green: Elidh Brown
🔵Conservative: David Gordon
🟡SNP: Juli Harris
🟤Sovereignty: David McHutchon
Independent: Derek Ross

Speyside Glenlivet: First Preferences
Speyside Glenlivet: Transfers
Speyside Glenlivet: Results by Polling District
Speyside Glenlivet: Second Preferences
Speyside Glenlivet: Two-Candidate Preferred

Keith and Cullen (Ward 2)

Councillors and Key Stats

3 Councillors, in order elected:
🟡SNP
: Theresa Coull
🔵Conservative: Tracy Colyer
🔵Conservative: Donald Gatt
Change vs 2017: +1 Conservative, -1 Independent (Ron Shepherd retired)
Turnout: 43.1%
Electorate: 8102
Valid: 3432 (98.3%)
Spoiled: 58 (1.7%)
Quota: 859

Candidates

🟣Family: William Barclay
🔵Conservative: Tracy Colyer
🟡SNP: Theresa Coull
🔵Conservative: Donald Gatt
🟠Lib Dem: Leslie Tarr

Keith and Cullen: First Preferences
Keith and Cullen: Transfers
Keith and Cullen: Results by Polling District
Keith and Cullen: Second Preferences
Keith and Cullen: Two-Candidate Preferred

Buckie (Ward 3)

Councillors and Key Stats

3 Councillors, in order elected:
🔵Conservative: Neil McLennan
🟠Lib Dem: Christopher Price
🟡SNP: Sonya Warren
Change vs 2017: +1 Lib Dem, -1 Independent (Gordon Cowie retired)
Turnout: N/A
Electorate: N/A
Valid: N/A
Spoiled: N/A
Quota: N/A

Candidates

🔵Conservative: Neil McLennan
🟠Lib Dem: Christopher Price
🟡SNP: Sonya Warren

As the number of candidates nominated in Buckie was equal to the number of seats available, all candidates were elected unopposed and no vote was held.

Based on 2017 results, it is extremely unlikely the Lib Dems would have won a seat had the SNP stood a second candidate. As no vote was held, the candidates are listed as elected in alphabetical order.

Fochabers Lhanbryde (Ward 4)

Councillors and Key Stats

3 Councillors, in order elected:
🔵Conservative: Marc Macrae
🟡SNP: Shona Morrison
🔴Labour: Ben Williams
Change vs 2017: +1 Labour, -1 SNP
Electorate: 8253
Turnout: 49.2%
Valid: 3996 (98.3%)
Spoiled: 68 (1.7%)
Quota: 1000

Candidates

🟡SNP: Dave Bremner
🟠Lib Dem: Donald Cameron
🔵Conservative: Marc Macrae
🟡SNP: Shona Morrison
🔴Labour: Ben Williams

Fochabers Lhanbryde: First Preferences
Fochabers Lhanbryde: Transfers
Fochabers Lhanbryde: Results by Polling District
Fochabers Lhanbryde: Second Preferences
Fochabers Lhanbryde: Two-Candidate Preferred

Heldon and Laich (Ward 5)

Councillors and Key Stats

4 Councillors, in order elected:
🔵Conservative: James Allan
🟡SNP: Neil Cameron
Independent: John Cowe
🔵Conservative: Bridget Mustard
Change vs 2017: +1 Conservative, -1 Independent (Ryan Edwards retired)
Turnout: 46.3%
Electorate: 10794
Valid: 4936 (98.8%)
Spoiled: 60 (1.2%)
Quota: 1236

Candidates

🔵Conservative: James Allan
🟠Lib Dem: Calum Cameron
🟡SNP: Neil Cameron
Independent: John Cowe
🔵Conservative: Bridget Mustard
🔴Labour: Andrew O’Neill

Heldon and Laich: First Preferences
Heldon and Laich: Transfers
Heldon and Laich: Results by Polling District
Heldon and Laich: Second Preferences
Heldon and Laich: Two-Candidate Preferred

Elgin City North (Ward 6)

Councillors and Key Stats

3 Councillors, in order elected:
🟡SNP: Jérémie Fernandes
🔴Labour: Sandy Keith
🔵Conservative: Amber Dunbar
Change vs 2017: +1 Labour, -1 Independent (Sandy Cooper resigned within days of 2017 election)
Turnout: 40.2%
Electorate: 9228
Valid: 3678 (99.1%)
Spoiled: 32 (0.9%)
Quota: 920

Candidates

🟠Lib Dem: Neil Alexander
🔵Conservative: Amber Dunbar
🟡SNP: Jérémie Fernandes
Independent: Graham Jarvis
🟢Green: Rebecca Kail
🔴Labour: Sandy Keith

Elgin City North: First Preferences
Elgin City North: Transfers

All councillors in this ward were elected on first preferences alone, and thus no transfer rounds were required.

Elgin City North: Results by Polling District
Elgin City North: Second Preferences
Elgin City North: Two-Candidate Preferred

Elgin City South (Ward 7)

Councillors and Key Stats

3 Councillors, in order elected:
🟡SNP: Graham Leadbitter
🔴Labour: John Divers
🔵Conservative: Peter Bloomfield
Change vs 2017: No change
Turnout: 40.5%
Electorate: 10149
Valid: 4062 (98.8%)
Spoiled: 51 (1.2%)
Quota: 1016

Candidates

🔵Conservative: Peter Bloomfield
Independent: Paul Briggs
🔴Labour: John Divers
Independent: Michaela French
🟡SNP: Graham Leadbitter
🟠Lib Dem: Bernard Salmon

Elgin City South: First Preferences
Elgin City South: Transfers

All councillors in this ward were elected on first preferences alone, and thus no transfer rounds were required.

Elgin City South: Results by Polling District
Elgin City South: Second Preferences
Elgin City South: Two-Candidate Preferred

Forres (Ward 8)

Councillors and Key Stats

4 Councillors, in order elected:
🟡SNP: Scott Lawrence
🔵Conservative: Kathleen Robertson
🔵Conservative: Paul McBain
🟢Green: Draeyk van der Horn
Change vs 2017: +1 Conservative, +1 Green, -2 Independents (George Alexander and Lorna Cresswell retired)
Turnout: 49.0%
Electorate: 12511
Valid: 6057 (98.8%)
Spoiled: 71 (1.2%)
Quota: 1212

Candidates

🔴Labour: James Hynam
🟡SNP: Scott Lawrence
🔵Conservative: Paul McBain
Independent: Shaun Moat
🔵Conservative: Kathleen Robertson
🟢Green: Draeyk van der Horn

Forres: First Preferences
Forres: Transfers
Forres: Results by Polling District
Forres: Second Preferences
Forres: Two-Candidate Preferred

Data Notes

Changes in Affiliation

Neil McLennan, from 🔵Conservative to ⚪Independent; left the party after being removed as joint group leader in July 2022.

Councillor Ward From To Notes
Neil McLennan Buckie
CON
IND
Left the Conservatives after being removed as joint group leader in July 2022.

By-Elections

Buckie (Ward 3) - 3rd of November 2022

Councillors and Key Stats

1 Councillor Elected:
🟡SNP: John Stuart
Change vs 2022 (predicted May result if contested): SNP hold
Change vs vacating: SNP gain from Lib Dem
Turnout: 29.6%
Electorate: 8139
Valid: 2395 (99.5%)
Spoiled: 13 (0.5%)
Quota: 1199
2 Continuing Councillors:
Independent: Neil McLennan (elected as Conservative)
🟡SNP: Sonya Warren

Candidates

🔵Conservative: Tim Eagle
🔴Labour: Keighly Goudie
Independent: Neil Houlden
🟡SNP: John Stuart
🟠Lib Dem: Les Tarr

Buckie By-Election: Context

Lib Dem councillor Christopher Price resigned his seat on the 17th of August. Price had been elected entirely unexpectedly due to the ward being uncontested. Note that as this by-election was counted by hand, no detailed data is available.
Read the BBS pre-election preview here.
Read the BBS results analysis here.

Buckie By-Election: First Preferences
Buckie By-Election: Transfers
Buckie By-Election: Two-Candidate Preferred