Candidates: ADAMS, Daniel James (No Description) DRAKE, Coilla Anne (Labour) STEVENS, Claire (Independent) WOODBRIDGE. Heather (Independent)
2017: Ind 290 (Sinclair),256 (Woodbridge), 197 (Clackson), 118, 70, 70, 39, 35 2012: Ind 433 (Hagan), 308 (Clackson), 170, 144 (Sinclair) 2007: Ind 463 (Hagan), 154 (Clackson), 133 (Harcus), 123 (Sinclair), 105, 72, 41, 27, 15 (Hagan had been sitting councillor for Papa Westray, Westray and Eday.
This ward is made up of the islands of (by descending order of population): Westray, Sanday, Stronsay, Shapinsay, Rousay, Eday, Papa Westray, North Ronaldsay, Wyre, Egilsay and Gairsay.
The Labour candidate is from Westray, Stevens from Eday and Woodbridge from North Ronaldsay (she is also the daughter of the deceased councillor). Adams is from Kirkwall on Mainland. Coilla Drake is also the first candidate with a party label in this ward.
Current Council: Ind 17; Orkney Manifesto Group 2; Grn 1; 1 vacancy
It will be interesting to see how Labour fare, as I posted on the other thread it will be the first time anywhere in Orkney Council since before 2003.
Presumably over the years some of the independents have been Labour identified to some extent as used to happen with Highland Council. How obvious this identification was or ever is with independents is a good question but presumably others may know more...
I cannot think of a better location to manage the coronavirus lockdown, as the majority of the electorate have postal votes.
There are 8 polling districts covering the 11 islands, with Rousay, Egilsay, Wyre and Gairsay grouped into one polling district. However at the 2016 election for the Scottish Parliament, the OIC election in May 2017 and the last two general elections, the polling station for all 8 polling districts was the St. Magnus Centre in Kirkwall, the implication being that the majority of the electorate have a postal vote, unless they want to travel to the Orkney Mainland on polling day.
The Preference by Ballot Box report for the 2017 OIC election showed a single set of figures for this division, but only mentions two polling districts and the postal votes. The Preference by Ballot Box report for the 2012 OIC election showed 1034 postal votes, 2 votes in person from Rousay and 16 votes in person from Shapinsay. Shapinsay is the island closest to Kirkwall and has two or three ferry sailings every day.
The published Notice of Poll for the 2019 General Election did not state the individual electorates, but the Notice of Poll for the 2017 General Election showed the electorates as Rousay, Egilsay, Wyre and Gairsay 209, Shapinsay 239, Sanday 396, North Ronaldsay 55, Stronsay 266, Papa Westray 68, Westray 455 and Eday 120 - a total of 1808.
I know this area quite well, having visited 7 of the islands and spent some time on North Ronaldsay and Papa Westray. North Ronaldsay is an agricultural island growing crops, with no fishing or boats. It is completely surrounded by a wall, to keep the sheep on the sea-shore and away from the crops. The North Ronaldsay breed of sheep has adapted to eating seaweed and the meat has a tangy flavour. Sadly, I was unable to buy any North Ronaldsay lamb the last time I was there, because all their animals are sent to an abattoir in Kirkwall and the meat does not find its way back. The local shopkeeper blamed European regulations.
The prehistoric sites on Rousay and Papa Westray are particularly impressive. The island of Egilsay witnessed the martyrdom of St. Magnus in 1115.
Papa Westray is usually reached by a flight from Westray, a distance of 1.7 miles between the airports. The scheduled Loganair service is the shortest scheduled airline flight in the world.
Any predictions as to when we might expect a result?
Either the exertion of counting and then announcing the result of a maximum of 1,800 votes has proved too much and they are taking an extended lunch - Andrew did suggests the count was Friday morning - or else the count does not start until the afternoon when they have taken their lunch.