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West Lothian Council election - disappointment for Tories as Lib Dems take first ever seat

By Stuart Sommerville

The Liberal Democrats claimed their first ever seat on West Lothian Council in a shocking first result for the local Conservatives group fighting to retain the they seats won in 2017.

Local bookshop owner Sally Pattle was elected alongside Labour veteran Tom Conn and Pauline Orr for the SNP.

Tory candidate Chris Horne, who had hoped for a majority of retiring Provost Tom Kerr’s 3,000 votes was slowly eased out of the frame after a strong initial showing in first preference.

Mr Horne was later joined by Whitburn Conservative Bruce Fairbairn, who lost by two votes after the SNP secured two of the four seats in that ward with Jim Dickson re-elected and his wife, Mary, returning to the chambers after five years absence.

Bathgate’s Conservative Charles Kennedy was the third conservative to see his seat disappear by only 10 votes as his vote was squeezed by a strong showing from the SNP Pauline Stafford and preference voting for Labour’s Tony Pearson . Harry Cartmill for Labour paid tribute to Mr Kennedy’s work as a councillor in the last five years.

The Liberal Democrats' Sally Pattle claimed the party's first ever seat on West Lothian Council (Stuart Vance/ReachPlc)

Tory Group leader Damian Doran Dimson said he was disappointed by the numbers but said that the results showed that the Boris factor had not really been an issue, with strong support in first choice votes for Cconservative councillors .

Newly returned SNP group leader Janet Campbell was delighted at the strong showing of the party and said that she was keen to talk with progressive parties.

Turnout across the wards was a healthy 40% or above.

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Dive Deeper:
West Lothian Council Election 2022: Lib Dems claim Tory seat as Conservatives squeezed
The Lib Dems claimed the first of three Tory seats in West Lothian. Optimistic Conservatives saw early first choice leads…
UK Election results - live: Tories brace for loss of key councils as Lib Dems take Hull
Council election candidates ask not to be punished for ‘mistakes made in Westminster’
West Lothian Council election 2022: Full list of winners
The results are in, here are your new and returning councillors
Falkirk Council election 2022: New faces, but no majority for SNP
SNP fail to get their hoped-for majority despite being largest party, taking 12 of the council's 30 seats, with Labour…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Labour takes second place in Scottish elections as Tory vote plummets
Party becomes closest challenger to SNP after gains including West Dunbartonshire and near-upset in Glasgow
West Lothian Election 2022: Postal votes and independents make for nail-biting count
More than 30,000 postal votes were requested in West Lothian which saw polling station traffic slow and steady throughout the…
Get all your news in one place