High school pupils make it count for Leith Walk By-election

With just over a week until the Leith Walk By-election, local school pupils have been urging residents in the area to cast their votes on 11 April.

Drummond Community High

Fifth and sixth-years at Drummond Community High School, who are eligible to vote in local elections as they are aged over 16, helped demonstrate the single transferable vote (STV) system, which is used in local elections.

On Thursday, 11 April, Leith Walk ward residents will go to the polls to select a new councillor from 11 candidates. The ward, which also covers Broughton, Bonnington and Hillside, is the most densely populated area in Scotland, with an electorate of 24,197 – more than the population of Orkney or Shetland.

However, turnout for by-elections has traditionally been low across the city, so voters are being encouraged to have their say to elect a councillor who will represent their views on matters affecting the Capital and their community.

Returning Officer for Edinburgh, Andrew Kerr, said: “It’s great to see young people engaged in the Leith Walk by-election, which is set to elect a new councillor for one of the most densely-populated areas in the country.

“Like any other election, this vote gives the public the opportunity to exercise their democratic right, in this case helping to choose a new councillor to represent their views on a local and citywide level. Therefore I would encourage as many people as possible to have their say next week.”

Drummond Community High School pupil Angel Douglas, 17, said: “Young people weren’t always allowed to vote in things like this so I think that it’s really important that they’re told that it’s their right to vote.

“We’re the young people that are going to grow up with these people representing us and I think it’s important that we have a say in who is running our country and Council.”

Single transferable vote (STV) is often used in multi-member areas to ensure proportional representation. Voters must rank candidates in order of preference and can rank as many or few candidates as they like.

Anyone living in the area who is aged 16 or over and an EU citizen and has registered can vote in the by-election, and votes can be cast by post or by proxy if more convenient.

Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm on 11 April and will be at:

Lorne Primary School
Norton Park Conference Centre
Holy Cross RC Primary School
Ebenezer United Free Church Hall
Royal Navy and Royal Marine Association Club
Broughton Nursery
Pilrig St Paul’s Church Hall
McDonald Road Library
Leith Walk Primary School

The result of the by-election will be announced once the votes are counted after polls close at 10pm on Thursday 11 April.

Find out more about the Leith Walk by-election.

Pictured (l-r): Lucja Zembrzuska (16), Megan Natta (18), Angel Douglas (17), Daniel Farrow (17), Neva Houston (17).

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