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Types of Elections

There are several different types of elections that you may be eligible to vote in. Click on the links below to find out more:

UK Parliamentary Elections

Members of Parliament (MP's) are elected using a First Past the Post System (FPTP). The UK Parliament currently has a maximum 5-year life span, although the Prime Minister may request that the Queen calls a General Election at any time within the Parliament's lifetime. In Aberdeenshire electors vote to return MP's for the Banff and Buchan, Gordon or West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine constituencies, although the boundaries are different to those used for Scottish Parliamentary Elections. Those elected sit in the Westminster Parliament. A General Election requires to be held by 2020.

Local Government Elections

The Scottish Government is responsible for Local Government Elections in Scotland and Scottish Ministers issue rules for the way they are conducted. Elections are held to elect Councillors to 32 unitary local authorities in Scotland. The next Local Government Election will be held in 2017. Aberdeenshire Council has currently 68 Councillors who cover 19 electoral wards. Since 3 May 2007, Councillors have been elected through the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system which allows voters to express a preference for more than one candidate.

Scottish Parliamentary Elections

There are currently 129 elected members in the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood, of which 73 are constituency members and 56 are list members.

Scottish Parliamentary Elections use the Additional Member System (AMS) where each voter has two votes. One of these elects a constituency MSP using the first past the post system, and the other elects regional representatives from a list of political parties and individual candidates. The elections take place every four years and, depending where you live in Aberdeenshire, you can currently vote to return a constituency MSP for either the Banffshire and Buchan Coast, Aberdeenshire East or Aberdeenshire West constituencies, as well as list MSPs for the North East Scotland Region. The next election is scheduled to take place in 2016.

European Elections

The UK is divided into twelve regions, each of which has between 3 and 10 MEP’s representing the area. Aberdeenshire is part of the Scotland region, currently returning six MEP’s elected every five years using a closed list system. MEP's sit in the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The next election is scheduled to take place in 2019.

Cairngorm National Park Authority Elections

Aberdeenshire Council is responsible for running elections to Ward 5 of the Cairngorm National Park Authority. Elections take place every four years on an all-postal basis, with the next one scheduled for 2019.


A By Election occurs due to a vacancy caused by the death or resignation of an elected representative. It can take place during any of the standard Election cycles, and is subject to the timetable for normal elections. Referendums are relatively rare in the UK, but can take place at any time. A referendum on Scottish Independence took place on 18 September 2014.

Your Representative:

Use our ‘Who is my Representative’ page to find out who represents you at a local, national or European level.
Future Elections are expected to take place as follows:

May 2016 Scottish Parliamentary Elections
May 2017 Scottish Local Government Elections