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Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford By-Election

A by-election took place on Thursday, 5 November, 2015, to fill two vacancies in the Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford ward of Aberdeenshire Council (Ward 14). The vacancies had arisen because of the death of Councillor Joanna Strathdee and the resignation of Councillor Alastair Ross.

Five candidates contested the by-election, after which Margo Stewart (Scottish Conservative and Unionist) and Gwyneth Petrie (SNP) were elected under the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system. The other candidates were Sarah Flavell (Scottish Labour Party), Daniel Millican (Scottish Liberal Democrats) and Derek Scott (Scottish Libertarian Party)

The election count was conducted electronically in Inverurie Town Hall on Friday, 6 November and the first preference votes for each of the candidates was as follows:

SARAH PATRICIA FLAVELL (Scottish Labour Party) – 196

DANIEL JOHN MILLICAN (Scottish Liberal Democrats) – 928

GWYNETH ELAINE PETRIE (Scottish National Party (SNP)) – 1,433

DEREK GRAHAM SCOTT (Scottish Libertarian Party) – 20

MARGO STEWART (Scottish Conservative and Unionist) – 1,469

After the application of STV rules, both Margo Stewart and Gwyneth Petrie were elected at the first stage.

The turnout was 34.51%.

The formal Notice of Election and Notice of Inspection of Expenses are attached. 

A list of polling places can be found here along with the by-election timetable.

Various electronic count reports can be found below.

Declaration of results for Ward 14 – Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford (pdf 14 kb)
Election results for Ward 14 – Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford (pdf 12kb)
Preference Summary Report for Ward 14 – Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford (pdf 11kb)
Transfers Report for Ward 14 - Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford (pdf 12 kb)
Preference Profile Report for Ward 14 – Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford (pdf 14kb)
First Preference by Ballot Box Report for Ward 14 Combined – Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford (pdf 17kb)


How to understand the voting information from the Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford Ward By-Election

The Returning Officer has made voting information from the Aberdeenshire Council By-Election in the Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford Ward available to anyone who wishes to find out more about how voters ranked the candidates in order of preference.
The first line of the report shows how many candidates there were and how many councillors were to be elected. The subsequent lines begin with the number of voters who ranked the candidates in the same order. There then follows the order that those voters used. For example, the row in bold below shows that 71 voters gave their first preference to the candidate who appeared first on the ballot paper, and their second preference to the candidate who appeared second. The names of the candidates in the order they appeared on the ballot paper is given at the end of the report.
The figure ‘0’ means that there were no more preferences given to any candidate by voters who used this sequence. The final ‘0’ on the last line shows that the report has finished and no more sequences were used.

71   1     2     0

If you have any questions about these reports, please contact the Aberdeenshire Elections Office on 01224 665119 or

Preference by Ballot Box

Rule 61 of the Scottish Local Election Rules requires that in a contested election where the count is conducted by means of an electronic counting system, the Returning Officer must within one week of the declaration of the result of the poll, give public notice of the number of first and subsequent preferences for each candidate cast at each polling station.
Where less than 200 votes were cast at a polling station, the Returning Officer must aggregate that information with information from one or more polling stations in the same ward.
All postal ballot papers cast in a ward are treated as if cast at a single polling station in that ward.
The methodology for combining batches of less than 200 votes is available here.

In releasing the data, the Returning Officer is making it freely available for public use. It is not subject to copyright and material may be re-used provided that it is acknowledged, not used in a misleading way and is reproduced accurately. The Returning Officer does not accept responsibility for any alteration or manipulation of the data once released.

For more information please contact our Election Team.