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Partick East/Kelvindale (Glasgow) By-Election 18/03/2021: Results

We here at The Youth Vote UK did special coverage of the Partick East/Kelvindale (Glasgow) by-election that took place on the 18th of March 2021. This blog post can be seen here: This post will now look at the results of this by-election. Jill Brown (Labour) won the by-election with 2927 votes to Abdul Bostani’s (SNP) 2812 votes.

Electoral system

Before we dive into the results it is useful to explain the electoral system that is used to elect local councillors in Scotland. They use a system called Single Transferable Vote (STV). STV is designed to give proportional results. Here is how it works:

Voters rank candidates in order of preference by marking 1, 2, 3 and so on. A voter can rank as many or as few candidates as they like or vote for only one candidate.

Each candidate needs to reach a quota. This is the minimum number of votes calculated according to the number of seats and votes cast.

The first preference votes for each candidate are added up. Candidates who achieve this quota are elected.

Surplus votes from candidates who hit the quota go to second preference candidates.

Votes from the candidate with the fewest first preference votes who do not achieve the quota are eliminated. Their votes go to the second preference.

The quota to reach in this by-election was 3249

First Preference Results

The first preference votes saw the SNP take the lead. There were some big changes from 2017 with Labour and the Scottish Green Party gaining whilst the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats lost a lot of votes. One of the bigger results of the day was that the Conservatives, who had come second in 2017, dropped to fourth.

Because no candidate reached the quota of 3249 the votes had to be transferred.

Vote Transfers

After six stages of transferring votes Jill Brown (Labour) won the by-election with 2927 votes to Abdul Bostani’s (SNP) 2812 votes. Labour was able to take advantage of the transferred votes and make up the gap that appeared after the SNP took the lead with the first preference votes.

Jonas Volkwein, Head of Policy & News Analysis

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