With the local council elections recently held, which saw the re-election of Mark Hood and Ian Chisholm, and the newly elected Linda Erskine, we decided to make a Freedom of Information request to see how much people in the local area take an active part in the election process.

The Lochgelly and Cardenden ward area (Ward 9) had a total of 10,058 eligible voters. The Lochgelly area is split into two parts; Lochgelly North with 3,223 eligible voters, and Lochgelly South with 2,432 eligible voters. In total there is 5,655 eligible voters in the Lochgelly area.

In the Lochgelly North election area, 917 people attended a polling station to cast their vote, a turn out rate of 28.45% of eligible voters.

In the Lochgelly South area, 618 people attended the polling station to cast their vote, a turn out rate of 25.41% of eligible voters.

In addition to the votes taken at the polling stations, there was an additional 860 postal votes, 15.18%, from the Lochgelly area.

In total, 2,395 votes were cast in the Lochgelly North & South areas, a return rate of 42.35% of eligible voters. 57.65% of Lochgelly voters chose not to vote for any candidate.

In the Cardenden area, there was 4,403 eligible voters, with a total of 1,055 people choosing to vote, 23.96% of the electorate. 76.04% of Cardenden voters chose not to vote for any candidate.

In total for the Lochgelly & Cardenden area (ward 9), the total votes cast were 3,450, 34.30% of the eligible voters of 10,058. 65.70% of eligible voters in ward 9 chose not to vote for any candidate.

Elected Representatives in Ward 9

Elected Representative Number of Votes (1st Preference)
Linda Erskine 1210
Mark Hood 1102
Ian Chisholm 719

What is interesting from the table above, is that Mark Hood and Linda Erskine received enough votes under the first preference vote, to reach the quota target of 863 votes. Ian Chisholm, failed to meet the quota, therefore the surplus of the votes from Linda Erksine and Mark Hood was split between Ian Chisholm, Andrew Lonie and James Reekie.

Since James Reekie did not gain enough votes, he was excluded and votes were transferred to Ian Chisholm and Andrew Lonie. Andrew Lonie also failed to secure enough direct votes and transfers, so was also excluded with votes then being transferred to Ian Chisholm.

For those that are interested in the transfer of votes, we have provided a PDF of the voting transfers at the end of the article.

Turnout rates across Fife ward areas

The Lochgelly & Cardenden ward had the second lowest turnout at the elections. St Andrews had the lowest turnout rate of only 30.78%. Below is the turnout rates of each ward in the Fife area.

Ward Turnout (%) No Votes (%)
West Fife and Coastal Villages 44.01% 55.99%
Dunfermline North 37.55% 62.45%
Dunfermline Central 38.69% 61.31%
Dunfermline South 36.60% 63.40%
Rosyth 35.54% 64.46%
Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay 40.47% 59.53%
The Lochs 37.38% 62.62%
Cowdenbeath 34.50% 65.50%
Lochgelly and Cardenden 34.30% 65.70%
Burntisland, Kinghorn and Western Kirkcaldy 41.66% 58.34%
Kirkcaldy North 37.0% 63.0%
Kirkcaldy Central 36.29% 63.71%
Kirkcaldy East 34.57% 65.43%
Glenrothes West and Kinglassie 37.78% 62.22%
Glenrothes North, Leslie and Markinch 37.38% 62.62%
Glenrothes Central and Thornton 37.38% 62.62%
Howe of Fife and Tay Coast 40.36% 59.64%
Tay Bridgehead 43.60% 56.40%
St Andrews 30.78% 69.22%
East Neuk and Landward 38.61% 61.39%
Cupar 40.35% 59.65%
Leven, Kennoway and Largo 40.30% 59.70%
Buckhaven, Methil and Wemyss Villages 35.90% 64.10%

Majority unrepresented in Lochgelly and Fife

The low turnout across Fife is a concern as it highlights the disconnect between political parties and the majority living within communities they represent at a local and national level. This is an issue that will need to be addressed by all the political parties and will prove a challenge for the councillors across Fife to identify the reasons for the low turnout, and how they can improve their own party politics to improve community engagement rates.

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