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Local council elections and by-elections

Council elections

When you vote in local council elections, you are voting for a Councillor. Each local council is split into areas, called 'wards'. There are usually 3 or 4 Councillors elected in each ward.

You must be aged 16 or over to vote in local council elections.

Aberdeen City CouncilAberdeenshire CouncilAngus CouncilArgyll and Bute CouncilClackmannanshire CouncilComhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council)Dumfries & Galloway CouncilDundee City CouncilEast Ayrshire CouncilEast Dunbartonshire CouncilEast Lothian CouncilEast Renfrewshire CouncilEdinburgh CouncilFalkirk CouncilFife CouncilGlasgow City CouncilThe Highland CouncilInverclyde CouncilMidlothian CouncilMoray CouncilNorth Ayrshire CouncilNorth Lanarkshire CouncilOrkney Islands CouncilPerth & Kinross CouncilRenfrewshire CouncilScottish Borders CouncilShetland CouncilSouth Ayrshire CouncilSouth Lanarkshire CouncilStirling CouncilWest Dunbartonshire CouncilWest Lothian Council


A by-election takes place when an elected person:

  • dies
  • resigns
  • is bankrupt
  • sentenced to prison for more than 12 months

By-elections can happen for MSPs, MPs, MEPs and Councillors.

You can vote in the same way as you would for an election - at a polling station, by post or by proxy.

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