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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 Council Aberdeenshire Council Angus Council Argyll and Bute Council Clackmannanshire Council Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council) Dumfries & Galloway Council Dundee City Council East Ayrshire Council East Dunbartonshire Council East Lothian Council East Renfrewshire Council Edinburgh Council Falkirk Council Fife Council Glasgow City Council The Highland Council Inverclyde Council Midlothian Council Moray Council North Ayrshire Council North Lanarkshire Council Orkney Islands Council Perth & Kinross Council Renfrewshire Council Scottish Borders Council Shetland Council South Ayrshire Council South Lanarkshire Council Stirling Council West Dunbartonshire Council West 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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