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Regional List Ballots

This ballot will determine in which order candidates will be placed on the 8 regional list ballots for the Scottish Parliament election taking place on 6 May 2021.

The 8 regions are: Central Scotland, Glasgow, Highlands & Islands, Lothians, Mid Scotland & Fife, North East Scotland, South of Scotland and West of Scotland.

There will be 8 regional hustings:

Mid Scotland & Fife
Tuesday 12/01/2021 
19:00-21:00

West Scotland
Wednesday 13/01/2021 
19:00-21:00 

Glasgow
Thursday 14/01/2021
19:00-21:00 

Highlands & Islands
Friday 15/01/2021
19:00-21:00 

North East Scotland
Saturday 16/01/2021
14:00-16:00 

South Scotland
Sunday 17/01/2021
14:00-16:00 

Lothian
Monday 18/01/2021
19:00-21:00 

Central Scotland
Tuesday 19/01/2021
19:00-21:00  

When did nominations open?
Members were invited to submit self-nominations declaring their intention to stand in the regional ballots on 18 November 2020.

When did nominations close?
Self-nominations closed on Monday 7 December 2020.

When will I receive my ballot?
Members will receive a ballot for their particular region. Ballots will be distributed to eligible members from Friday 8 January 2021. Members without emails or those who share an email with another member, will receive a postal ballot.

How will I spot the ballot email?
The email will come from “[email protected]” the subject will be ‘Scottish Labour – Regional List selection’

What if I haven’t received the ballot email?
1. Add ‘[email protected]’ as a safe sender.
2. Check your junk and/or spam folder.
3. Check that you have the right email address registered to your membership.
4. Check that only you are the only person whose membership is registered to that email.
5. If you are still having problems on or after 12 January, please email [email protected] to request a ballot.

Can I post a picture of my ballot paper online?
To ensure the integrity of the ballot and the security of your details, we strongly advise you do not do this. Each ballot contains codes which are unique to you and can only be used once. By putting these online you risk someone else using your vote.

How are votes counted?
The ballot is to rank Labour’s list candidates for the Scottish Parliament elections in May 2021.  In order to rank the candidates, we use a preferential voting system called Single Transferable Vote which means that you should rank the candidates in your order of preference, 1, 2, 3 etc.  You can use as many preferences as there are candidates in your region, or you can decide to give only a first preference or a number of preferences less than the total number of candidates.

This is the same preferential voting system, and the same method of counting, that Labour used to select our regional MSP candidates in 2016. This system will already be very familiar to many of you who have experience of local government elections in Scotland. As in previous years too, the ballot and the count are completed and verified by our independent ballot services provider, Civica – formerly Electoral Reform Services.

What Positive Actions measures are applied to the final list rankings?Candidates on Labour’s lists for the Scottish Parliament have also always been “zipped”.  This means that our candidates alternate by gender which helps us achieve a balance of women and men elected.  This time around, the SEC have also agreed, for the first time, a mechanism to make sure that at least 50% of our lists are led by women.

So, following member ballots, regional lists will be zipped for gender-balance, with a minimum of 50% of the lists being led by women, and the Leader and Deputy Leader places reserved meaning that the top-placed candidate in Central Scotland will be Richard Leonard and in West Scotland it will be Jackie Baillie.

In the event that a minimum of 50% women is not achieved by the ballot then male candidates would give way in the order of who received the LOWEST share of members’ votes in their region compared to other men in other Regions until we reach the minimum 50% position.

If a balance of men and women is achieved by the ballot alone then this mechanism simply does not apply.

Finally, in addition to the efforts of the SEC panel to shortlist a diverse range of candidates for members to choose from, male candidates who are ranked at the top of the list by the ballot can also, if they wish, choose to stand aside in order to support the SEC’s aim of having women in the lead position in as many lists as possible.  If a male candidate stands aside under this rule then they take up the next place on the list but the zipping of the remainder of the list is unaffected.

Please note that Civica will periodically issue reminders to eligible members who have not voted during the remainder of the ballot period.


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