Recount upholds election outcome

THE GREENS keep all five of their Glasgow City Council seats after hundreds of missing ballots were counted a week after the council election.

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The outcome means Liam Hainey remains as a Green councillor for Langside.

A recalculation was ordered after it was discovered 285 ballot papers were not included in the final count for the Langside Ward on May 3, which could have affected the result of the third councillor elected in the ward.

The Labour candidate, Archie Graham, and SNP candidate Susan Aitken were first and second and were not in any doubt, but there was uncertainty whether Mr Hainey would still be in third place or whether a second SNP candidate, Alex Hewetson, would have won or even LibDem candidate, former councillor Paul Coleshill.

Mr Hainey won narrowly, overtaking Mr Hewetson after Mr Coleshill was knocked out in the seventh stage of counting in the original poll.

The discovered ballot papers were counted yesterday and it was decided there was not enough of a difference in the voting pattern to affect the final result.

Candidates and agents gathered to oversee the counting and after several hours of waiting the result was declared to be unchanged.

The City Council had to seek court approval to examine the ballot papers and, had it been found the result was in doubt, would have had to seek court approval to overturn the original result and have a re-declaration.

The overall result remains the same. Labour has the majority of councillors, with 44 seats, the SNP has 27, the Greens have five, LibDems, Glasgow First and Tories have one each.

The Greens were relieved after the confirmation but called for an inquiry into why the situation arose in the first place.

Mr Hainey said: "I am pleased all of the voters of Langside have had their ballots counted and delighted that this has confirmed my election as their councillor and I will continue to serve them to the best of my ability."

Green councillor group leader Nina Baker said: "Once again the result confirms that the Greens are the third party in Glasgow. We are, however, very concerned that the situation could have arisen.

"We have been asking questions about how this happened and are waiting for a full report. We will be pressing for measures to prevent a repeat of this situation."

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Local government

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