The Liberal Democrats claimed their first ever seat on West Lothian Council in a shocking first result for the local Conservatives group fighting to retain the they seats won in 2017.
Local bookshop owner Sally Pattle was elected alongside Labour veteran Tom Conn and Pauline Orr for the SNP.
Tory candidate Chris Horne, who had hoped for a majority of retiring Provost Tom Kerr’s 3,000 votes was slowly eased out of the frame after a strong initial showing in first preference.
Mr Horne was later joined by Whitburn Conservative Bruce Fairbairn, who lost by two votes after the SNP secured two of the four seats in that ward with Jim Dickson re-elected and his wife, Mary, returning to the chambers after five years absence.
Bathgate’s Conservative Charles Kennedy was the third conservative to see his seat disappear by only 10 votes as his vote was squeezed by a strong showing from the SNP Pauline Stafford and preference voting for Labour’s Tony Pearson . Harry Cartmill for Labour paid tribute to Mr Kennedy’s work as a councillor in the last five years.
Tory Group leader Damian Doran Dimson said he was disappointed by the numbers but said that the results showed that the Boris factor had not really been an issue, with strong support in first choice votes for Cconservative councillors .
Newly returned SNP group leader Janet Campbell was delighted at the strong showing of the party and said that she was keen to talk with progressive parties.
Turnout across the wards was a healthy 40% or above.
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