Argyll’s first Green councillor elected in Oban

Argyll's first Green councillor, Luna Martin. Photograph: Kevin McGlynn.

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Argyll and Bute’s first Green Party councillor has been elected in Oban North and Lorn – while all three incumbent councillors for the ward have also been re-elected.

Independent candidate Kieron Green, the SNP’s Julie McKenzie and the Scottish Conservatives’ Andrew Vennard were all re-elected by voters in the full council election on Thursday May 5.

They will be joined by Scottish Green candidate Luna Martin, who was elected at the seventh stage of vote counting despite having fewer first preference votes than independent candidate Linda Battison.

Councillors Green and McKenzie have sat on the council since 2016 after winning by-elections, while Councillor Vennard was first elected in the full council election of 2017.

The turnout for the ward was 49.3 per cent. The result was revealed at Lochgilphead Joint Campus on Friday May 6.

Councillor Martin said: ‘I am incredibly pleased with the result and honoured to be Argyll and Bute’s first Green councillor.

‘It is an enormous win, not only for the people of Argyll and Bute, but for our wildlife and our incredible, but fragile, ecosystems.

‘I promise to be accessible and do my very best to represent my ward.’

Councillor Green said: ‘Massive thanks to all people in Oban North and Lorn who voted for me. I am looking forward to working with Luna as a new councillor, and with Andrew and Julie.

 

Councillor Kieron Green

‘I am also looking forward to working with all people across Oban North and Lorn over the next five years.”

Councillor McKenzie said: ‘I am overwhelmed with the result. It is a resounding victory for the SNP. Activists have walked every mile with me and I could not have achieved this without them.

Councillor Julie McKenzie

‘My two teenage sons have also been on this journey and I could not have done it without them either.’

Councillor Vennard said: ‘Thanks to all the people who have voted for me and decided that I am worthy of being elected, and to the other candidates, who I look forward to working with.’

Councillor Andrew Vennard

Long serving and well-respected councillor Elaine Robertson stood down at this election, but that didn’t stop her from turning up for the count at Lochgilphead Joint Campus. Her former three colleagues in the ward all paid tribute to her in their speeches.

The election took place under the single transferrable vote system. The result, with first preference votes listed for every candidate, was:

Linda Battison (Independent) – 466

Kyle Campbell-Renton (Independent) – 198

Veronica Davis (Scottish Liberal Democrats) – 267

Angus Files (Alba Party for Independence) – 117

Kieron Green (Independent) – 632

Luna Martin (Scottish Greens) – 396

Julie McKenzie (SNP) – 1254

Andrew Vennard (Scottish Conservatives) – 767

The electorate was 8,369 and the number of ballot papers received was 4,130 giving a percentage turnout of 49.3 per cent. There were 33 rejected ballot papers. The quota of votes for a candidate to be elected was 820.