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The second election to Lothian Regional Council was held on 6 May 1982 and yielded a swing to the Conservatives. Whilst the Labour presence was reduced, the Conservatives were unable to win an outright majority, and both parties exited the election with 22 seats. The council Conservative group, under Brian Meek, was able to take over the council however due to support from the SDP-Liberal Alliance councillors.
The Lothian Regional Council had been a key battleground in a fierce ideological battle between a new, younger generation of radical left-wing Labour activists elected in the 1980 election, and the incumbent Thatcherite Conservative government. In a precursor to the Rate-capping rebellion, several Scottish councils had refused to implement spending cuts necessitated due to a cut in funding from George Younger, the then Secretary of State for Scotland. Lothian in particular had seen its funding cut to the tune of £47 million in July 1981.
The Labour leader of Lothian Regional Council; John Mulvey, pursued a policy of resisting the cuts, and claimed that Labour had a popular mandate to protect jobs and services through increasing local expenditure. The Lothian council, alongside the councils of certain other Scottish regions, planned spending above government guidelines. Younger responded by cutting the Lothian budget by a further £30 million, and the council caved in to pressure.
|Party||Seats||Gains||Losses||Net gain/loss||Seats %||Votes %||Votes||+/−|
|Protestant Crusade Against the Papal Visit (PCAPV)||0||0.00||0.25||694||New|
- Scottish Regional Elections 1982: Results and Statistics; J.M. Bochel and D.T. Denver
- Hassan, Gerry; Shaw, Eric (2012). The Strange Death of Labour Scotland. Oxford University Press.
- https://www.era.lib.ed.ac.uk/bitstream/handle/1842/9136/1983_6_Towards%20a%20four%20party%20system.pdf;jsessionid=27E104652661E4C136096D50BE13D81B?sequence=1 p.74
- https://www.era.lib.ed.ac.uk/bitstream/handle/1842/9136/1983_6_Towards%20a%20four%20party%20system.pdf;jsessionid=27E104652661E4C136096D50BE13D81B?sequence=1 p.75
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