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1990 Scottish regional elections

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1990 Scottish regional elections

← 1988 3 May 1990 (1990-05-03) 1992 →
  First party Second party
 
Leader Neil Kinnock Margaret Thatcher
Party Labour Conservative
Leader since 2 October 1983 11 February 1975
Seats won 223 52
Seat change - Decrease13
Percentage 44 19.2
Swing Increase0.1 Increase2.3

  Third party Fourth party
 
Leader Gordon Wilson Malcolm Bruce
Party SNP Liberal Democrats
Leader since 15 September 1979 3 March 1988
Seats won 42 40
Seat change Increase6 -
Percentage 21.8 8
Swing Increase3.6 Decrease7.1

Colours denote the winning party with outright control

Results by ward

Regional elections were held in Scotland on Thursday 3 May 1990, as part of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, and were the first test of public opinion on the Community Charge, which had been introduced in Scotland in 1989.

National results

e • d Summary of the 1990 Scottish regional council election results[1][2]
Parties Votes[a] Votes % +/- Wards Net
Gain/Loss
Labour 729,922 44 223
SNP 372,770 21.8 42
Conservative 333,823 19.2 52
Social and Liberal Democrats 147,122 8 40
Independent 76,516 5 73
Scottish Green 35,048 2 0
Other Parties 15,140 2 0
  1. ^ This column does not include the three island areas

Party performance

The Labour Party dominated the election, gaining the most seats and votes, even though their total vote was slightly down compared with 1986. This was the last election fought under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher, and her Conservative Party suffered a decline of 13 seats, mainly due to the introduction of the unpopular Poll Tax in 1989. The Conservative Government had recently given tax concessions to ratepayers in England and Wales, excluding Scotland, with criticism extended in particular to then-Secretary of State for Scotland Malcolm Rifkind, who was portrayed to not care about the interests of Scotland.

The newly formed Social and Liberal Democrats (a merger of the SDP and Liberals) fared badly, dropping 6.4% of the vote that the Alliance had took at the previous election. Despite this, they stayed stationary on 40 seats. The Scottish National Party, once again the second-largest party in terms of vote share, benefitted from modest gains to take almost 22% of the vote. The Scottish Greens gained their first ever councillor in the Highland region. Turnout was marginally up 0.3% to 45.9%.[2]

Results by council area

Council LAB CON SPD SNP GRN OTH Wards Turnout Details Control
Borders 0 3 6 2 0 11 22 42.6% Details Independent hold
Central 22 5 6 0 0 1 34 49.1% Details Labour hold
Dumfries and Galloway 10 0 4 2 0 0 35 44.4% Details Independent hold
Fife 30 2 2 10 0 1 46 46.5% Details Labour hold
Grampian 19 10 14 11 0 3 57 41% Details No overall control gain from Conservatives
Highland 10 1 2 3 1 35 52 42.9% Details Independent hold
Lothian 34 12 1 2 0 0 49 50.2% Details Labour Labour gain from No overall control
Orkney 0 - - - - 24 24 ??% Details Independent hold
Shetland 4 - - - - 21 25 ??% Details Independent hold
Strathclyde 89 5 1 5 0 2 103 45% Details Labour hold
Tayside 18 14 10 2 0 0 46 47.8% Details No overall control gain from Conservative
Western Isles 0 - - - - 30 30 ??% Details Independent hold

References

  1. ^ McConnell, Alan (2004), Scottish Local Government, Edinburgh University Press, ISBN 978-0-7486-2005-0
  2. ^ a b "The Scottish Regional Elections 1990" (PDF). The Elections Centre. Retrieved 3 March 2020.


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1990 Scottish regional elections
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