City centre by-election: Polls open for crucial contest

The outcome of the poll could make a huge difference to the future of the city.

Polling opens today.

**City Centre residents have a chance to influence the future direction of the City of Edinburgh Council by casting their vote in a by-election today. **

Every vote will count in the poll which is regarded as one of the most marginal in Scotland. At the last election there were just a few hundred votes seperating the top five parties. This time around, there are the added extra uncertainties of the impact of Indepedent "anti tram" candidate, John Carson, and the likelyhood of a low turnout. 

The by-election is taking place to fill the chair left by former SNP councillor David Becket. He quit to take up the offer of a place at Harvard University. If the governing LibDem/SNP coalition fail to get one of their candidates elected then the finely balanced arithmetic in the city chambers will mean the council will slip into "no overall control."

With the council set to make key decisions this Autumn on big project such as the Edinburgh Tram project, as well as proposals to outsource swathes of council services to cut costs, any change in the political make up of the chambers could affect the way the council provides services for a long time to come.

STV Edinburgh teamed up with The Broughton Spurtle last week to live blog the first Hustings event of the campaign. Since then, the political ground war has not been without mishaps. Foremost amongst them, Labour's candidate Karen Doran, slipped and broke her ankle leaving her in hospital during the last week of the campaign. Activists also traded Tweets highlighting dumped leaflets from the SNP, Tories and Independent John Carson.

However, mishaps aside, the big issues that have cropped up on the campaign trail, include the competency of the current administration, the scope for privatisation of council services, the way that the ongoing bin dispute has been handled, and the Forth Energy power station proposals on Leith docks. Unsurprisingly, the future of the tram project has never been far from most voters minds either. 

The election will use the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system where voters can rank candidates in order of preference rather than using a single cross. Voters can give a rank to as many or as few candidates as they like.

Each of the candidates have set out their stall online on local websites. If you are still undecided, you can find out more about the issues they've been campaigning on below.

The candidates:

There are eight polling stations scattered throughout the ward. Each polling station is open from 7am - 10pm. Votes will be counted on the following Friday, with the results expected to be announced around noon. To help you find your nearest polling station we put together this online map:

View Edinburgh City Centre Polling Places in a larger map

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. At least 6 characters please. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
At least 6 characters please
ShowHide
This field is required. At least 6 characters please.
You have to be 16 or over to join
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
Type your full postcode and select your address This field is required. It doesn't look like you've entered a valid postcode. Can't find your address? Confirm the details you've given us are correct by clicking here

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, including our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Any issues contact us.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.