1982 Scottish regional elections


Regional elections were held in Scotland on Thursday 6 May 1982, as part of the wider 1982 United Kingdom local elections. Whilst the 1982 elections saw the Conservatives hold up relatively well in England, the Tories did comparatively poorly in Scotland, where their already disadvantageous position worsened. The Conservatives did particularly poorly in Strathclyde, where the Conservative group leader lost his seat.[1]

1982 Scottish regional elections

 1980 6 May 1982 (1982-05-06) 1984 
Registered3,828,322
Turnout42.9
  First party Second party
 
Leader Michael Foot Margaret Thatcher
Party Labour Conservative
Leader since 10 November 1980 11 February 1975
Seats won 186 119
Percentage 37.6 25.1

  Third party Fourth party
 
Leader David Steel Gordon Wilson
Party Alliance SNP
Leader since 1976 15 September 1979
Seats won 25 23
Percentage 18.1 13.4

Colours denote the winning party with outright control

Results by ward

Despite this poor performance, the Conservatives were actually seen as doing somewhat well in the overall Scottish context; the Conservative vote had, prior to the election, been languishing around 18% in Scotland. This was somewhat credited to a modest "Falkland Effect;" a surge in Conservative support due to their handling of the ongoing Falklands War.[2]

The SDP-Liberal Alliance managed to displace the SNP into fourth place, although this increase in support ultimately did not translate into major seat gains due to the FPTP nature of the ward electoral system.[2]

Also notable was the success of candidates in Shetland supportive of Home Rule for the islands, who wished for something similar to that enjoyed by the Faroe Islands. Whilst no candidates appeared on the ballot as members of the Shetland Movement (all Shetland candidates were independents), the Shetland Movement did publish a list of candidates supportive of Shetland Home Rule. Ultimately, of the 25 members of the Shetland Islands Council, 14 were supporters of the movement.[3]

National results


Summary of the 1982 Scottish regional council election results[4][5]
Parties Votes Votes % Wards
Labour 572,776 37.6 186
Conservative 382,891 25.1 119
Alliance 276,824 18.1 25
SNP 204,774 13.4 23
Communist 5,537 0.4 1
Protestant Crusade Against the Papal Visit
1,228 0.1 0
Ecology 997 0.1 0
Independent Labour 402 0.03 0
Democratic Socialist Party
264 0.2 0
Workers Revolutionary 252 0.02 0
Twentieth Century Reformation Movement
136 0.01 0
Ratepayer
30 0.002 0
Independent 77,626 5.1 87
Total1,446,111100.0441

Results by council area


Council Labour Conservative SNP SDP-Liberal Alliance Independent Other Turnout Control
Details
Borders 0 8 0 3 12 0 41.1% Independent hold Details
Central 22 4 5 1 2 0 44.7% Labour hold Details
Dumfries and Galloway 4 4 3 2 22 0 39.0% Independent hold Details
Fife 27 10 1 4 2 1 43.2% Labour hold Details
Grampian 15 28 3 6 2 0 34.3% Conservative Hold Details
Highland 5 1 2 2 42 0 41.0% Independent Hold Details
Lothian 22 22 1 3 1 0 47.6% No overall control Gain from Labour Details
Orkney Independent Hold Details
Shetland 1 0 0 0 10 14 Independent Hold Details
Strathclyde 79 15 3 4 2 0 42.4% Labour Hold Details
Tayside 12 27 5 0 2 0 45.3% Conservative Hold Details
Na h-Eileanan Siar (Western Isles) Independent Hold Details

References


  1. "Scots spurn Tories as apathy again hits polls". The Glasgow Herald. 8 May 1982. p. 12.
  2. Towards a Four Party System: The Regional Elections of 1982, p.78-82
  3. "Shetland home rulers returned". The Glasgow Herald. 8 May 1982. p. 12.
  4. McConnell, Alan (2004), Scottish Local Government, Edinburgh University Press, ISBN 978-0-7486-2005-0
  5. Bochel, J. M.; Denver, D. T. Scottish Regional Election 1982: Results and Statistics. University of Dundee and University of Lancaster. pp. 59–63.