Morton fails to break long standing Labour stranglehold

Sean Morton - will need to win in Moray to have real chance of Holyrood success
Sean Morton – will need to win in Moray to have a chance of Holyrood

A MORAY COUNCILLOR’S plans to represent his community at the Scottish Parliament received a setback last night when he came fourth on Scottish Labour’s regional list for the Highlands and Islands.

Under Scotland’s proportional representation system, voters are asked to rank candidates at the ballot box – with those political parties gaining the highest number of alternative votes sending additional MSP’s to the Scottish Parliament.

Fochabers/Lhanbryde councillor Sean Morton pointed to the Labour system for ranking list candidates that dictates if a woman comes first, the highest placed man must come second – next would be the highest placed woman and so on.

Councillor Morton was given the fourth slot on the list in results that are expected to be published in full at a later date – and that means he is unlikely to find a seat at Parliament unless he wins the election outright in May.

His Fochabers/Lhanbryde Scottish Conservative colleague on Moray Council, Douglas Ross, has already been selected to top the Highlands and Islands list for his party and looks certain to secure a seat at Holyrood.

Commenting on the selection result, Councillor Morton said: “I am proud to have fought a hard campaign all across Moray and the Highlands and Islands. Nobody from Moray has ever been in the fight for the top spot before.

“I was only elected four years ago and was incredibly grateful to those Labour members, hungry for change, who supported my campaign.

“Ultimately members have gone for a long-service team rather than a new beginning. Rhoda Grant was in the first intake of the Scottish Parliament in 1999 and Dave Stewart was first elected in the 1980s when I was still in short trousers. I will continue to do everything I can to support them.

“Most of all I look forward to fighting hard to hold the SNP government to account here in Moray – the place that is always my number one priority. If people want real change now, they must use both votes for Labour at the Scottish election.”