The Problem With Winning…

A week, they say is a long time in politics so where are we a week on from Scottish Local Council Elections?

Election agents will have filed their papers, campaign teams packed away polling boards and recycled (hopefully not too many) unused leaflets. Celebrations and commiseration, both genuine and not so much, will have largely concluded. Gravy buses parked up until next time the carnival is in town and lights have been switched off at campaign hubs.

….but what of the candidates? Those who lost may be reflecting on what went wrong and what they’ve learned from the experience.

Would they stand again? What would they do differently? Is politics for them? Are they in the right party if a paid, elected role is their goal?

Yet they have the luxury of some time to reflect, replan, rebuild or even realign politically. Those elected however are straight to work, under a spotlight of expectation to deliver.

Now, realistically, for a local election most voters haven’t read much from candidates and even less from national or local manifestos but that doesn’t mean constituents don’t have demands. Life is really tough out there for many folk.

The newly elected/re-elected councillors may soon find that gravy isn’t always slick, rich and shiny, it can also be dull, grainy and lumpy.

So whether a winning candidate stood to:

  • show willing, on the promise of more lucrative future opportunities within their party
  • to make up numbers for their party from loyalty, even if being a councillor isn’t really for them
  • personal political profile
  • nice wee earner, where attending 1 meeting every 6 months is the minimum expectation…


  • a genuine desire to work hard to make the lives of those in their communities better, by listening to them and working collegiately across council to be ambitious and drive real change

…the constituents will be expecting the latter so you better get your collective sleeves rolled up councillors!

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