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With just over week until the Leith Walk By-election, local school pupils, who are eligible to vote in local elections as they are aged over 16, have been urging residents in the area to cast their votes on 11 April.

Fifth and sixth-years at Drummond Community High School, with the aid of some numbers, helped demonstrate the single transferable vote (STV) system, which is used in local elections.

l-r  Lucja Zembrzuska (16), Megan Natta (18), Angel Douglas (17), Daniel Farrow (17), Neva Houston (17).

On Thursday, 11 April, Leith Walk ward residents will go to the polls to select a new councillor from 11 candidates. The ward, which also covers Broughton, Bonnington and Hillside, is the most densely populated area in Scotland, with an electorate of 24,197 – more than the population of Orkney or Shetland.

However, turnout for by-elections has traditionally been low across the city, so voters are being encouraged to have their say to elect a councillor who will represent their views on matters affectingthe Capital and their community.

Returning Officer for Edinburgh, Andrew Kerr, said: “It’s great to see young people engaged in the Leith Walk by-election,which is set to elect a new councillor for one of the most densely-populated areas in the country.

“Like any other election, this vote gives the public the opportunity to exercise their democratic right, in this case helping to choose a new councillor to represent their views on a local and citywidelevel. Therefore I would encourage as many people as possible to have their say next week.”

It’s the numbers that count.

Drummond Community High School pupil Angel Douglas, 17, said: “Young people weren’t always allowed to vote in thingslike this so I think that it’s really important that they’re told that it’s their right to vote.

“We’re the young people that are going to grow up with these people representing us and I think it’s important that we have a say in who is running our country and Council.”

Single transferable vote (STV) is often used in multi-member areas to ensure proportional representation. Voters must rank candidates in order of preference and can rank as many or few candidatesas they like.

Anyone living in the area who is aged 16 or over and an EU citizen and has registered can vote in the by-election, and votes can be cast by post or by proxy if more convenient.

Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm on 11 April and will be at:

  • Lorne Primary School
  • Norton Park Conference Centre
  • Holy Cross RC Primary School
  • Ebenezer United Free Church Hall
  • Royal Navy and Royal Marine Association Club
  • Broughton Nursery
  • Pilrig St Paul’s Church Hall
  • McDonald Road Library
  • Leith Walk Primary School

The result of the by-election will be announced once the votes are counted after polls close at 10pm on Thursday 11 April.

Find out more about the Leith Walk by-election.