Parties gearing up for Denny by election

The vote on August 13 will determine who is the latest member of Falkirk Council
The vote on August 13 will determine who is the latest member of Falkirk Council

The SNP is looking to record back-to-back wins at the ballot box when voters go the polls at the end of the summer to elect a new councillor.

A by election in the Denny and Banknock ward on August 13 comes after the resignation of sitting councillor John McNally following his landslide success at the General Election on May 7.

Ahead of the count in eight weeks’ time, a bouyant local SNP has started the search to find the candidate to take his place in the town hall.

Two local activists have already put themselves forward.

Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn, SNP group leader on Falkirk Council, chaired a packed selection hustings for party members on Monday.

She said: “Following the SNP’s surge in membership after both the referendum and successful Westminster campaign, we have a wealth of talent available.

“It is great to see such enthusiasm in those coming forward. John was an excellent councillor and has set the standard high, but either one of our two prospective candidates would be a great asset to the group.”

Labour has confirmed it will bid to double its representation in the ward.

Gray Allan, chair of the Constituency Labour Party, said: “The process of selecting a candidate starts on Wednesday. We look forward to talking to voters now that the SNP promise of influencing a minority Labour Government has fallen flat.”

The local Conservative Party, which came last in 2012, has said it also intends to field a candidate in the race.

The other councillors in the ward are independent Brian McCabe, Labour’s Jim Blackwood and Martin Oliver of the SNP.