The clock is ticking on negotiations

Newly elected councillor, Ben Parker, gives an overview of the first week since Edinburgh went to the polls.

It’s been just over a week since Scotland went to the polls. In Edinburgh, we elected 63 local councillors representing 17 wards across the city. For the Greens, this was (another) record breaking election, with more people than ever before voting Green, and electing 10 Councillors right across the city. Thank you to everybody who helped make the election happen, to everyone for taking part and voting, and a special thanks to Green supporters who put their trust in us to represent them.

It’s been an odd first week. New and returning councillors are getting used to our (new) home in the City Chambers – unfortunately, this hasn’t been plain sailing, as Cllr Kayleigh O’Neill highlighted here – and we’ve been kept busy with meetings and inductions, as well as getting to know our ward colleagues from across the political spectrum.

But, as we settle in, there is one question on everyone’s lips – who will form the council administration? The STV (single transferable vote) system used to elect councillors is a proportional election system. Broadly speaking, this system returns a slate of councillors who are representative of the views and preferences of voters. In Edinburgh, this is a mixed bag – that means that parties will have to work together to run the council for the next 5 years.

Unlike others who are restricted by instructions from their national party, Greens have approached the post-election period openly. We are happy to speak with other progressively minded parties about how we can work together in the best interests of the city. There are many options on the table – from coalitions to other, more informal arrangements – and we are pragmatic about how we can use our manifesto, principles, and values to guide us through discussions over the next few weeks. And, of course, as a democratic party, for any negotiations which we are involved in, it is our branch membership who will have the full and final say over any agreement.

The council must appoint a Lord Provost by 26 May, so the clock is ticking for us to find a way through the political gridlock. Whatever the outcome of negotiations, Greens will be working hard to prioritise the strongest action on the climate and nature emergencies, and to build a city which is inclusive and welcoming for everyone.


17 May 2022

After a week of discussions between Greens and other political parties, Green councillors want to work positively with SNP councillors to see if we are able to form a council administration. Interim Green Group Co-Convener Cllr Steve Burgess said:

“There is a good amount of similar policy in both our election manifestos that could result in a greener and fairer Edinburgh. There are also areas such as action on the climate emergency, transport, housing and equalities where Greens would like to see the council go much further. That’s what we are keen to talk with the SNP councillors about this week to see if we can reach agreement on a programme that will benefit the City.

“Any such agreement would also have to be approved by the individual members of the Edinburgh Greens and we’re looking forward to sharing more details with our members soon”