Local Government Elections

Local Government By-election

The Highland Council is divided into 21 Wards and elections are administered, centrally, through the Election Office.

A by-election can occur due to a vacancy, for example death or resignation of an elected representative. It can take place during any of the ordinary local government electoral cycles, and is subject to the same statutory timetable.

Election of a Councillor for Ward 7 - Tain and Easter Ross 

A Local Government By-Election will be held on Thursday 13 June 2024 to fill a vacancy that has arisen in Ward 7, following the death of the late Councillor Alasdair Rhind.  This is a 3-member ward and the other ward members are Councillors Derek Louden (Scottish National Party) and Maureen Ross (Highland Independent).

Following the deadline for nominations at 4pm on Friday 10 May 2024, the Notice of Poll and further information is now available below.

Notice of Poll

The candidates for ward 7– Tain and Easter Ross are:

  • Gordon Allison - Scottish National Party (SNP)
  • Andrew Barnett - Scottish Green Party
  • Harry Christian – Scottish Libertarian Party
  • Barbara Cohen - Scottish Liberal Democrats
  • Laura Dundas – Independent
  • John Shearer – Independent
  • Eva Short - Scottish Conservative and Unionist

Key information and statutory notices relating to the forthcoming by-election:

How to vote

Voting at the designated polling stations will take place between 7am and 10pm on Thursday 13 June 2024.  Poll cards will be posted out and these should be checked carefully as details of where voters should go to cast their vote in person will be provided. To find where to vote please click here 


To vote in this by-election, eligible residents must be registered to vote by midnight on Tuesday 28 May 2024.  Information about how to register and the different ways of voting in the election ie arranging for a postal or proxy voting, please go to our How to Vote page.

For more advice on registration, postal or proxy voting please email ero@highland.gov.uk or call 0800 393783.

The Councillor is elected through the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system which allows voters to express a preference for more than one candidate. 

Please visit below further information about the Single Transferable Vote system

Electoral Commission - Single Transferable Vote - YouTube

Key Dates to Remember

  • Tuesday 28 May 2024 (midnight) - Registration deadline
  • Wednesday 29 May 2024 (5pm) - Deadline for new postal vote applications and for changes to existing postal or proxy votes
  • Wednesday 5 June 2024 (5pm) - Deadline for new applications to vote by proxy (not postal proxy or emergency proxies)
  • Thursday 13 June 2024 (7am - 10pm) - Polling Day
  • Thursday 13 June 2024 (5pm) - Deadline for emergency proxy applications
  • Thursday 13 June 2024 (9pm) - Last time to alter the Register due to clerical error or court appeal
  • Thursday 13 June 2024 (10pm) - Last time for re-issue of spoilt or lost postal votes
  • Friday 14 June 2024 (9.30am) - Electronic Counting of votes at The Tain Royal Academy, Scotsburn Road, Tain

Further information on What Voters need to know prior to Polling Day.


Pre-election Guidance and Poster Policy

Security Guidance for Candidates and Agents

Guidance for Election Candidates in Scotland 2021
Protect Yourself – A Guide to Personal Security
Candidate Safety Advice
Security guidance for elections - GOV.UK 
Defending Democracy (npsa.gov.uk)

Watch the Count Live on our YouTube channel

You will be able to watch the count live from Tain Royal Academy on The Highland Council YouTube channel.  Coverage starts at 9am.


Candidate Spending Returns and Declarations 

Notice is hereby given below on the inspection of the returns of election spending, declarations and accompanying documents of Candidates at the By-Elections that have been held.