2019 Reviews of Electoral Arrangements

In January 2019 the Commission announced the commencement of its reviews of electoral arrangements for the six council areas specified in the Islands (Scotland) Act 2018.

These are Argyll and Bute Council, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Highland Council, North Ayrshire Council, Orkney Islands Council and Shetland Islands Council.

The reviews will result in recommendations for the number of councillors on each council and the number and boundaries of wards for the election of those councillors.

The new islands legislation allows for use of 1 or 2 member wards, in addition to the current multi-member wards, where a ward includes an inhabited island.

The Scottish Elections (Reform) Act 2020 will, once enacted, allow use of 2 and 5 member wards across Scotland as well as the current 3 and 4, while also retaining the use of single member wards where these contain an inhabited island.

The Commission will conduct the reviews in two phases, focussing first on Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Orkney Islands and Shetland Islands council areas. It will then review Argyll and Bute, Highland and North Ayrshire council areas.

The Commission consulted with Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Orkney Islands and Shetland Islands council areas on its proposals for councillor numbers and ward boundaries from March to May 2019 and then consulted with the public from September to December 2019. Further details of the Commission's proposals are available on its consultation site:

The Commission will consult with Argyll and Bute, Highland and North Ayrshire Councils from July to September 2020 and then hold a public consultation later in 2020.

The Commission will consider all responses to its consultations before developing its final recommendations and submitting these to Scottish Ministers in 2021.

Supporting Information

Islands Reviews commence (14 January 2019)

Consultation with Islands Councils on initital proposals begins (20 March 2019)

Electorate Data and methodology for forecasting electorate

Islands (Scotland) Act 2018, see Part 4

Islands Review Guidance Booklet (Island Councils)

Development of Proposals (meeting papers) - 2019 Reviews