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Comhairle nan Eilean Siar

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar

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Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is the local government council for Na h-Eileanan Siar council area
Council Area
A Council Area is one of the areas defined in Schedule 1 of the Local Government etc. Act 1994 and is under the control of one of the local authorities in Scotland created by that Act.-Legislation :1889...

 of Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...


It is the only local council in Scotland to have a Gaelic-only name. Western Isles Council was retracted in 1997 under the Local Government (Gaelic Names) (Scotland) Act 1997
Local Government (Gaelic Names) (Scotland) Act 1997
The Local Government Act 1997 enables local councils in Scotland to rename the areas for which they are responsible with Gaelic names. It enables them also to revert to names in English...

, meaning that the former Western Isles are now officially named Na h-Eileanan Siar, even in English-language contexts.

The council was created in 1975, 57 years after the creation of Na h-Eileanan an Iar
Na h-Eileanan an Iar (UK Parliament constituency)
Na h-Eileanan an Iar is a constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, created in 1918. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election.- History :...

 for elections to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories, located in London...

 (the constituency
United Kingdom constituencies
In the United Kingdom , each of the electoral areas or divisions called constituencies elects one or more members to a parliament or assembly.Within the United Kingdom there are now five bodies with members elected by constituencies:...

 being named, when created, Western Isles). Since 1999, there has been also the Na h-Eileanan an Iar constituency of the Scottish Parliament, with the same boundaries.


General election
General election
In a parliamentary political system, a general election is an election in which all or most members of a given political body are chosen. The term is usually used to refer to elections held for a nation's primary legislative body, as distinguished from by-elections and local elections.The term...

s to the council are held on a four year cycle. The next is due in 2012.

During the period since 1975, elections to the council have been by the first past the post system of election with the final elections of this type returning 31 councillors, elected by 31 single-member wards.

In 2007, under the Local Governance (Scotland) Act 2004
Local Governance (Scotland) Act 2004
The Local Governance Act 2004 is an Act of the Scottish Parliament which provided, inter alia, for the election of Councillors to the local authorities in Scotland by the Single Transferable Vote system....

, the single transferable vote
Single transferable vote
The single transferable vote is a voting system designed to achieve proportional representation through preferential voting. Under STV, an elector's vote is initially allocated to his or her most preferred candidate, and then, after candidates have been either elected or eliminated, any surplus or...

 system, together with multi-member wards, was used for the first time, each ward electing three or four councillors. This system is designed to produce a form of proportional representation
Proportional representation
Proportional representation is a concept in voting systems used to elect an assembly or council. PR means that the number of seats won by a party or group of candidates is proportionate to the number of votes received. For example, under a PR voting system if 30% of voters support a particular...



The council is governed by Independents
Independent (politician)
In politics, an independent or non-party politician is an individual not affiliated to any political party. Independents may hold a centrist viewpoint between those of major political parties, a viewpoint more extreme than any major party, or they may have a viewpoint based on issues that they do...

, who hold 25 of the 31 seats, and organized political parties have a very small presence on the council, with four Scottish National Party
Scottish National Party
The Scottish National Party is a social-democratic political party in Scotland which campaigns for Scottish independence from the United Kingdom....

 members and two from the Labour Party
Scottish Labour Party
The Scottish Labour Party is the section of the British Labour Party which operates in Scotland....


The political composition for Na h-Eileanan Siar council after the 2007 local elections is as follows.

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