Types of Election
There are different types of elections for which the Returning Officer for Moray oversees. The Returning Officer is the person in charge of conduct of elections and counting of any votes in a constituency or ward.
- European Parliament Election
- UK Westminster Parliament Elections
- Scottish Parliament Elections
- Local Government Elections
- Community Council Elections
- Cairngorm National Park Elections
- Crofting Board Elections
To see which elections are running currently please visit the forthcoming elections page.
The European Parliament in Brussels represents people living in the 27 member countries of the European Union (EU) on matters such as foreign affairs, development, agriculture, civil liberties and fisheries. Ministers of the European Parliament are called MEPs and have the power to approve, amend or reject nearly all EU legislation. The European Parliament also decides on the EU budget and influences how EU money is spent.
There are currently 785 MEPs, 78 of whom come from the UK and 6 of which represent Scotland. A list of MEPs currently representing Scotland can be found on the UK Office of the European Parliament website.
European Parliamentary Elections are held every five years with the last being in June 2014 and the next election due in June 2019.
The General Election is when you vote to for an MP (Members of Parliament) to represent Moray in the House of Commons, which is the primary legislative chamber located in at the UK Parliament in Westminster, London.
The United Kingdom is split into constituencies, and each constituency votes for an MP to represent them, using the 'first past the post' system.
The last General Election was held in june 2017 with the next scheduled for 2022 under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act.
The current MP for Moray is Douglas Ross (Conservative).
The Scottish Parliament, based in Edinburgh is responsible legislation for devolved matters e.g. agriculture, education, environment, housing, health and social services. Elected candidates are called MSPs (Minster of Scottish Parliament).
The Parliament consists of 129 MSPs, comprising 73 Constituency MSPs and 56 Regional MSPs. When you vote in a Scottish Parliament election, you have two votes – one to elect your constituency member and one to elect your regional member (additional member system). In the constituency ballot, you choose the candidate you want to represent you directly. In the regional ballot, you choose from a list of party or independent candidates to represent your region. In Moray we are part of the Highlands’ and Islands region.
Moray is represented by 1 Moray Constituency MSP, and 7 Regional MSPs.
Elections for the Scottish Parliament occur every four years with the last election in May 2016 and the next election scheduled for May 2021.
The current MSP for Moray is Richard Lochhead (SNP). You can find your MSPs by using this postcode locator facility.
Local Government elections elect your local Councillors to represent the Moray local authority area on The Moray Council. There are 8 multi-member wards in the Moray, with a total of 26 serving councillors who serve a five year term. The last Local Government election was held in May 2017 and the next one is in May 2022. Local Government elections are conducted by Single Transferable Vote.
|Ward No.||Ward Name||No. of Councillors|
|2||Keith and Cullen||3|
|5||Heldon and Laich||4|
|6||Elgin City North||3|
|7||Elgin City South||3|
For more information about your local councillor please visit the dedicated web pages on Councillors and Committees.
The Community Councils' role is to communicate local opinion to larger bodies of local and central government. Members are elected every four years to represent the Community council area.
If there are less candidates than seats, no election will be held. If membership of the community council falls to less than half, then the Community Council shall not operate until there are enough members.
The last Community Council election was held in September 2013 and the next election is due in August 2017.
A by-election occurs when a seat becomes vacant between elections for reasons such as resignation, expulsion, bankruptcy or death of the sitting Member. By-Elections can be held for European, UK, Scottish Parliaments and Local Government. By-elections or interim elections may also be held for Community Councils when the membership falls to below the minimum membership.
The Cairngorm National Park holds elections to elect five community representatives to their board. The Park Boundary encompasses an area of Moray within Cairngorm National Park Ward 4 – Aberdeenshire/Moray.
Elections to this board are primarily administered by the Returning Officer based at the Highland Council. The last election was held in March 2015 and is next due in March 2019.
Crofting Board Elections
The Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 was passed by the Scottish Parliament in 2010 and made provision for elections to be held to the Crofting Commission. The first election took place in March 2012.