CANDIDATES for next week’s East Lothian Council by-election in the Preston Seton Gosford ward have been taking to the streets in a bid to secure residents’ votes.

Campaigning is well under way for all six candidates hoping to be elected as East Lothian’s newest councillor when the by-election takes place next Thursday (January 20).

One candidate will be elected to serve the ward as a councillor alongside the three existing Preston Seton Gosford ward councillors: Lachlan Bruce (Conservative), Neil Gilbert (SNP) and Fiona O’Donnell (Labour)

The by-election follows the death last October of Councillor Willie Innes (Labour), leader of East Lothian Council, and is required under electoral legislation, despite the fact the successful candidate will only be in position for a matter of months before the full council election takes place in May.

The six candidates standing in the by-election are: Calum Miller (independent), Ben Morse (Liberal Democrats), Andy Ovens (Conservative), Tim Porteus (Greens), Janis Wilson (SNP) and Colin Yorkston (Labour).

The by-election will use the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system, where voters can rank candidates in order of preference rather than place a single cross beside only one candidate.

Voters can choose to vote for as many or as few candidates as they like.

Voting takes place at a number of community hubs and centres across the ward next Thursday, with the result of the by-election set to be announced once all votes have been counted.

The count will be done electronically and held next Friday (January 21).