From time to time, council by-elections are settled not by a ballot but by nobody else bothering to contest the seat.
So it proved this week in the Western Isles, when nominations closed for a vacant seat in the ward of Westside and Ness… and only one person had put themselves forward.
The candidate in question was Alistair Maclennan, an independent, and he has now been duly elected by virtue of being an “unopposed return”.
It can be classed as a hold for the independents, as they took both first and second places in the ward the last time a full election was held for the council in 2012.
As we get even closer to 7 May, we’re likely to see fewer and fewer local by-elections as most councils will wait to hold the contest on the same day as the general election.