Renfrewshire Council

Statement by Renfrewshire's Returning Officer

Following legal advice, I can confirm the decision to cancel the Paisley Southeast by-election due to be held on 14 December. The by-election was triggered by the disqualification of Paul Mack from being a Councillor under the Ethical Standards in Public Life etc. (Scotland) Act 2000, confirmed on 21 October 2021. The by-election was set on 14 December to enable the vacant seat to be filled within a 3 month period required by law.

The decision not to proceed follows correspondence from Mr Mack's solicitor to confirm he has lodged a further appeal against his disqualification with the Court of Session. There is no indication of when this will take place. Mr Mack's last appeal against disqualification was rejected in full by the Sheriff Principal in October.

We apologise to Candidates and Agents involved and to local voters in the Paisley Southeast ward, recognising the disruption and inconvenience caused. Please be assured every reasonable step was taken to ensure the vacancy could be filled.

The immediate priority is to work with the Electoral Commission and others in relation to the practical steps to bring the election process to an end and to ensure local voters are aware the election will not go ahead.

By-election for Ward 6 - Paisley Southeast

Information on how to register to vote, postal voting, proxy voting, emergency proxy voting, what to expect if voting in-person at a polling station, voting support for those with a disability, information for candidates/electoral agents and timeline of the election

A by-election for the vacant seat in Ward 6 - Paisley Southeast is due to take place on Tuesday 14 December 2021.

Polling will take place between 7am and 10pm.

The votes will be counted following the close of poll at 10pm on Tuesday 14 December 2021 at the Lagoon Leisure Centre.

Register to vote
Postal voting
Proxy vote
Emergency proxy voting
What to expect if voting in-person at a polling station
Voting support for those with a disability
Information for candidates/electoral agents

Register to vote

If you've never voted before, moved house or changed your name recently, you need to register by Thursday 25 November 2021.

You can do this here - Register to vote.

Postal voting

Given the current pandemic, you may prefer to vote by post - but please be assured that polling stations will be a safe place to vote.  

If you don't want to vote in-person on Tuesday 14 December 2021, you need to register in advance for a postal or proxy vote.

The postal deadline is 5pm on Friday 26 November 2021 and you can register here - Postal vote.

Completed applications should be sent to the Electoral Registration Office, The Robertson Centre, 16 Glasgow Rd, Paisley PA1 3QF.

You can use Royal Mail priority post boxes for returning your applications. Find your nearest here - Priority post boxes.

For any questions, you can call 0300 300 0150 or email Electoral Registration Officer.

Proxy voting

Applications to amend or cancel existing proxy arrangements must reach the Electoral Registration Officer by 5pm on Friday 26 November 2021.

The deadline for new proxy applications - where someone votes on your behalf - is 5pm on Monday 6 December 2021 and you can register here - Proxy vote.

Completed applications should be sent to the Electoral Registration Office, The Robertson Centre, 16 Glasgow Rd, Paisley PA1 3QF.

Emergency proxy voting

Applications to vote by emergency proxy at this election - after the Monday 6 December 2021 deadline - must reach the Electoral Registration Officer by 5pm on Tuesday 14 December 2021. You can apply on the grounds of:

  • disability suffered after the deadline - or, for applicants who suffered a disability before the deadline, your disability means that you could not reasonably have made an application in time
  • work/service reasons
    • you must have become aware that you cannot go to the polling station in person after 5pm on Monday 6 December 2021.
  • following Scottish Government advice or the advice of a medical professional in relation to coronavirus
  • being detained in a hospital under the civil sections of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003
  • being a Scottish prisoners serving a sentence of 12 months or less

Voting as a refugee or foreign citizen

Refugees and other foreign citizens living in Scotland who have leave to enter or remain in the UK, or do not need such permission, can now vote in Scottish Parliament and council elections.

Read these FAQs here in English, Arabic, Farsi or Kurdish and watch this video on Registering to vote (English with Arabic subtitles).

What to expect if voting in-person at a polling station

Polling stations

Our polling stations will be safe places for you to vote in-person on polling day.

There are four polling stations and voters should cast their vote at the polling station outlined on their poll card.

  • Glenburn Community Centre (30 Fairway Avenue)
  • Glenburn Resource Centre (19 Donaldswood Road)
  • Paisley South Church Hall (123 Rowan Street)
  • St Charles Church Hall (5 Union Street)

Bushes Primary School is not being used as a polling station for this by-election and residents who would normally vote here will be able to cast their vote at Glenburn Community Centre.

What health and safety measures will be in place?

To ensure that the voting process remains safe, we will have appropriate health and safety measures in place at your polling station.

We will ask that masks are worn while moving around the polling station, unless you are exempt, and hand sanitiser will be available for you to use.

The number of people in the polling station at any one time will be limited so please be prepared to queue if you arrive at a busy time and maintain physical distancing at all times.

Voting support for those with a disability

For anyone with a disability who wants to vote in person at the polling station, there will be additional support available. This includes:

  • A tactile voting device. This is a template designed for people with sight loss, which is fixed onto the ballot paper so that you can mark it yourself. Polling station staff will read out the name of the candidates on the ballot paper for you
  • A large print sample version of the ballot paper. This is clearly displayed in the polling station and a copy will also be available for you to take into the polling booth to help you to mark your paper
  • You can ask the member of staff who is in charge of the polling station to help you mark your ballot paper; or bring someone with you who is over 18, and eligible to vote in that election, to help you cast your vote. Blind and partially sighted voters are also able to take their phones into the polling booth to help them to vote. For instance, to use magnifier or text-to-speech apps, or the phone torch to improve lighting
  • Each polling station will have a ramp or a separate entrance, so that everyone can access it. If you do experience any problems getting into your polling station, a member of staff can come to assist you and can bring your ballot paper to you so you can cast your vote, if helpful
  • A wheelchair accessible polling booth will be available in every polling station

If you have any concerns or questions, please don't hesitate to contact the Election Office - 0141 618 2300.


  • John Craft - Scottish Liberal Democrats
  • Duncan Grant - Scottish Libertarian Party
  • Alec Leishman - Scottish Conservative and Unionist
  • Bruce MacFarlane - Scottish National Party (SNP)
  • Jamie McGuire - Scottish Labour Party
  • Kyle John Mitchell - Scottish Green Party

Information for candidates/electoral agents

Nominations for the upcoming by-election in Ward 6 - Paisley Southeast had to arrive no later than 4pm on Wednesday 10 November 2021 and have now closed.

For any support you require, please contact the Election Office on 0141 618 2300 or write to Renfrewshire House, Cotton Street, Paisley, PA1 1TR.




Notice of election published

1 November

Publication of persons nominated, inc. notice of poll and situation of polling stations 

10 November (5pm) - if no objections 

Otherwise, 11 November (4pm) 

Deadline for applications to register to vote 25 November

Deadline for new postal votes

26 November (5pm)

Deadline for changes to existing postal or proxy votes 

26 November (5pm) 

Deadline for new applications to vote by proxy (not postal or emergency) 

6 December (5pm)

Polling day 

14 December (7am-10pm)

Deadline for emergency proxy applications 

14 December (5pm) 

Last time for re-issue of spoilt or lost postal votes

14 December (10pm)