Fife election: Father and daughter celebrate unique double victory

Fife Council will have a father and daughter as councillors – believed to be the first in its history.

Friday, 6th May 2022, 3:05 pm

The unique double was clinched when James Leslie pulled off a huge win for the Tories in Kirkcaldy North to join daughter Kathleen who was returned for a second term in Burntisland, Kinghorn and Western Kirkcaldy.

Mr Leslie clinched one of the three seats in the ward which was opened up following the retiral of long-serving Labour stalwart, Neil Crooks, who was the convener of Kirkcaldy’s area committee.

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James and Kathleen Leslie

While a huge portion of his personal vote went to David Ross, co-leader of the council – who topped the first preference poll with 1804 votes – the Tories were able to grab enough of a share to oust Ryan Smart, the candidate Labour hoped would succeed Mr Crooks.

Mr Leslie polled 789 to Mr Smart’s 213.

And that means he will now join daughter Kathleen on the new-look council when it convenes next week.

Mr Leslie, who was a senior lecturer in banking and finance at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, missed his moment of glory as the results were announced.

He explained: “I wasn’t on the rostrum – I’d gone for a walk in the shopping centre, because I thought we were about half an hour away from a declaration.”

He said he was delighted with the result – he stood in 2017 and lost by just 14 votes..”

His daughter added: “We campaigned pretty hard in the ward and it paid off.”