Thousands of voters in west Fife will go to the polls next month to elect two new local councillors on the same day, The Courier can reveal.
With the threat of a Westminster general election still looming large, the local authority will be the focus of two by-elections on November 14.
Residents in Rosyth already knew they were facing a by-election following the resignation of SNP councillor Sam Steele due to health issues and family problems.
It has been confirmed the Dunfermline Central ward now also has a vacancy after Conservative councillor Alan Craig stood down.
Mr Craig is understood to have quit due to “health and personal reasons”, and the Conservative party in Fife is said to be finalising its candidate to fight the resulting by-election.
Local activists had initially been working towards a date at the end of November for the two polls but with general election speculation growing, the date was brought forward.
Morag Ferguson, head of legal and democratic services at Fife Council, said: “By-elections for the two wards will be held on November 14 and more information will be issued to local residents shortly.”
Fife Council’s 22 wards are supposed to be represented by 75 councillors, with 29 SNP, 24 Labour, 15 Conservative and 7 Liberal Democrat members voted in during the 2017 council election.
Both the Rosyth and Dunfermline Central wards could be closely-fought contests.
Ms Steele represented Rosyth for the SNP along with Labour’s Andrew Verrecchia and Conservative Tony Orton, while Mr Craig was in the four-councillor Dunfermline Central ward along with Labour’s Jim Leishman and Garry Haldane and the SNP’s Jean Hall Muir.
Fifers have been urged to return their annual canvass form and ensure they do not risk their vote, and canvassers are expected to be sent out to properties which have still not replied to forms and reminders sent out in July and August.
Mike Melville, depute electoral registration officer for Fife, said: “Anyone who wants to vote, including in any potential general election that may be called, must be registered.
“This form helps us identify anyone eligible to vote who’s not on the electoral register.
“So, if you haven’t already, simply check the form and reply as soon as possible.
“It’s also important to include 14 and 15-year-olds on the form as 16-year-olds are able to vote in local government elections, such as the upcoming ones for Dunfermline Central and Rosyth, as well as Scottish Parliament elections.
“This is so they are on the register when they become old enough to vote.”