Voters in Glenrothes will head to the polls on Thursday for what could be a hugely significant by-election.
Fife Council’s Labour-led administration will face its toughest test to date, with the SNP able to snatch back control of the Glenrothes area committee should they win the council seat in the Glenrothes North, Leslie and Markinch ward.
Though five parties are contesting the seat, the ballot is expected to be a two-horse race between Labour and the SNP, with control of affairs throughout the town up for grabs.
Though previously held by Labour before the death of councillor Bill Kay in April, the SNP are confident of victory in the vote.
Candidate Keith Grieve said: “My concentration has been on local matters, the issues that affect the families and communities of the ward.
“I was born and raised in this ward and because I live locally and am already active in local organisations, I am all too aware of the issues which affect the families of this ward they are the same issues that affect me and my family.
“I believe in our community and want to ensure that it receives the best services available and that the people and our environment are cared for properly.”
As the main opposition in the region, an SNP win tomorrow would give them a majority on the Glenrothes area committee and provide them with a high-profile platform from which to attack the Labour-led administration.
Labour, however, will be confident of defending the seat and have selected John Wincott, the chairman of Leslie Community Council, as their candidate for the poll.
Mr Wincott told The Courier: “Talking to people has shown me that many of the issues I have been involved with previously in Leslie are the same issues that are affecting people across the whole ward.
“My campaigning against the closure of Glenrothes out of hours GP service and on road safety, crime, and environmental issues have all been raised with me over the past few weeks by people I’ve met.
“Other issues, like housing, education, jobs, Glenrothes town centre and the inadequacies of the A92, are of concern to many people and are rightly high on Labour’s agenda for Fife.
“I am also known in Leslie for my campaign concerning the effects of quarry blasting on our community and, if I am elected, I believe my record shows that I will be a powerful voice on their behalf.”
Five candidates will contest the seat, with Harry Wills representing the Liberal Democrats and Allan Smith standing for the Conservative Party. UKIP will also be represented by their candidate, Peter Taggerty.
Polling stations across the ward will be open at Star Village Hall, Markinch Town Hall, Leslie Primary School, Collydean Primary School, Cadham Neighbourhood Centre and the Gilvenbank Hotel.
There will also be two huts where votes can be placed: at Greenside in Leslie and at the Limekilns in Whinnyknowe. Polls will be open from 7am to 10pm.