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Neck and neck in the Moray Place stakes

The people of the Educational Institute of Scotland have spoken. The bastards, some out-of-luck aspirants might say.

Among the also-rans in the elections for the union's executive council is Drew Morrice, North Lanarkshire secretary, who failed to pick up one of the five seats that were going in his new council area. Morrice, an able advocate for the union (kiss of death, really) and former teacher rep on Strathclyde's education committee (second kiss of death), lost by one vote. Left-winger Bill Cairns pipped him by 436 to 435 votes for the last place.

Creeping in by the skin of his backside in Glasgow was George MacBride, who picked up the tenth and last place for the city. Primary teachers show strongly in Glasgow, as usual. Glasgow secretary and past union president Willie Hart, a secondary teacher, came fourth, although his home sharer, Alana Ross, was third. But she's primary.

There must be sighs of relief that MacBride, one of the most able (more kisses of death) union spokesmen, who chairs the institute's education committee, squeezed in. He also stood for general secretary after Jim Martin's resignation. When asked by council members at the interview if he was "too cerebral", MacBride replied: "I'll need to think about that."

Two-thirds of elections were uncontested, obviously indicating how smoothly run is this great democratic machine. Edinburgh proved to be the third intriguing battleground. Prominent left-wingers such as Elaine Murray, Myra Armstrong and Geraldine Gould failed to win places as the balance swung against their slate.

The struggle continues.

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