Lerwick Town Council
The first election of the Lerwick Town Council occured on April 2, 1818 and elected 11 members, with Arthur Edmondston internally elected as senior baillie, and George Linklater as junior baillie. Elections in the early days of the Lerwick Town Council were hardly 'democratic' by today's standards. Large groups of the electorate were unable to vote, such as women or young adults. This resulted in only a very small number of individuals voting. Furthermore, the specific results of the elections until 1874 were unreported, as the council minutes simply recorded the victors.
The establishment of the Shetland Times newspaper aided sharing the results of the elections, as the figures were published. From 1820, the elections were consistantly held every 3 years on September until 1874, then from 1876 elections elections were held every single year until 1973. Nationally, elections were suspended over World War 1 and 2, but by-elections were still allowed if a councillor had resigned or died.
When the Council had 11 members, the quorum for a meeting was 6 members, and the fine for missing a meeting was 1 shilling (around £3.90 in 2016 worth).