Conservatives make huge gains in Scottish council elections while SNP becomes largest party in majority of councils

Written by Tom Freeman on 5 May 2017 in News

Council elections see Labour suffer big losses as voters switch to Conservatives, but the SNP win most councillors

Scottish Conservative victory - credit Thomas Kerr, Shettleston

The Scottish local government elections have seen the SNP win most votes, becoming the largest party in both Edinburgh and Glasgow. 

It is the first time the party has been the dominant party in either council.

But the Scottish Conservatives made the biggest gains, gaining councillors in working class areas such as West Fife, Airdrie, Paisley and Shettleston (pictured).


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Scottish local government election 2017 results


Labour suffered big losses, including the overall control of several councils including Glasgow, Aberdeen, Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire.

“The SNP has won this election," First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said, calling it a "clear and emphatic victory,”

But although the SNP finished the largest party in Scotland with 431 councillors, an increase of six, the party lost overall control of Dundee City Council and is no longer the largest group in Angus.

And the Conservatives gained over 140 councillors from their 2012 result, including areas where there were previously no Conservative councillors such as the Highlands, North Lanarkshire and Midlothian.

New Tory councillors include Glasgow’s first black councillor Ade Aibinu and Nathan Wilson, who has won an iconic victory at Ravenscraig in Motherwell, an area famously devastated by industrial decline during the Thatcher Government in the 1980s.

In Moray, the Conservatives won 36 per cent of the vote, ahead of the SNP on 31.6 per cent.

If replicated in June at the General Election, this would see the SNP’s deputy leader Angus Robertson lose his seat.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said: “If you look right across the Borders, at Dumfries and Galloway, East Renfrewshire, in places like Perthshire, Aberdeenshire and in Moray - that's Angus Robertson's seat … you see it's the Scottish Conservatives who have topped that poll.

“So we need to use this as a platform to take this fight to the SNP and lead Scotland's fightback against the SNP.”

Parties will now enter power sharing negotiations to see who will form administrations.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale hinted her party would not work with the SNP, despite the parties forming a coalition in Edinburgh since 2012.

In an interview with the BBC she said: “Labour will be strong opposition to the SNP around the country”.

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