Stephen Flynn: SNP will 'hold balance of power' in Westminster at next general election
SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn claims his party can "hold the balance of power" after the next general election as Tory losses in English local elections see a change in polls.
As counting for council seats continues, the Conservatives have lost more than 300 seats in England, while Labour is up by almost 200.
The Lib Dems have also put on 100 councillors, while the Green Party of England and Wales is on around half of that.
Pollsters now suggest the Tories could slip into second place in Westminster, with Labour putting on seats but falling short of an overall majority.
According to Flynn, that means the SNP will play a key role in the UK Parliament.
He said: "It's increasingly clear that the SNP can hold the balance of power after the next general election - putting Scotland in prime position to pull the strings of a minority UK government.
"Voting SNP is the best way to beat the Tories in Scotland - and every vote for the SNP will be crucial to ensure Scotland wields real power and influence.
"With the pro-Brexit Labour party lurching to the right, and becoming indistinguishable from the Tories, the SNP will make certain that real change happens.
"The SNP would ensure the power to determine Scotland’s future is transferred to Edinburgh, that the cost-of-living crisis becomes the main priority of Westminster and that relations with Europe are rebuilt and renewed.”
This afternoon, Sky News elections analyst Michael Thrasher said "looking at the outcome on a general election, you would say that Labour are set to become the largest party, but in a hung parliament".
On BBC Radio 4, Sir John Curtice said "whether Labour can get an overall majority on their own, or whether they will simply do well enough to form a minority administration in a hung parliament was uncertain before yesterday and remains uncertain".
However, shadow Scottish secretary Ian Murray MP commented: “The results in the local government elections in England, alongside Labour recovering in Scotland, show that we are on course for a majority Labour government.
“Labour has spent the local elections campaign focused on the cost of living, while the Tories have tried and failed to hide from their abysmal record.
“With the SNP mired in scandal and under police investigation, it is game on for Labour in Scotland and we stand ready to offer change to Scotland with a Labour government across the UK.”
Counting in the English local elections continues.