Council election results: Labour loses overall control of Glasgow

Council election results: Labour loses overall control of Glasgow

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The SNP is hopeful of replacing Labour as the largest party on Glasgow City Council

Labour has lost overall control of Glasgow as the first results are declared in the Scottish council elections.

The SNP is hoping to replace Labour as the biggest party in Scotland’s largest city, where Labour has held power for decades.

Early Labour losses mean it cannot now win another majority – but it is not yet clear whether the SNP will.

Elsewhere, the Tories have been making big gains across much of Scotland.

With results available from eight of Scotland’s 32 councils, the SNP has 69 councillors, a gain of four seats so far.

The Tories have gained 26 seats, winning a total of 42 councillors, while Labour is down by 23, with 39 councillors elected.

The full national picture is expected to become clearer later on Friday afternoon, but the Conservatives have been winning seats in areas which had previously been “no-go” for them – including Shettleston in Glasgow and Ferguslie Park in Renfrewshire.

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Thomas Kerr celebrates winning a seat for the Conservatives in the Shettleston area of Glasgow – which had traditionally been a staunch Labour area

The SNP has already replaced Labour as the largest party in Aberdeen, but the Conservatives made the biggest gains.

The final results showed the SNP on 19, up three on 2012, while Labour lost nine of its 18 seats and the Conservatives went from three to 11. The Lib Dems dropped from five to four.

The SNP is also expected to form the biggest group in Edinburgh for the first time, with Labour – which had been the largest party – likely to fall to third behind the Conservatives.

And Labour has lost overall control of West Dunbartonshire, where it has been replaced by the SNP as the largest party.

In Clackmannanshire, the Conservatives picked up five seats – four more than in 2012 – with the SNP remaining the largest party with eight, the same number as five years ago. Labour lost three seats, leaving them with five members in the 18-seat council.

In South Ayrshire, the Conservatives finished as the biggest party with 12 seats – up two on 2012. The SNP also gained two seats and now have nine, while Labour lost four seats to finish on five.

Meanwhile, the SNP finished as the largest party in neighbouring East Ayrshire despite dropping by one seat to 14. The Conservatives increased from two to six, while Labour dropped by five to finish with nine councillors.

And in Stirling, the Conservatives increased from four seats to nine – the same number as the SNP, while Labour dropped from eight seats to four and the Scottish Greens also won a seat.

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Counting is continuing across the country

Elsewhere, the SNP group leader on Fife Council, Neale Hanvey, lost his seat to a Conservative.

And in Aberdeen, Labour’s Willie Young – who had been the city’s finance convener – lost his Bridge of Don seat.

Mr Young has been embroiled in controversy over repairs worth £200,000 that the council ordered to be carried out on land owned by his father.

Early results from local and mayoral elections in England and Wales show a swing from Labour to the Conservatives.

‘Feels good’

A report published ahead of the vote by polling expert John Curtice indicated Labour was likely to lose control of Glasgow, and the three other local authorities in Scotland where it won an overall majority in 2012 – North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire.

BBC Scotland’s local government correspondent, Jamie McIvor, has been told by a senior Labour figure in Glasgow – where overall turnout is thought to be relatively low – that he expects the SNP to be the largest group in the council, but to fall short of a majority.

The Scottish government’s transport minister Humza Yousaf, who is an SNP MSP in Glasgow, told the BBC that it “looks good and feels good” for the party, but said it was still too early to tell what the final outcome would be.

The SNP is also confident of becoming the largest party in the City of Edinburgh Council, with Labour and the Conservatives likely to be in a battle for second place.


Analysis by Professor John Curtice

A first set of first preference results for a ward in the Scottish Borders, where the Conservatives are hoping to capture the parliamentary seat, shows clear evidence of an increase in Tory support.

The party’s vote is up dramatically to 44% compared with 25% in 2012 – an increase of 19 points.

In contrast, the SNP vote is up by just 3 points in the ward.

This pattern is consistent with the polling evidence of a significant Conservative revival, while the SNP performance must be regarded as relatively disappointing – at least in this portion of Scotland where the Tories are already relatively strong.

Meanwhile we should note that, while Labour only won 9% of the vote in 2012, its vote is down by five points.


During the election campaign, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said a win for her party in Glasgow “would be hugely significant” but insisted she would “take nothing for granted”.

The election used the single transferable vote system (STV), with voters ranking candidates in order of preference.

The system makes it difficult for any one party to win overall control of a local authority, with many being run by coalitions or minority administrations.

The SNP won overall control of just two councils – Angus and Dundee – in 2012, while no party had overall control in 26 of the 32 local authorities.

People aged 16 or over were eligible to vote, with more than 4.1 million people in Scotland registered.

A total of 1,227 councillors will be elected across the country’s 32 local authorities, with more than 2,500 candidates putting themselves forward.

Council election results: Labour loses overall control of Glasgow}