Success for the SNP in recent council elections

The Scottish National Party (SNP) have returned the most councillors in the recent council elections held on Thursday 5 May.

The party now has 19 seats overall, one more than the Conservatives who now have 18 councillors after gaining seven seats.

Labour lost eight of their seats, dropping from first to third place in Edinburgh with just 12 seats.

The Green Party won eight seats, increasing their number by one, while the Lib Dems gained three.

In total, 63 councillors were elected to represent the City of Edinburgh.

With boundary changes since the last election, there are now five more councillors representing Edinburgh than before.

Voting turnout was up from the previous elections in 2012 from 42.6 per cent to 50.5 per cent.

Speaking to the BBC, Returning Officer Andrew Kerr said: “This is a particularly busy time for politics, both nationally and locally, so I’m pleased that so many people have turned out to have their say in Edinburgh – even more than the last local government election in 2012.

“Thanks to voters for taking the time to participate, demonstrating the importance of local services to the public.

“I want to congratulate all new and returning councillors, and welcome them to their role at the City of Edinburgh Council – I look forward to working with them in years to come.”

The Edinburgh Reporter believes that the council may be run through a minority coalition administration with Labour as it has been in the past few years.

This will be the first time that the SNP are the biggest group in the council, with Labour having held the majority in the past five years.

Although the number of Labour councillors have more than halved since the previous election, they are still expected to hold some convenorship posts.

Nationally, the Conservatives increased their total number of councillors by 160 while the SNP replaced Labour as the largest party in Glasgow and Aberdeen.

However, they lost control of Dundee and Angus due to Conservative gains.

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon told the BBC that her party had achieved a “clear and emphatic victory” with these results suggesting gains for the party in next month’s general election.

“The SNP has won the council elections.”

Sturgeon continued: “We have more votes, more seats and are in the driving seat of more councils than any other party.”

Ruth Davidson, Scottish Conservative leader also spoke to the BBC claiming that the results were proof that people were “looking for a Scottish fight back against the SNP.”

She pledged: “The party will speak up for the millions of Scots who have had enough of the uncertainty and division of the last few years.”

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale told the BBC that the results for her party were “disappointing” but “not particularly a surprise.”

She continued: “Across Scotland, there has been a clear backlash against the SNP’s plans for a divisive second independence referendum and anger over the SNP’s woeful record running our schools, hospitals and public services.”

Patrick Harvie, Scottish Greens co-convener, spoke positively about the outcome, telling the BBC that the party had “made real progress.”

Image: Scottish Government

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