February 21, 2018

Tories win majority of council seats in East Renfrewshire election

18 May 2017, 02:22 | Kara Nash

A total of 1,227 councillors are being elected across 32 local authorities areas in Scotland.

The share of the SNP's first preference vote is actually exactly the same as five years ago, when the last round of these elections was held.

Other deals may be harder to stitch together, not least because of the SNP's declared refusal to work with the Tories.

Political journalists in Edinburgh and London will seize on the Conservative uptick with barely disguised glee.

In the blue corner: Ruth Davidson. In fact they are looking forward to it, for two reasons. That won't be the case at a first past the post general election.

"The strength of feeling that's out there at this election is so much stronger than I've come across at previous elections", she said.

But coverage of the contest there has overlooked a number of factors.

After 37 years of running Glasgow, Labour's grip on the city was over as the SNP became the largest party in the city. Stuart Donaldson looks sunk in West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine (WAK).

Launching his campaign to be re-elected as an MP, Salmond yesterday warned the Tories not to make "presumptuous announcements".

While the constituency boundaries for Westminster are slightly different, the Scottish Conservatives are keen to capitalise on the rise in support locally as the general election approaches.

The prime minister insisted she was not taking "anything for granted" but her party enjoyed a stunning day that was matched by a dramatic decline for Labour, which lost more than 300 seats.

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"Also in the north-east of Scotland it's not the greatest thing to boast you're going to win beforehand, the folk here tend to bring them back down to earth with a bump".

Labour too will watch results around East Renfewshire.

Susan Aitken reveals that she and her deputy, David McDonald, were in informal contact with COSLA ahead of the elections, and that further talks are now scheduled to put the reconciliation on a formal footing.

After a record result in the Scottish local government elections, where they returned 276 councillors, the Conservatives now have seats such as Mr Salmond's Gordon constituency and the Moray seat of SNP depute leader Angus Robertson in their sights.

Labour needed 43 seats on the council to keep control.

The SNP will also be keeping a close eye on East Dunbartonshire. The whispers coming out of SNP HQ are that they are anxious.

Still, that disappointment did not stop the SNP winning half the vote in 2015, and so perhaps it will not do so again.

Ms Sturgeon, the SNP leader and First Minister, said: "The SNP has won the election in Scotland and won it loud and clear".

Yet the task facing the SNP next month is to defend its remarkable success in winning 56 out of Scotland's 59 seats at the United Kingdom election in 2015, a success based not on winning a little less than a third of the vote, but on securing 50%.

More likely the Conservatives will be celebrating this weekend and the media narrative will be of Ruth Davidson riding high.

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