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Local election results in Scotland likely to heal COSLA rift

11 May 2017

SNP leader and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon pointed out that her party had ousted Labour from control of a Glasgow City Council after 40 years, and still had the largest number of councillors across the country.

Pollsters got the result of the 2015 election badly wrong, concluding that they had underestimated support for the Conservatives and had over-represented Labour supporters in their surveys.

Speaking ahead of her campaign launch in Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire, Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said: "The council elections showed people are turning away from the SNP, because they are fed up with the nationalists' attempt to force another divisive referendum".

Ms Davidson also went on to criticise Labour, who slumped to become the third largest party in Scotland's councils, adding: "As for Labour, they were left to count the cost of decades of complacency, arrogance and a failure to respond to the concerns of ordinary families".

The Tories gained 36.1 per cent of the vote, up from 31.1 per cent in 2015, while the SNP saw their share fall sharply from 49.5 per cent to 31.6 per cent.

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If you want to find out what that means locally pick up a copy of Wednesday's The Courier. In Scotland if you want independence you vote SNP and if you support the union you vote Conservative.

ANGUS Robertson has said he will "fight tooth and nail" to bring jobs back to the struggling oil and gas sector as he accused the Tories of having "twiddled their thumbs".

Describing the results as a "clear and emphatic victory for the SNP", Ms Sturgeon said: "SNP councillors and SNP councils will put their communities and the people of Scotland first".

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%. To show they can't take Scotland for granted.

Nicola Sturgeon has said Scottish voters face a "straightforward choice" in the General Election between the SNP or Conservative MPs who will "rubber-stamp" the Prime Minster's hard Brexit and austerity policies.

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She was highlighting the importance of the United Kingdom single market to Scottish jobs.

"The worry for the SNP is not that they're not going to remain the largest party on June 8 - it would be very surprising if that changed - but that they are indeed vulnerable in individual constituencies where the unionist vote does seem to be congregating around a particular party". As none of us are strong enough to win any of the seats in Kent on our own it is nearly as if they want the status quo of traditional party divides to remain and ensure another five years of Conservative government.

The other three rebel councils, in all of which the SNP are now the biggest group, are expected to follow suit.

It has led to seats that were previously thought a lost cause coming back onto the party's radar.

Councillors Stocks said: "As far I'm concerned we won the election in North Lanarkshire and it is our right to try to form the next administration".

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