Scottish Tories Are Making Big Gains In The Local Elections

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The SNP hasn't lost ground across Scotland today, what we've seen is the collapse of Labour and that's the reason for the increase in the Conservative vote.

Labour also lost its majority in West Dunbartonshire, where the SNP gained three seats to become the largest party with 10 councillors.

The SNP remains the largest party in local government with 431 councillors voted in, up slightly from its total of 425 in 2012.

It would be nice to believe that Thursday's election was a series of local referendums on local services rendered (or not), but it would be a fantasy: this was a national election fought on national issues, and those issues revolved around the prospect of another independence referendum.

"So we don't want to put Martin under any more stress than he is already, but equally I'm sure he wants to get going on these things as well, and I'm sure we can find ways to communicate".

A total of 262 councillors were elected on a Labour platform, although one of them had been expelled from the party after the ballot papers had been printed.

Ms Sturgeon will mark the start of the official general election campaign by switching her fire from Ruth Davidson and the Scottish Tories to Mrs May.

Beyond Hadrian's Wall Labour lost their majority on Glasgow City Council after almost 40 years dominance.

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The SNP fielded 56 candidates, while the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives both had 23 and the Greens had 20. "It gives us a great launchpad for the general election in a few weeks' time".

Kezia Dugdale, the Scottish Labour leader, said: "This is obviously a disappointing election for Labour, but thousands of people in communities across Scotland have placed their trust in us and we will continue to play a major role in local government".

Nicola Sturgeon will be in Perth on Monday to tell voters the SNP will "deliver for Scotland".

Sturgeon said. Thursday's elections saw May's conservatives push Labour into third place in Scotland, while nationally the Tories won more than 550 council seats.

There are now 39 SNP councillors in the city, compared to 31 from Labour.

"We denied the SNP a majority at Holyrood previous year".

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has previously said that the council results suggested his party could challenge the SNP in key constituencies in the general election.

With Nicola Sturgeon, who succeeded him as First Minister, calling for a second Scottish independence referendum to be held, Mr Salmond also said he was standing for "the Scottish Parliament being the place and the Scottish people having the right to decide their own future".