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Local government elections: Labour win overall majority in Glasgow

The party also won majority control of North Lanarkshire, West Dunbartonshire and Renfrewshire.

Labour Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson centre celebrates a candidates victory at the Glasgow local elections at the SECC
HE Media

Labour has won an overall majority on Glasgow City Council and three other councils in the west of Scotland.

The news will disappoint the SNP and its supporters, who targeted Scotland’s largest city in this year’s local government elections.

The hopes of the Nationalists to gain an overall majority in Glasgow were dashed after the results were announced in only six of the 21 wards, when it became mathematically impossible for the SNP to take control of the city.

In the end, Labour won 44 seats, the SNP 27, while the Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives and Glasgow First all won one seat each. The Greens had a fantastic day, winning the remaining five places in the City Chambers and becoming the third force in Glasgow politics.

Fears of a wipe-out of Liberal Democrats in Glasgow were avoided early on as Margot Clark was re-elected. The only Conservative councillor in the last council, David Meikle, was also re-elected. Liam Hainey, Martha Wardrop , Nina Baker, Kieran Wild and Martin Bartos were all elected with the Greens, with a delighted Stephen Dornan voted in with Glasgow First.

Some familiar names will also return to the City Chambers. Labour’s Gordon Matheson, the leader of the Labour group in the city, was re-elected as was Archie Graham, the husband of the Scottish party leader Johann Lamont.

The party’s Stephen Curran, former MSP Bill Butler, Paul Rooney and Frank McAveety will join them. For the SNP, group leader Allison Hunter, Graeme Hendry, Phil Greene and Billy McAllister were amongst those elected.

Those who have missed out include Glasgow First’s leader Tommy Morrison, Liberal Democrat Alex Dingwall and Gail Sheridan. The wife of former MSP Tommy Sheridan narrowly missed out in the Craigton ward after she finished fifth.

Anne-Marie Millar, a former Labour Party representative on the council who stood as an independent this time, also failed in her bid to represent Southside Central.

'Juggernaut has rolled into a ditch'

After his re-election, Mr Matheson hit back at the Nationalists who had considered Scotland's largest city a key target, one year on from the SNP’s unprecedented results in Glasgow at the Scottish Parliament elections.

He said: "Their juggernaut has rolled into a ditch. They were the party that made big predictions that they would sweep Labour from power. The people of Glasgow have had other ideas."

Mr Matheson also vowed to lead the council through the Commonwealth Games and beyond.

Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont, who joined the Glasgow count in the afternoon, said: "I think we've had a fantastic result. I'm very proud of the Labour team."

SNP Glasgow MSP Humza Yousaf admitted the failure to claim Glasgow was disappointing, but denied it meant the party had lost momentum.

He said: "Let's not dress this up, it was disappointing. But if you look at it in its context, to be a party of government in your second term and still make gains in a city that is a bastion of the opposition, that's not too bad going.

"I am disappointed, of course I am. I set out to win, to do really well. You have to look at it in its context. You have to look at the numbers. You have to pitch in the local and the national factors, and see what went wrong."

In Renfrewshire, North Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire, Labour was celebrating after winning majority control. They were also the largest party in Inverclyde, East Renfrewshire and South Lanarkshire, but didn’t get enough seats to hold an overall majority over the other parties and candidates.

The SNP hold the most seats in East Ayrshire and North Ayrshire, while the Conservatives have the most in South Ayrshire but all three constituencies have no overall control from a single party. In East Dunbartonshire, Labour and SNP won eight seats each.

How the balance of power shifted in Glasgow City Council

The chart below shows the balance of power in the City Chambers:

How things stood before today's election:


North Lanarkshire

South Lanarkshire

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