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Scottish local elections: The headlines so far as results come in

© Jane Barlow/PA WireBallot boxes are opened ready for sorting at the Glasgow City Council election count at the Emirates Arena
Ballot boxes are opened ready for sorting at the Glasgow City Council election count at the Emirates Arena

Ballots are being counted across the country after yesterday’s local elections.

Candidates face a nervous wait to find out if they have won, lost or retained seats on Scotland’s 32 local authorities.

Here are some of the headlines so far, and you can track the latest results via our sister title The Courier.


Glasgow leader overtaken by Greens

Susan Aitken, who was leader of Glasgow City Council going in to the election, was overtaken by the Scottish Greens on first preference votes in the Langside ward.

New candidate Holly Bruce topped the ballot with 3,173 first preference votes, while the SNP’s Aitken received 2,899.

Bruce said she is proud of her party’s “positive campaign”, adding she is “thrilled that the people of Langside have put their trust in me to represent them for the next five years”.

Aitken said she is delighted to have been voted in as a councillor once again, but spoke of her disappointment that her colleague David Turner had lost his seat in the Shettleston ward.

“These things happen in elections,” she said.

Elsewhere in the city, Nicola Sturgeon hailed a “seismic” result for the SNP after two councillors were elected in the Pollokshields ward, while Tory councillor David Meikle – the husband of former MP Natalie McGarry – lost his seat.

Sturgeon said on Twitter: “National/city trends aside, this result is seismic. For years, Pollokshields was the only Tory seat in Glasgow and it seemed we would never take it.”

Roza Salih has become one of the first refugees to win an election in Scotland, gaining a place as a councillor for the Greater Pollok ward.

Salih, who was part of the Glasgow Girls campaign against deportation in 2005, came to Scotland with her family after fleeing Iraq as a young girl.

She said she hopes her win on Friday will inspire other refugees to put themselves forward for future elections.

“The Glasgow people have always welcomed me,” Ms Salih said. “This just shows that.

“I’ve never given up, and now they’ve trusted in me.”

“I can’t believe it. Twenty years ago I came to this country as a refugee, and to think back I would never have imagined to serve my city.”

Labour take control of West Dunbartonshire

Labour have taken majority control of West Dunbartonshire, increasing their number of seats from eight to 12. It had been run by an SNP minority administration for the last five years.

In the last election in 2017, no party managed to win a majority on any Scottish council.

Martin Rooney, who is expected to become leader, told the Lennox Herald: “I’m absolutely delighted that we have Labour back in control of West Dunbartonshire.

“It’s been a long slog. It’s hard in opposition. We got a lot done, but we also had the pandemic which impacted on the council’s normal business.

“We’re hoping to hit the ground running. We will get our administration in place and then we will push on bringing forward the improvements we need for the citizens in West Dunbartonshire.”

SNP take control of Dundee

The SNP took majority control of Dundee, with one extra seat taking them to 15. Labour have nine, the Lib Dems four and Conservatives one.

Read more on this story from The Courier.

Western Isles no longer all-male

The SNP’s Susan Thomson and Frances Murray became the first women to be elected in Comhairle nan Eilean Siar since 2012.

Thomson will represent South Uist, Eriskay and Benbecula, while former Nicolson Institute rector Frances Murray claimed a Stornoway seat.

Thomson said the issue of women not being on the council was one of the issues on the doorstep.

She said she was even in favour of examining having councillors job share seats as a way forward to get greater diversity.

Read more from our sister title The Press & Journal:

Western Isles vote in two female councillors for the first time in a decade

Blackford: Scottish voters have sent very clear message to Johnson

Scottish voters have “sent a message” to Boris Johnson and his Conservatives, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford has said.

The Tories have suffered at the polls in the local elections, with vote share in a number of wards across Scotland dropping by more than 10%.

One Scottish Tory frontbencher described the early results as “disappointing”, claiming part of the reason was the partygate saga.

Speaking to the BBC, Blackford said: “The important story from Scotland is the fact that the Tories are being rejected.

“Their vote is down and I think what really is important today is that the voters have sent a message to Boris Johnson.

“I think there’s two things that count; one is of course the cost-of-living crisis – more needs to be done, and the other issue is partygate.

“I think people in Scotland have made it very clear that they want no more of this from Boris Johnson and his Conservatives.”