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Glasgow Council Election 2022: SNP win by a single seat as Tories suffer defeat

By Drew Sandelands & Catherine Hunter & Sarah Hilley

The SNP narrowly won the race to be the biggest party in Glasgow at the City Council elections today with 37 councillors elected - just one more than Labour’s 36.

Who will rule the city chambers is still up in the air, with no single party taking a majority - and a deal between the SNP and the Greens, who took ten seats, now seems likely.

Neither Labour or the SNP has enough councillors for a majority, with 43 required on the 85-seat council.

READ MORE: Scotland local elections 2022 LIVE updates from Glasgow as SNP win biggest share of vote in city

Despite this, after such a close contest Labour’s Malcolm Cunning described his party’s result as “astonishing” and hailed it the “best day in years” for his party.

For the Conservatives however it was a difficult afternoon, as they lost all but two of their seats - with their disappointed local leader putting the blame at the feet of PM Boris Johnson and saying his actions during the pandemic were “indefensible”.

In Glasgow it came down to the wire as both parties had 35 councillors each before the final ward of Maryhill was declared. Chants of ‘SNP,’ broke out as returning party councillor for the ward Frank Scally got down on his knees and did a dance.

Councillor Susan Aitken, who is expected to remain SNP group leader, said her party is set to have “conversations” with the Scottish Greens who saw 10 councillors elected.

She said her party, which lost two seats, had worked “well” with the Greens for the “good of the city” and had “more in common than differences.”

The Langside politician said: “We have big plans. Our focus will be on delivering those plans.

“We have done really well as a minority administration.”

And Glasgow’s Green group also said it was open to talks over a coalition after securing its best ever results in the city.

Ten Green councillors were elected on a successful day for the party and co-leader Jon Molyneux said his group are “always up for cooperation”.

He appeared to lean towards working with the SNP, who returned 37 councillors, rather than Labour, who secured 36, as he said: “Whichever party returns the largest number of councillors has the right to form an administration. We’ve always been clear on that.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon who arrived at the count in the Emirates Arena as the final numbers were in said Labour "had benefited from the collapse of the Tories.”

Ms Sturgeon said she is “very pleased with this result” and that the party had faced “immense pressure.”

She added: “We will now get back to the job.”

Hailing the election of Councillor Roza Salih, to the Greater Pollok ward, Ms Sturgeon said: “Roza came here as an asylum seeker. Today she is an elected councillor of the SNP.”

Councillor Salih has campaigned against immigration dawn raids as a member of the Glasgow Girls.

Shedding tears, Councillor Salih said:” I would like to thank everyone of the constituents. I will not let them down.”

Labour gained five seats compared to 2017. The Greens upped their number of councillors from seven to 10 - and looked thrilled with their gains.

The Greens have helped the minority SNP administration pass its annual budget in recent years, without a coalition in place, and Molyneux said “we will have to wait and see” whether the parties continue to work together informally or a deal is formalised. He added his group is open to discussions.

“We’re all tired, it’s been a long campaign,” he said. “We will recharge our batteries over the weekend. What we’ve said all along is we will work collaboratively and we’re always up for cooperation.”

Molyneux and Martha Wardrop, the two co-leaders of the Glasgow Green group, were both re-elected, representing Pollokshields and Hillhead respectively. Holly Bruce, the candidate in Langside, won more first preference votes than Susan Aitken, the council leader for the past five years. And in Southside Central, Elaine Gallagher became Glasgow’s first transgender councillor.

Speaking after the count, Molynuex said: “We set out with a plan to achieve that level of success. In previous years, quite a few of us got in in third or fourth place so that’s always uncertain. So many of us got in straight away this time and we’ve broken into new parts of the city.

“When areas have a Greens councillor, they notice a difference. We’ve got a lot to do, our manifesto was a real collaborative effort, something I’m immensely proud of.”

The Southside Central result saw a Greens gain - and well known SNP politician Mhairi Hunter failed to get voted in.

Elaine Gallagher who was elected in the Southside Central ward for the Greens has become the first transgender councillor in the city.

Reacting to her victory, she said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be the first trans councillor in Glasgow City. I’m looking forward to looking after the people of Southside Central.”

The Conservatives had eight councillors elected in 2017 and only two remain. Tory group leader Shettleston Councillor Thomas Kerr kept his seat while a new Conservative politician was elected in Baillieston - John Daly.

Alba and the Liberal Democrats failed to win any seats.

Glasgow Conservatives leader Thomas Kerr blamed Boris Johnson for his group’s poor performance in the city council elections.

They had campaigned to “clean up” Glasgow after repeatedly blasting the SNP for the state of the city’s streets. And Kerr believes the message “resonated with voters” but the Partygate scandal has damaged his party.

He said Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s actions during the pandemic were “indefensible”.

“I’m disappointed,” Kerr said. “Disappointed to lose so many good colleagues who have worked really, really hard across the city in their local communities, but we live to fight another day and we will be back.

“We had a message that resonated with voters, so much so that other parties picked up on it. We had great candidates. I think the only reason why we have not been looking at a better result is because of the Prime Minister.

“I think the national picture has been dire, I think the Prime Minister’s actions have been indefensible and I think that’s why we’re where we are.”

Kerr believes the two Conservatives on the council for the next five years can make a difference. “We’ll work perfectly together,” he said. “It’s good that me and John are neighbouring wards as well, we’re good pals.

“We’ll be absolutely fine, we’ve got loads of stuff we want to get done and we will see how the numbers all add up at the end and work with whoever we can to try and better the city.”

RESULTS IN FULL

(All votes are First Preference Votes)

LINN

Malcolm Cunning, Labour - 2152

Paul McCabe, SNP - 1934

Margaret Morgan, SNP - 1070

Catherine Vallis, Labour - 724

Turnout: 41.2%

NEWLANDS/AULDBURN

Stephen Curran, Labour - 1928

Sean Ferguson, SNP - 2074

Leòdhas Iain Massie, Scottish Greens - 638

Turnout: 41%

GREATER POLLOK

Saqib Ahmed, Labour - 2598

William Graham, SNP - 2494

Rashid M Hussain, Labour - 1278

Roza Salih, SNP - 917

Turnout: 36.2%

CARDONALD

Jim Kavanagh, Labour - 2367

Matt Kerr, Labour - 1236

Elaine McSporran, SNP - 2489

Alex Wilson, SNP - 872

Turnout: 39%

GOVAN

Imran Alam, Labour - 1272

Ricky Bell, SNP - 1181

Stephen Dornan, SNP - 794

Dan Hutchison, Greens - 975

Turnout: 33.4%

POLLOKSHIELDS

Zen Ghani, SNP - 1755

Norman MacLeod, SNP - 1412

Jon Molyneux, Greens - 2290

Hanif M Raja, Labour - 1709

Turnout: 48%

LANGSIDE

Susan Aitken, SNP - 2899

Holly Bruce, Greens - 3173

Stephen Ignatius Docherty, Labour - 1870

Paul Leinster, SNP - 775

Turnout: 47%

SOUTHSIDE CENTRAL

Alexander Belix, SNP - 1460

Elaine Gallagher, Greens - 1395

James Scanlon, Labour - 1161

Soryia Siddique, Labour - 1271

Turnout: 39%

CALTON

Greg Hepburn, SNP - 1472

Cecilia O'Lone, Labour - 1037

Linda Pike, SNP - 551

George Redmond, Labour - 1039

Turnout: 31.9%

ANDERSTON/CITY/YORKHILL

Eva Bolander, SNP - 1349

Philip Braat, Labour - 1439

Christy Mearns, Greens - 1527

Angus Millar, SNP - 603

Turnout: 28.1%

HILLHEAD

Ken Andrew, SNP - 1984

Hanzala Malik, Labour - 1532

Martha Wardrop, Greens - 2507

Turnout: 37.7%

VICTORIA PARK

Feargal Dalton, SNP - 2291

Eunis Jassemi, Labour - 2447

Lana Reid-McConnell, Greens - 2016

Turnout: 49.7%

GARSCADDEN/SCOTSTOUNHILL

Bill Butler, Labour - 2403

Chris Cunningham, SNP - 2310

Malcolm Mitchell, SNP - 460

Eva Clark Murray, Labour - 940

Turnout: 39.9%

DRUMCHAPEL/ANNIESLAND

Paul Carey, Labour - 2011

Patricia Ferguson, Labour - 747

Fyeza Ikhlaq, SNP - 945

Anne McTaggart, SNP - 1446

Turnout: 35.2%

MARYHILL

Abdul Bostani, SNP - 1106

Keiran O’Neill, Labour -1523

Franny Scally, SNP - 1279


Turnout: 38.3%

CANAL

Allan Gow, SNP - 1470

Fiona E Higgins, Labour - 1363

Jacqueline McLaren, SNP - 512

Robert JH Mooney, Labour - 690

Turnout: 31.2%

SPRINGBURN/ROBROYSTON

Graham Campbell, SNP -1690

Christina Cannon, SNP - 1109

Audrey Dempsey, Labour - 2184

Thomas Rannachan, Labour - 650

Turnout: 35.3%

EAST CENTRE

Declan Blench, SNP - 1348

Annette Christie, SNP - 1014

Ann Jenkins, Labour - 1954

Kieran J Turner, Labour - 642

Turnout: 35.9%

SHETTLESTON

Laura Doherty, SNP - 2048

Thomas Kerr, Scottish Conservative and Unionist - 1232

Frank McAveety, Labour - 1986

Jill Pidgeon, Labour - 903

Turnout: 37.1%

BALLIESTON

John Daly, Scottish Conservative and Unionist - 1206

Alex Kerr, SNP - 1723

Kevin John Lalley, Labour - 2209

Turnout; 40%

NORTH EAST

Maureen Burke, Labour - 1532

Sharon Greer, Labour - 447

Ruairi Kelly, SNP - 1305

Turnout: 30.4%

DENNISTOUN

Anthony Carroll, Greens - 1431

Allan Casey, SNP - 1337

Elaine McDougall, Labour - 1595

Turnout: 36.5%

PARTICK EAST/KELVINDALE

Blair Anderson, Greens - 2138

Jill Brown, Labour - 2939

Lilith Johnstone, Labour - 358

Kenny McLean, SNP - 1800

Turnout: 47.1%

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Dive Deeper:
Glasgow Council Elections 2022: SNP fight for majority but Labour and Conservatives 'hopeful'
After a campaign which saw both parties attack the SNP over their leadership for the past five years, the Conservative…
West Lothian Council Election 2022: Lib Dems claim Tory seat as Conservatives squeezed
The Lib Dems claimed the first of three Tory seats in West Lothian. Optimistic Conservatives saw early first choice leads…
Nicola Sturgeon gives her reaction to SNP result in key council battle
FIRST Minister Nicola Sturgeon addressed her party's performance in Glasgow...
SNP declared largest party in Glasgow City Council with 37 seats
The SNP’s council leader came second to the Greens in Langside, but the party pulled through to take the largest…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Sweat and cheers: What it was like reporting from the Glasgow election count
YOU don’t expect local elections to be dramatic, but this year was a whirlwind that saw a number of historic…
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New candidate Holly Bruce topped the ballot with 3,173 votes, while the SNP’s Susan Aitken received 2,899.
Get all your news in one place