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SNP clings on in Glasgow as Nationalists edge out resurgent Labour by one seat

By Chris McCall

The SNP has clung to power in Glasgow by a single seat after edging out Labour at a nail-biting election count.

The Nationalists could now look to do a deal with the Scottish Greens to form a coalition on Scotland's largest local authority.

The SNP returned 37 councillors while Labour exceeded expectations by winning 36.

The Greens returned 10 councillors while the Tories endured a miserable afternoon that saw their representation slump to just two.

SNP council leader Susan Aitken admitted her party had seen some "very mixed results" in the city.

Mhairi Hunter, a senior councillor and key ally of Nicola Sturgeon, lost her seat in the Southside Central ward.

SNP council leader Susan Aitken at the election count in Glasgow (Daily Record)

The First Minister arrived at the count shortly after the final council ward had been declared and insisted it had been a "seismic" win for her party.

"The extent of the SNP's success in this city is quite something," she said.

"Labour chucked the kitchen sink at Glasgow, they benefited from the collapse in the Tory vote, and yet they still haven't managed to beat us here either in numbers of seats or share of the vote.

"I am a Glasgow politician and I talk to Labour politicians in my own constituency - whatever Labour are saying now, they are deeply disappointed as they thought they had a chance of beating us."

Sturgeon continued: "Glaswegians don't like people who talk down the city.

"They know the city has challenges and the SNP is not perfect.

"But they don't like what Anas Sarwar did in the run-up to COP26 by talking down the city of Glasgow."

SNP council leader Susan Aitken 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 Aitken received 2,899.

Bruce said she was proud of her party’s "positive campaign".

Aitken said she was 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.

Anas Sarwar said it had been a "good day" for his party as it increased its vote share across the city.

The Scottish Labour leader claimed the collapse in Conservative support proved their reputation as "the nasty Tories" had returned.

"At the next general election we need to make sure we build a coalition across this country to boot Boris Johnson out of Downing Street," he said.

"Nicola Sturgeon will want to pretend that election will be Scotland versus England - but it won't, it will be Boris versus Britain."

Sarwar added: "For well over a decade now we have had a politics in Scotland where there has been one dominant party, and a Labour party that has not been on the pitch, not able to compete.

"We have got Labour back on the pitch and made huge progress."

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Dive Deeper:
SNP beat Labour by one seat in nail-biting race to finish in Glasgow
The SNP and Labour were neck and neck until the last ward was called...
Scottish Labour take second place in council elections after strong performance under Anas Sarwar
The Scottish Labour leader said his party was back in the race for Holyrood and Westminster after a good showing…
Labour takes second place in Scottish elections as Tory vote plummets
Party becomes closest challenger to SNP after gains including West Dunbartonshire and near-upset in Glasgow
Nicola Sturgeon gives her reaction to SNP result in key council battle
FIRST Minister Nicola Sturgeon addressed her party's performance in Glasgow...
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
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…
Sturgeon, Sarwar and Ross all vote as Scots go to the polls for council elections
Party leaders have been out to cast their votes as Scotland elects councillors in 32 different local authorities across the…
Get all your news in one place