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Scottish council elections: SNP expects to make big gains in cities

SNP deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon with local candidate David Turner at Baillieston polling station. Picture: Robert Perry

SNP deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon with local candidate David Turner at Baillieston polling station. Picture: Robert Perry

  • by SCOTT MACNAB
 

SNP local elections chief Derek MacKay believes the party is set to make big gains across Scotland’s cities as the results come through later today.

It comes amid concerns of a record low turnout in the poll yesterday with estimated turnout levels of just a third.

Counting is getting underway now across Scotland, with most results expected to be known by mid-afternoon.

The Nationalists had made capturing the city of Glasgow their top target and ending decades of Labour dominance and Mr MacKay says the party made “good progress” in the city.

Live blog: Scottish council elections

“We’ve heard good news from the cities in Scotland that progress will be made in some of the cities - in Dundee, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Perth and Stirling,” he added on BBC Radio Scotland.

“It’s very possible that the SNP could form our very first majority administrations in at least one of those cities.”

Early signs suggest turnout could be one of the lowest on record, with Moray Council reporting an average turnout of just under 38 per cent.

Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said: “A record low turnout would be bad for democracy.

“People shouldn’t take their vote for granted and it is up to us all to convince people of the value of taking part in elections.”

Although the results will come through by 5pm, the single transferable vote (STV) system of voting means that minority administrations are expected in most coucils, meaning it could be several days or weeks before ruling administrations are formed.

The SNP is hoping to build on the 363 seats it won in 2007, while Labour aims to make gains on its 348 seats.

 

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