THE SNP has emerged from the council elections as the biggest party in Edinburgh, but with the Tories just one seat behind.
Labour slumped to third place, while the Greens and Lib Dems both increased their numbers on the council.
In a day of dramatic twists and turns, some leading figures lost their seats including culture and leisure convener Richard Lewis, former SNP group leader Sandy Howat and Green transport spokesman Nigel Bagshaw.
It is the first time the SNP has been the dominant party at the City Chambers. It has 19 seats to the Tories’ 18, Labour’s 12, the Greens’ eight and the Lib Dems’ six.
SNP group leader Frank Ross said:”It’s a historic occasion - never before has the SNP been the largest party.”
But he acknowledged the result was “not as good as we were anticipating”.
He said: “We have seen a national swing to the Conservatives, but we have withstood it here in Edinburgh. We have increased our number of councillors and in almost every single ward our vote has gone up.”
Talks will now get under way between the different party groups in a bid to form a coalition administration.
Sources said the most likely scenario was an SNP-Labour deal, even though such a partnership would be one short of an overall majority.
WARD BY WARD BREAKDOWN
Almond: Graham Hutchison (Con), Kevin Lang (Lib Dem), Norrie Work (SNP) and Louise Young (Lib Dem).
Drum Brae/Gyle: Robert Aldridge (Lib Dem), Claire Bridgman (SNP) and Mark Brown (Con)
Forth: Eleanor Bird (SNP), Jim Campbell (Con), Cammy Day (Lab), George Gordon (SNP)
Corstorphine/Murrayfield: Scott Douglas (Con), Gillian Gloyer (Lib Dem), Frank Ross (SNP)
Colinton/Fairmilehead: Scott Arthur (Lab), Jason Rust (Con), Phil Doggart (Con)
Sighthill/Gorgie: Ashley Graczyk (Con), Denis Dixon (SNP), Cathy Fullerton (SNP), Donald Wilson (Lab)
Fountainbridge/Craiglockhart: Andrew Johnson (Con), David Key (SNP), Gavin Corbett (Green)
City Centre: Karen Doran (Lab), Claire Miller (Green), Jo Mowat (Con) and Alasdair Rankin (SNP)
Morningside: Nick Cook (Con), Melanie Main (Green), Neil Ross (Lib Dem) and Mandy Watt (Lab)
Leith: Chas Booth (Green). Adam McVey (SNP), Gordon John Munro (Lab)
Leith Walk: Marion Donaldson (Lab), Amy McNeese-Mechan (SNP), Susan Rae (Green), Lewis Ritchie (SNP)
Pentland Hills: Graeme Bruce (Con), Neil Gardiner (SNP), Ricky Henderson (Lab), Susan Webber (Con)
Southside/Newington result: Steve Burgess (Green), Alison Dickie (SNP), Ian Perry (Lab), Cameron Rose (Con)
Craigentinny/Duddingston: Ian Campbell (SNP), Joan Griffiths (Lab), John McLellan (Con), Alex Staniforth (Green)
Inverleith: Gavin Barrie (SNP), Max Mitchell (Con), Hal Osler (Lib Dem), Iain Whyte (Con)
Portobello/Craigmillar: Kate Campbell (SNP), Mary Campbell (Green), Maureen Child (Lab), Callum Laidlaw (Con)
Liberton/Gilmerton: Lezley Marion Cameron (Lab), Derek Howie (SNP), Lesley MacInnes (SNP), Stephanie Smith (Con)