Scotland council election 2022: After avoiding Armageddon last year, Labour is now the main unionist party – Ian Murray MP

This is, for almost a decade, a long time, the most positive and cheerful day for the Scottish Labour Party.

After ten tough years, today is a day to cheer – we’re back on the pitch and making gains.

We ran a positive and energetic campaign that highlighted the real challenges facing families across the country with the cost of living crisis, offering solutions and hope for the future, when the Tories were offering crumbs.

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While we are working hard to get Labour into first place, in these elections we set ourselves the target of pushing the Scottish Conservatives out of second place and as Scotland's main unionist party – and in that, we succeeded.

Scotland has spoken, and they have rejected Boris Johnson’s sleaze, incompetence and the spineless Scottish Tories who have sightlessly followed him.

The Tories have returned to being the nasty party, and the Ruth Davidson project is dead.

I couldn't be prouder of our leader, Anas Sarwar, our incredible MSPs and especially our candidates and campaigners, they are the lifeblood of our party.

When Anas took over last year, we had a mammoth task as we were at only 14 per cent in the opinion polls. We managed to stop Armageddon last year, but the progress demonstrated in these local elections just proves that Scottish voters are coming back to their natural home, in the Scottish Labour Party.

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar celebrates as the council election results come in (Picture: Peter Summers/Getty Images)

There were plenty of moments today to shout about, but Labour’s taking of West Dunbartonshire is certainly one that springs to mind. We haven’t held this council since 2012 so, ten years on, it’s remarkable to see our team’s hard work paying off.

And across the UK, the Labour Party has demonstrated huge progress that shows we are ready to return to government. No longer just opposing the Tories but replacing them.

It was an incredible day for the Scottish Labour Party, and I couldn't be more excited to press ahead on Monday and get us ready for government.

This is just the start and, as Anas says, we can build the future together.

Ian Murray is Labour MP for Edinburgh South

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