The veteran politician, who had been Lib Dem leader since 1999, failed to get elected after 15 years as a councillor.
She chose to stand in her home district instead of her existing ward in Drum Brae–Gyle in an attempt to secure a larger vote and remain in office.
She said: “It was as I expected. I had a bad feeling about this election from the very beginning. I had my boxes all packed with notices of where they’re to go.”
As well as accepting the impact of the shambolic trams project, she added: “People didn’t like what was happening at Westminster. I don’t think it was so much the coalition as the deputy prime minister in particular.”
Of her time in office, she said: “I stuck to my ideals, I stuck to my principles, but honesty and realism don’t always win elections.”
She added: “I’ve done my best. I’ve been as honest as I can be. I’ve been realistic, I’ve not made false promises.
“We’ve turned the city around from a situation where we inherited £370,000 in reserves and turned that around to £13 million.”