Local elections 2022: Conservatives gain three seats in Aberdeenshire as result 'bucks trend'

Conservatives have gained three seats in Aberdeenshire as the ‘Partygate’ scandal failed to dent the party’s performance in the North East.

The Tories, who previously formed a ruling coalition at Aberdeenshire Council with the Liberal Democrats and a handful of independents, made gains in Troup, Ellon and Turriff.

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The party now has two councillors in each of these wards, with both the SNP and independents losing members.

John Duncan, chairman of the Conservative and Unionist Party Association in Aberdeenshire, said the area was “bucking the trend”.

He said: “It’s a combination of extremely good candidates and hard work.”

While the number of Conservative in the council chamber has increased from 18 to 21, Mr Duncan said ‘Partygate’ had probably harmed the party’s chances of shoring up more votes.

John Duncan, chairman of the Conservative and Unionist Association of Aberdeenshire, with Councillor Ann Ross, who held her seat in Banchory and Mid Deeside.

Mr Duncan said: “It probably has prevented us from gaining more second seats. We had been looking to get second councillors in central Buchan and Peterhead, but we missed out on getting them by around 20 to 30 votes.”

Meanwhile, in Aberdeen City, the SNP gained one councillor, giving them 20 members in the council chamber.

Labour gained two seats in wards that lost SNP and independent members and now have 11 seats.

Following the 2017 election, nine Labour members were suspended by Scottish Labour after entering a coalition with the Conservatives.

The ‘Aberdeen 9’ continued to serve as Labour councillors and a ban on them standing again in 2022 was reversed last year.

Councillor Barney Crockett, who served as Lord Provost of Aberdeen for two terms until the election was called, said discussions would now open on possible power sharing in the city.

Cllr Crockett said: “We have had a very encouraging performance. We have done a lot of things that have been controversial, such as the pedestrianisation of Union Street, but we have taken responsibility and people have recognised that.

"I think it is important that all parties are willing to discuss all sorts of options. You have to look at whether that be a minority council or some form of coalition. All options will be looked at.

“Things are very fluid at the moment, but the SNP are in the driving seat as they have the greatest number of councillors.”

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