Candidate numbers announced

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A TOTAL of 2,493 candidates will contest the local council elections on 3 May, according to the Electoral Commission.

This is slightly down on five years ago when about 2,600 stood. The SNP is fielding the most candidates with 613, followed by Labour on 495, with 458 Independents. There are 362 Conservatives and 247 Liberal Democrats contesting the 1,223 seats available. Counting will not get underway until 9am on Friday 4 May.

The electronic counting system means results from across the country will be in by mid-afternoon.

Voters will again use the STV (single transferable vote) method, listing their choices in order of preference.