Tories are wiped out in Scottish elections

The Government suffered its worst-ever defeat early today at the hands of the Scots. With most of the votes counted in the council elections north of the border, it was clear that John Major's attempt to "relaunch" the Conservative Party had suffered a damaging blow.

With just 11 per cent of the vote, the Tories lost control of all six councils where they had an overall majority.

Their share of the vote was even lower than last year's 14 per cent. The results mean that the Tories will no longer provide any local services north of the border and the governing party will, in effect, cease to exist at local level.

Labour, on 47 per cent - their highest-ever share of the vote in Scottish local elections - won overall control in more than 20 of the 29 single- tier authorities.

The Scottish National Party, on 27 per cent, was down from 33 per cent in last year's European elections.

The Liberal Democrats, on eight per cent, failed to win a single council. No party won overall control in East Renfrewshire, the Tories' key target, and in Dumfries and Galloway. Highland council was won by Independent councillors.

The results were doubly embarrassing for Government ministers. When the 29 single-tier authorities elected last night were set up to replace the existing regions and districts they were accused of gerrymandering councils which the Conservatives could defend.

Conservative hopes that the SNP surge would slow the "Blair-effect" juggernaut were also dashed, as Labour proved capable of winning seats from all three rival parties.

Last night's results are a signal that the Tories face electoral humiliation at the local elections in England and Wales next month - a message reinforced by today's Gallup poll in the Daily Telegraph giving Labour a 35-point lead on 58 per cent.

Signs of Conservative disaffection emerged as soon as the polls closed.

Conservative councillor Bill Aitken, re-elected after 19 years for the Glasgow Kelvindale ward, said: "We face a lot of bad news tonight. I have little doubt that there will be great bitterness on the part of many Tory candidates up and down the country who feel that they have been sold short by the Government and the antics over the last few weeks.

"The message is clear. The Government must get their act together or they, in time, will face a similar fate to that of many Conservative candidates tonight."

Fellow Glasgow Tory councillor John Young, elected for Cathcart by a majority of only 38 votes over Labour said: "The people, and many, many Conservatives, told us they were not happy."

As Labour celebrated victory in its long-coveted target of Stirling, Michael Forsyth, the employment minister whose marginal constituency covers the town, admitted to BBC television in Scotland: "It is a pretty disastrous night for us all round and a good night for Labour.

"There are no words I can find to describe it otherwise. It is very unfair."

Among the authorities where Labour won overall control were Stirling, East Ayrshire, North Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, Dundee, Aberdeen, East Lothian, Midlothian, West Lothian, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverclyde, Clackmannan, North Lanarkshire, Dumbarton and Clydebank, East Dunbartonshire and Renfrewshire.

Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
News
i100
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Aladdin is performed at the Tony Awards in New York in June
theatreBrit producer Lythgoe makes kids' musical comedy a Los Angeles hit
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

(Senior) IT Support Engineer - 1st-3rd Line Support

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful IT service provider that has bee...

Wind Farm Civil Design Engineer

£55000 - £65000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Principal Marine Mechanical Engineer

£60000 - £70000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Principle Geotechnical Engineer

£55000 - £65000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Day In a Page

Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup