Local elections: SNP pursuing ‘hugely significant’ victory over Labour in Glasgow

Nicola Sturgeon gunning for party that has held city council for more than three decades

Laura Paterson
Friday 05 May 2017 06:31
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SNP leader and Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
SNP leader and Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

The SNP is hoping to topple Labour from its Glasgow City Council stronghold where it has held power for more than three decades.

Nicola Sturgeon has said it will be “hugely significant” if her party manages to take control at Scotland's largest local authority.

The nationalists' hopes of gaining control at the previous council election 2012 were thwarted but they have since won a landslide victory at the 2015 General Election and held on to power at last year's Holyrood poll while Labour slipped into third place behind the Conservatives.

Labour hopes to retain majority control of the city chambers, having been in power there since 1980, and fielded 43 candidates for the 85 seats split across 23 multi-member wards.

The SNP fielded 56 candidates, while the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives both had 23 and the Greens had 20.

The Tories will also hope to add to their one councillor elected in 2012 after returning two regional MSPs for the city in the 2016 Holyrood election.

A recent report by polling expert John Curtice indicated Labour could lose control of Glasgow.

He said the party “seems unlikely” to retain control at any of the four councils where it won an overall majority in 2012 - Glasgow, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire.

During the election campaign, SNP leader Ms Sturgeon said a win for her party “would be hugely significant” but she added it would “take nothing for granted”.

She said: “Labour have run Glasgow for a long time so ousting them and putting in place a new city government is not going to be easy, but it's what we're focused on doing.”

She claimed the city council had “completely lost its way” under Labour.

Labour deputy leader Tom Watson visited Glasgow to campaign and said voters faced a choice between “Labour's plan to move Glasgow forward or the SNP obsession with holding another referendum over all priorities”.

Copyright Press Association

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