SNP declared largest party in Glasgow City Council with 37 seats

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Nicola Sturgeon met candidates at the Emirates Arena (Jane Barlow/PA) (PA Wire)
Nicola Sturgeon met candidates at the Emirates Arena (Jane Barlow/PA) (PA Wire)

The SNP has been declared the largest party in the election for Glasgow City Council, with 37 seats to Labour’s 36.

The results for the city came down to the wire, with the Maryhill ward being the decider.

Both the SNP and Scottish Labour had an equal number of candidates as the final ward was announced.

(PA Graphics) (PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics) (PA Graphics)

Nicola Sturgeon said she was “very pleased” with her party’s result in Glasgow, saying it came under “the most immense pressure” from her opponents.

After arriving at the election count at the Emirates Arena, the First Minister greeted Susan Aitken – leader of the SNP group on the council – and Roza Salih, who had just been elected as Scotland’s first refugee councillor.

She said: “The election of Roza here says something so special about the country Scotland is.”

The SNP’s Susan Aitken was re-elected (Jane Barlow/PA) (PA Wire)
The SNP’s Susan Aitken was re-elected (Jane Barlow/PA) (PA Wire)

She added: “Labour chucked the kitchen sink at Glasgow, they benefited enormously from the collapse in the Tory vote and yet still haven’t managed to dislodge the SNP as the largest party here.

“That’s first and foremost down to the leadership of Susan, under the most intense attack from Labour over the past period, and her colleagues.”

She said there would be discussions in many councils about forming administrations in the days to come.

Following the result, Labour group leader Malcolm Cunning said his party had done better than he had hoped for.

He said: “We’ve exceeded every single expectation of our campaign and it’s still to play for, because there’s going to be no decisions on who forms the administration in this city until there’s been discussions with the Greens in particular.

“We may not know the outcome of that until well into next week.”

Asked about discussions around forming an administration, he said: “We’ll certainly be reaching out to the Greens, it’s up to the Greens as to whether they wish to be reached out to.”

Earlier on Friday, Ms Aitken was overtaken by the Scottish Greens on first preference votes in the Langside ward.

New candidate Holly Bruce topped the ballot with 3,173 first preference votes, while the SNP’s Ms Aitken received 2,899.

Ms Bruce said she is proud of her party’s “positive campaign”, adding she is “thrilled that the people of Langside have put their trust in me to represent them for the next five years”.

Holly Bruce topped the Langside vote, ahead of the SNP’s Susan Aitken (Jane Barlow/PA) (PA Wire)
Holly Bruce topped the Langside vote, ahead of the SNP’s Susan Aitken (Jane Barlow/PA) (PA Wire)

Ms Aitken said she was delighted to have been voted in as a councillor once again, but spoke of her disappointment that her colleague David Turner had lost his seat in the Shettleston ward.

“These things happen in elections,” she said.

Shettleston’s results saw two Labour councillors voted in at the expense of the SNP, while Scottish Conservative Thomas Kerr retained his position.

Ms Aitken suggested the co-operation agreement between the SNP and the Greens at Holyrood may have led to the result in her ward.

Scottish Labour has seen gains in Glasgow (Jane Barlow/PA) (PA Wire)
Scottish Labour has seen gains in Glasgow (Jane Barlow/PA) (PA Wire)

Ms Salih has become one of the first refugees to win an election in Scotland, gaining a place as a councillor for the Greater Pollok ward.

Ms Salih, who was part of the Glasgow Girls campaign against deportation in 2005, came to Scotland with her family after fleeing Iraq as a young girl.

She said she hopes her win on Friday will inspire other refugees to put themselves forward for future elections.

Roza Salih celebrates her election to Glasgow City Council (Jane Barlow/PA) (PA Wire)
Roza Salih celebrates her election to Glasgow City Council (Jane Barlow/PA) (PA Wire)

“The Glasgow people have always welcomed me,” Ms Salih said. “This just shows that.

“I’ve never given up, and now they’ve trusted in me.”

“I can’t believe it. Twenty years ago I came to this country as a refugee, and to think back I would never have imagined to serve my city.”

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