Newly elected East Kilbride East Councillor, Gladys Miller, has swung the balance of power in East Kilbride giving the SNP a majority in the town after her victory over the Labour incumbent.
There are now 8 SNP Councillors in East Kilbride, 7 for Labour and 1 for the Conservatives. However, across South Lanarkshire Labour remain the largest party on 33 seats to the SNP’s 28 and are expected to return to a coalition with the 3 remaining Tories.
Across the Council the SNP gained 4 new Councillors to Labour’s 1 with the Conservatives and the Lib Dems being the biggest losers.
“I am delighted that the people of East Kilbride East have elected me to be their Councillor along with my running mate, Jim Wardhaugh.
“I would like to thank everyone who helped me during the campaign and to all the people who came out to vote on the day – I will work tirelessly to repay your support.
“The biggest message I heard on the doorsteps during the campaign was that people felt East Kilbride had been ignored by South Lanarkshire Council since its inception and there had not been the ‘pride in East Kilbride’ that was there during the days of the East Kilbride District Council.
“Now that we have a majority of SNP Councillors representing the people of East Kilbride, we can have a stronger voice, even in opposition, to ensure that East Kilbride gets a fair deal from South Lanarkshire.”
The SNP won Scotland’s local elections with the party securing over 420 councillors and on course to double the lead over labour. Five years into government the SNP has also gained around 58 additional seats, outnumbering Labour gains in Scotland.
The SNP has secured two overall majorities in Dundee and Angus, where it had none in 2007 and is the largest party in 10 local authorities across the country – up from 6 in 2007.
The SNP is the largest party in former Labour strongholds of North Ayrshire and East Ayrshire along with Stirling, Moray, Aberdeenshire, Perth and Kinross, Argyll and Bute and Highland.
In Midlothian, won by Labour in 2007, the SNP has drawn level with Labour and in Clackmannanshire voters have rewarded the SNP’s efforts since taking control in January by putting the party in the position to form a new administration.
The SNP won the most first preference votes in Dundee and Aberdeen, SNP representation increased by 6 seats in Edinburgh and by 5 in Glasgow with a swing from Labour to the SNP in first preferences across Glasgow. Labour failed to win a single extra seat in Glasgow.
Increased councillors were also secured in North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, Fife, and the Borders as the SNP widened the gap with Labour
SNP councillors will now discuss the way forward for administrations across the country.
Welcoming the excellent results and continued growth in support for the SNP Scotland’s First Minister and SNP leader Alex Salmond said:
“With over 420 councillors, an increase of around 60 on 2007 and double the lead over Labour the SNP has won Scotland’s election.
“This is a great win for the SNP and for Scotland. Five years after backing the SNP for the first time Scotland continues to move forward with the only national party. That is a substantial achievement.
“This year the SNP has secured our first two overall majorities in Dundee and Angus and the SNP has become the largest political party in 10 local authorities, far more than in 2007. That is a major step forward for the SNP and for Scotland.
“In 2007 we were the largest party in only 7 authorities and held no majorities.
“The SNP has won seats from Labour, from the Lib Dems and from the Tories in all parts of Scotland, urban and rural. We set ourselves the target of securing more councillors and we have met that target with around 60 extra councillors.
“This is a tale of two governments. The Lib Dems and Tories have had a disastrous day, feeling the full force of the Scottish people who have rejected their damaging austerity agenda in favour of the SNP locally and nationally.
“And in Labour’s heartlands it is clear that Fortress Glasgow is no more. Labour’s campaign stalled in Glasgow with not a single extra seat while the SNP increased our number of councillors and pushed Labour to the wire in their heartland.
“This is a major success for the SNP, and I look forward to working with all councillors across the country to see Scotland take another step forward.”