The Scottish National Party looks set to end Labour’s decades long stranglehold over the city of Glasgow.
Early results from the local authority elections suggest Nicola Sturgeon’s party is on course for a comprehensive victory in Scotland’s largest city.
The first of the city’s declarations have gone the SNP’s way meaning Labour has lost overall control of the city.
In Shettleston the SNP won two seats to Labour’s one and one for the Conservatives. In Langside the SNP won two with Labour and the Greens winning one apiece. In Partick E/Kelvindale the SNP, Green, Labour and Conservatives all won one seat each.
If early indications are correct, it will mark the end of a near forty year period of domination for Scottish Labour in its West of Scotland heartland and signal a further decline in its fortunes under the leadership of Kezia Dugdale.
In the 2012 local elections Labour defied expectations and withstood a strong challenge from its nationalist rival. However these 2017 elections look set to see the SNP finally breakthrough and take the city which has for years symbolised Labour’s West of Scotland strength.
Glasgow has 85 seats split across 23 multi-member wards. Nicola Sturgeon has said it will be “hugely significant” if her party manages to take control at Scotland’s largest local authority.
Glasgow voted Yes in the 2014 independence referendum. The SNP, despite failing to end Labour’s dominance at local authority level, took all of the city’s Westminster seats in the 2015 general election. Scottish Labour was left clamouring for List Seat crumbs in the 2016 Holyrood election.
Having lost much of its pro-independence core support to the SNP, Labour has now lost a significant amount of its pro-Union equivalent to the Conservatives. Ruth Davidson has styled her local authority campaign on opposing a second independence referendum.
Much of the focus on these local elections will centre on the SNP and Conservatives. Both are expected to make gains mainly at the expense of Labour.
Of equal interest to many will be the number of councillors all parties win with after the dust has settled and what coalitions emerge and where. The spotlight will fall on Labour who may find themselves kingmakers in some local authorities.
Should Kezia Dugdale’s party opt for alliances with the Conservatives it may impact on its forthcoming general election showing in Scotland.