Scottish gains for SNP and Labour

Submitted by Matthew on 9 May, 2012 - 8:18

Labour and the SNP were the winners in last week’s Scottish council elections. Lib Dems and Tories were the losers.

Labour won an extra 58 seats, giving it a total of 394 in Scotland as a whole. The SNP won an extra 57 seats, giving it a total of 424. The Lib-Dems lost over half their seats, slumping to 71. The Tories lost 16 seats, leaving them with 115.

Labour failed to make inroads into the SNP vote — most of their gains were from the Lib Dems — and the SNP did win some seats from Labour.

SNP results were no repeat of last year’s Holyrood elections, and they came nowhere near winning control of Glasgow City Council.

The “Glasgow First” candidates — a breakaway from Labour after the de-selection of a number of councillors — won one seat but otherwise failed to make an impact.

In Glasgow a non-aggression pact had been agreed.

The Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) did a deal with the Scottish Anti-Cuts Alliance (SACA ), consisting of the Socialist Party Scotland (SPS), the SWP and Solidarity (the Sheridan-led breakaway from the SSP).

The eight SSP candidates averaged a score of just under a hundred first-preference votes. The nine SACA candidates scored an average of 60.

For Solidarity, Gail Sheridan picked up 472 votes — the name still counts for something — but their other two candidates got under a hundred. SSP and SACA candidates standing elsewhere than in Glasgow did no better.

The only exception was sitting SSP councillor Jim Bollan’s re-election in West Dumbartonshire.

The SSP and SACA both argued that their candidates, if elected, would oppose all cuts. But the SSP is seen as a “busted flush” after the 2006 split, while SACA lacked any kind of profile — it was not the “political wing” of a broad anti-cuts movement but simply (another) flag of convenience for the SPS and the SWP.

These elections were almost “apolitical”, in the sense that neither Labour nor the SNP offered a strategy for fighting the Tory cuts.