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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 May 2007, 15:53 GMT 16:53 UK
Changing faces of Scots councils
By Stephen Stewart
BBC Scotland news website

Town and city halls across Scotland have been facing up to the "new politics" created by the proportional representation voting system.

Ballot papers
Parties have been vying for control after the election

Labour lost control of 11 local authorities at the recent election.

Under the new Single Transferable Vote (STV) system, Labour now holds just Glasgow and North Lanarkshire councils.

Previously Labour-controlled Fife is to be run by an SNP-Lib Dem coalition, while the SNP controls West Lothian.

Steven Purcell has been returned unopposed as leader of Glasgow City Council. He is now one of the Labour Party's most important figures in local government and has even been tipped as a possible first minister in years to come.

He said: "Glasgow has changed for the better in recent times but we still have much more to do and the Labour administration will be focused on this."

Labour rule

Edinburgh Council has lost its majority Labour rule after half of its council seats were gained by other parties in the ward elections.

The council's balance of power has ended for the first time in 23 years with just 15 Labour councillors being voted in compared with 30 previously.

The SNP seized power in West Lothian after the Nationalists won the support of a Conservative councillor. The deal ends 12 years of Labour rule for the council.

The SNP and Liberal Democrats have also formed a coalition to run East Lothian Council.

In Aberdeen, the Lib Democrats and SNP formed a new ruling coalition. The Lib Dems won 15 seats, down five, the SNP doubled to 12 and Labour lost three to 10.

Moray Council saw a coalition agreed between the independents and Conservatives. The SNP has risen to nine seats from three as the independents lost overall control.

Aberdeen count
The election in Aberdeen resulted in an SNP-Lib Dem coalition

Orkney Islands Council remained independent in the elections. Stephan Hagan was re-elected as the convener, the job he had held for the last four years.

He faced no opposition at the first meeting of the new council and said: "I've enjoyed representing the council over the last four years and I look forward to the challenges the next four will bring."

Shetland Islands Council remained independent. No decision has yet been announced on leading council posts and a decision is expected next week on 23 May.

In East Renfrewshire, councillors are due to hold a full council meeting on Monday to determine the administration.

Inverclyde Council has nine Labour councillors but it is still not enough for overall control. A meeting will be held next Thursday to determine who will run the administration.

Next administration

Members from the SNP and the Liberal Democrats in Renfrewshire have agreed a coalition deal to run the council. The decision was announced at a meeting on Thursday.

As yet there is no indication who will form the next administration in South Lanarkshire. The first full council meeting of the new session is due to take place on 23 May.

With 40 councillors, the Labour Party secured enough members to retain control of North Lanarkshire Council.

The political structure of the next administration will be resolved at a council meeting on 17 May.

In South Ayrshire, 12 Conservative councillors, nine Labour, eight SNP and one independent were returned.


SEE ALSO
Scotland's rejected council votes
16 May 07 |  Scotland
Clue over voter ballot confusion
15 May 07 |  Scotland
Expert to head elections review
14 May 07 |  Scotland
Independent expert to probe vote
10 May 07 |  Scotland
Rejected votes more than thought
09 May 07 |  Scotland
Parties backed single ballot plan
08 May 07 |  Scotland
Holyrood vote may face challenges
06 May 07 |  Scotland

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