2022 local elections: Nicola Sturgeon hails SNP’s ‘resounding victory’

Nicola Sturgeon hails the SNP's'resounding victory' in Scottish local council elections

Nicola Sturgeon takes a selfie with members of the public at a polling station (Image: Getty Images)

Nicola Sturgeon declared the SNP to be “Scotland’s dominant political force” as her party emerged victorious once again in local elections north of the border.

The First Minister and SNP leader said when the results of all 32 councils in Scotland were tallied her party had won a “resounding victory”.

Her comments came after the SNP brought back its highest number of councilors at 22 to 453 in Thursday’s general election, while Scottish Labor was able to benefit from the collapse of the Tories in Scotland.

Anas Sarwar saw his party increase their MPs by 20 to 282 while the Tories fell to third place.

However, Douglas Ross’ party fared poorly after a campaign dominated by national issues, including the cost of living crisis and the Partygate saga in Westminster.

When the votes were counted, the Tories were down by 63 in the last local election five years ago, the Tories suffered in the polls this time 214 councilors were elected.

The Scottish Greens and Lib Dems also benefited from the Tory downturn, increasing their council membership by 16 and 20 respectively.

The Greens now hold the balance of power in both Edinburgh and Glasgow, while the Lib Dems have doubled their numbers to 12 in the capital and are attempting to forge coalitions across the country.

The Alba party failed to bring back council members despite fielding more than 100 candidates, many of whom were already elected officials who defected to the party after it was formed last year.

Voters in two authorities also chose majorities, with the SNP controlling Dundee and Labor taking West Dunbartonshire.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon meets 5-month-old Hudson Robinson outside the Broomhouse Community Hall polling station in Glasgow as voting begins in the local elections. Picture date: Thursday May 5, 2022. PA Photo. See PA Story POLITICS Elections. Photo credit should read: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Ms Sturgeon meets five-month-old Hudson Robinson outside Broomhouse Community Hall (Image: PA)

Ms Sturgeon called her party’s victory “amazing”.

“The results are absolutely incredible for the SNP,” she told journalists at the Glasgow election count.

“The SNP has been in government for 15 years and today we won the election overwhelmingly, I think the eighth consecutive election win since I became leader of the SNP, but on top of that we’ve increased our share of the vote, we.” We have increased the number of returned councillors, we are the strongest party in more councils today than yesterday.

“This is an amazing result for the SNP and an absolutely brutal rejection by Boris Johnson and the Conservatives.”

The SNP is now the largest party in “a remarkable 21 councils across the country,” she said, and the party is now exploring the possibility of agreements to form government administrations with “other parties who share our progressive principles.”

She also insisted the results showed “once again confirmed Scotland’s strong opposition to Tory corruption, filth and law-breaking”.

TOPSHOT - Scotland's First Minister and leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), Nicola Sturgeon, reacts as she is surprised by her husband and current Chief Executive Officer of the Scottish National Party, Peter Murrell, after casting her vote in local elections in a Glasgow, 5 May 2022 - Polls have opened across the UK for local and regional elections which could prove historic in Northern Ireland and put further pressure on embattled Prime Minister Boris Johnson. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP) (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Ms Sturgeon called her party’s victory “amazing” (Image: AFP via Getty)

Referring to the Labor vs. Tories battle, the SNP leader claimed Mr Sarwar and Mr Ross were “reduced to beating it for second place like two bald men fighting over a comb”.

Mr Ross acknowledged the results had been “very disappointing” for the Conservatives, adding that Boris Johnson “cannot ignore the message” sent by voters at the election.

“The Prime Minister simply cannot ignore the message that has been sent out by voters not just here in Scotland but across the UK,” he told the BBC.

“The Conservatives lost Westminster Council last night, that’s a council the party held onto even in the prime of Labor years under Tony Blair, so there was a very strong message from the public to the Prime Minister and to the party. “

Mr Sarwar, meanwhile, said Scottish Labor had made “good progress”.

However, he insisted: “I’m not aiming for second place. We have made great progress, but there is still a lot to do.”

Scotland’s Lib Dem leader Alex-Cole Hamilton said he believed his party’s upswing in the election showed it was on the way to a “revival” across Scotland.

Scottish Green Party co-leader Lorna Slater told reporters in Edinburgh the result was historic for her party.

“This is an absolute record result for the Greens and it really shows that people care about the climate, they care about their communities,” she said.

“We’ve focused on local issues and I think that’s paying off.”

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Justin Scacco

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