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Scottish Tories Are Making Big Gains In The Local Elections

Early results show a significant shift away from Labour and towards Conservative candidates, with the SNP holding relatively steady.

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The Scottish Conservatives appear set to make significant gains in Scotland, as local election results begin to roll in.

As of Friday afternoon the Scottish Conservatives had taken 188 local seats of 1,227 across Scotland's 32 councils, mostly at the expense of Labour, which was on 146 seats – a fall of 68, according to the BBC. Twenty-three council results had been called.

Glasgow turned out to be a particularly bitter blow for Scottish Labour as the party lost the overall majority control of the city council for the first time in 40 years.

However, the SNP appears to have failed to take Glasgow cleanly from Labour, despite the city being among the few urban areas to vote Yes during the Scottish referendum in 2014. It looks to be a similar story in Dundee, which also voted Yes, after the SNP lost control of the council – ceding two seats to the Conservatives.

However, the SNP has held steady on many of Scotland's local seats, thus far holding on to 258 seats.

SNP people in Glasgow are looking a bit edgy. Activists seem deeply frustrated at number of spoilt/wrong papers.

In a further surprise, the Conservatives have taken at least two seats on the city council – even though a recent poll showed it was one of the least Conservative areas in the country.

Both the SNP and Labour have lost overall control of one council, but the Tories are yet to win a majority so far today.

A spokesperson for Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson downplayed the "good" results, telling The Guardian the party was "coming from an incredibly low base".

"The increases look huge but we’re coming from a time when the party was in the doldrums,” they said.

The comment fits with a national Conservative decision to carefully downplay the party's success, although it appears many inside it are expecting a significant win north of the border.

Scottish Tory source: "The tectonic plates are shifting. The choice facing Scottish voters in future will be Nicola or Ruth."

Across Scotland, in an echo of the Glasgow council result, there appeared a number of extraordinary Tory gains. Barrhead, in East Renfrewshire, elected its first Conservative councillor in 25 years, as did Cumnock in East Ayrshire and the Western Isles.

Meanwhile, a woman has won a seat in on the local council in East Ayrshire running on a platform to tidy up the local area. Otherwise known as a bin platform.

Declaration for Ward 6 Irvine Valley ...#LE2017

The results for each council were still coming in on Friday as, unlike the rest of the country, Scotland does not count overnight but instead started at 9am this morning.

Should the results continue in this pattern, it may signal a dramatic upturn in fortune for the Conservatives in Scotland ahead of the general election on 8 June, in no small part due to the influence of Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson – who has ruled herself out of running for Westminster office.

Memo to @PeteWishart: Panda gag no longer viable. Repeat, panda gag no longer viable.

This is a breaking news story, please follow @BuzzFeedUKPolitics for updates.

Rose Troup Buchanan is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Rose Troup Buchanan at Rose.Buchanan@BuzzFeed.com.

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