Labour thinks it can win back seats in Glasgow from SNP

Roger Mullin

The Tories will be the story in Scotland this weekend.

Liberal Democrats improved by one point to 9% and Ukip were unchanged on 7% - however the figure was released before the humiliating losses during local elections. They go into with 54 - and most of them with large majorities.

The Tories also earned more first preference votes than the SNP in Gordon, where the former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond is the incumbent MP.

Meanwhile, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson will urge Scots to "bring the SNP down to size" on 8 June. In fact they are looking forward to it, for two reasons.

The local government results will be added to data gathered by the party through months of canvassing, with Ms Davidson admitting activists will now be "fighting hard in places that we perhaps hadn't targeted before at a General Election".

Aitken says she is exploring a deal with Glasgow's seven Green councillors, which would give the administration 46 votes, against Labour's 31 and the Conservatives' seven.

It shows that the Tories could be set to unseat SNP depute leader Angus Robertson in Moray.

But coverage of the contest there has overlooked a number of factors.

He said it would be a "major moment" for the SNP if it wins power in the "iconic" city of Glasgow, which has been part of Labour's traditional Scottish heartlands.

"The difference between the Tories and the SNP couldn't be clearer".

The other three rebel councils, in all of which the SNP are now the biggest group, are expected to follow suit. They want to pick fights with Europe.

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The SNP have all but given up on the two seats that sound like electronic acts in the pop charts - WAK and BRS. The youngster has failed to make his mark since getting elected and the Tories won in the same area at the Holyrood elections previous year.

In Perth and North Perthshire, for example, the Conservatives need a nine percent swing to unseat Scottish affairs select committee chairman Pete Wishart, and they managed nearly 13% in parts of his constituency.

Labour too will watch results around East Renfewshire. "And yet they lost the election yesterday".

An SNP spokesman said: "This is deluded fantasy from Labour after they took such a hammering in last week's local elections - losing 132 councillors across Scotland".

"There are 10 Tories and two independent members, those two independents may decide they'd prefer to work with Labour".

The Lib Dems increased their share of the vote by 7% but lost more than 40 seats. The whispers coming out of SNP HQ are that they are anxious.

"If you're going to put a single issue at the centre of your own campaign, then you lose the election, then you're left with a bit of egg on your face and I think the Tories have egg on their face on that question this morning".

The breakdown of total votes cast and percentages achieved by parties in last week's local elections is a useful guide to the political mood.

In the blue corner: Ruth Davidson.

The First Minister and SNP leader arrived at her local polling station in Glasgow at 8am on Thursday, accompanied by her husband Peter Murrell - who is the party's chief executive.

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