As-it-happened: Scottish council election results

Key points

  • The fate of more than 1,200 council seats in Scotland was revealed during a Friday results day.
  • Electors went to the polls on Thursday in a Scotland-wide election to decide all 32 of the country's councils.
  • The proportional representation system of STV was used instead of the first-past-the-post system, which is used for other elections.
  • As in England, the Lib Dems had a bad election - losing seats to both the SNP and Labour.
  • The Tories also lost seats in the council contest.
  • Labour did well in Scotland's biggest cities - securing overall control of Glasgow and being the biggest party in Edinburgh.

Live text


  • Steven Brocklehurst 
  • Deirdre Kelly 
  • Andrew Black 

Last updated 4 May 2012


Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the Scottish council elections. Counting is under way to decide the outcome of more than 1,200 seats belonging to the country's 32 local authorities.


Lorraine Davidson said she was looking to see if the SNP could continue its momentum in the cities, especially Glasgow - Labour's heartland. She said the STV (Single Transferable Vote) election system would count against their ability to win overall majorities.


Ewan Crawford said he would be surprised if there was any council which had any one party in overall control after the election. He said the STV system brought up strange alliances such as Labour and the SNP sharing power in East Renfrewshire. In other parts of Scotland, Labour and the Tories have been sharing power.


Andrew Black, Political reporter, BBC Scotland

Turnout could be a big issue in these elections.

Here are some facts....

  • For the 2012 election, there were about four million eligible voters and there were 550,000 postal votes.
  • The last time there were stand-alone elections in Scotland, in 1995, 44.9% of the electorate came out to vote.

This year, could that figure be as low as 30%?


The last time electronic counting was used at a Scottish election there were 142,000 spoilt ballot papers. That was in the vote for the Scottish Parliament in 2007. Ewan Crawford said these elections had been "decoupled" from the Scottish Parliament vote as a consequence of that fiasco. He said the returning officers were "pretty confident" it would go well this time.


Lorraine Davidson said that at the Scottish Parliament elections last year the Liberal Democrats did very badly and a large proportion of their votes went to the SNP.


Andrew Black, Political reporter, BBC Scotland

Clackmannanshire Council, one of Scotland's smallest local authorities, reckons it will start declaring results from about 10:30


@BBCRaymondB tweets: Huddling round the adjudication screen at the Glasgow count.#bbcvote2012

Huddling round the adjudication screen at the Glasgow count Huddling round the adjudication screen at the Glasgow count


There has a 41% turn out across Highland Council's 22 wards.


Andrew Black, Political reporter, BBC Scotland

Voter turnout in Argyll and Bute is put at 47.7% - in terms of the Scottish picture, that could be at the higher end of the scale, although its still early days yet.