Countdowns begin for Scotland’s 32 local authorities

Counts are set to begin in Scotland’s 32 local authorities as the country awaits the outcome of local elections on Thursday.

The results are expected to be delivered throughout Friday afternoon, with some 1,227 councilors up for election.

The counting centers in each communal area will use an electronic counting system to determine the results.

The STV (single transferable vote) system used in local government polls in Scotland makes it difficult for parties to gain overall control of councils, meaning there will most likely be talks after results are announced for determine whether parties can operate as minority administrations, or whether local coalitions can be formed.

The counting process in the STV system also takes longer than those used in the general election or the Scottish Parliamentary elections, meaning that results are not declared as quickly as they are in other systems.

(PA graphics)

However, some council wards already know who will represent their local authority due to a lack of candidates in the area.

Three wards in the Western Isles, two wards in Shetland and one each in the Highlands, Moray and Inverclyde have already elected their councillors, with candidates standing in those selected wards on Thursday.

Polls taken before the vote suggested the Scottish Conservatives could fall to third place, with Labor overtaking them for second place.

This year’s election campaign has been dominated by issues such as the cost of living crisis, which has been high on the agenda of many voters.

In the last municipal elections in 2017, the SNP secured 431 council seats while the Conservatives saw 276 councilors elected – just ahead of Labour, which elected 262 representatives.

A total of 172 independent councilors were elected, along with 67 Liberal Democrats and 19 Greens.

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