Nicola Sturgeon hails 'emphatic' SNP election results

Nicola Sturgeon hails 'emphatic' SNP election results

Nicola Sturgeon hails 'emphatic' SNP election results

So, even if the SNP's performance in the local elections may not necessarily signal a sharp decline in the party's prospects for June's general election across Scotland as a whole, it does look as though the party's position has weakened significantly in the north east.

The former SNP leader said: "I think most people would have said that was a bad decision for the Prime Minister to break her word on the election, but as my dad always says you play the ball as it lies, and where the ball lies is we're fighting an election campaign and we intend to fight it and to win it".

As a result, the Tories increased their number of councillors in Moray from three to eight, while the SNP dropped from 11 to 9.

Ms Sturgeon, the SNP leader and First Minister, said: "The SNP has won the election in Scotland and won it loud and clear".

Equally, the official tally of the parties' share of the first preference vote across Scotland as a whole, which was published today by Elections Scotland, confirms that the SNP was well ahead of the rest of the pack. "In a first-past-the-post General Election, it's now abundantly clear it is only Labour that can defeat the SNP in these seats".

But then Tories should beware of making their own mistakes when it comes to expectation management.

The general election for Scottish voters would be a straight choice between the Conservatives, who are likely to win power at Westminster on the back of their support in England, and the SNP, who would "stand up for Scotland's interests", she said.

"When it comes down to it, they will be backing the SNP all the way as we see time and again in parliament".

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Ms Sturgeon said the election results showed the SNP in the ascendency north of the border, with Tories and Labour "scrapping for second place".

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale told the BBC News Channel: "I know they (the SNP) are screaming and shouting just now and delighting in the result, but the reality is the SNP took every single seat in that city in 2015, every single seat in 2016, they should have walked it".

Nevertheless, the SNP (slightly) overplayed its hand in this election, giving the impression it would win overall control of local authorities in Aberdeen and Glasgow.

John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University and one of the most respected figures in analysing Scottish election results, said the party could struggle significantly more in the region than elsewhere.

Speaking at the count in Edinburgh, Ms Davidson said: "I would like to thank everyone yesterday who went out and voted Scottish Conservative".

"We won the local government election in Gordon this week, beating the SNP into second place".

"I will always put the people of Moray and the people of Scotland first".

Nicola Sturgeon will be in Perth on Monday to tell voters the SNP will "deliver for Scotland".

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