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SNP secure majority administration in Dundee

The SNP party celebrating a majority win in Dundee.
The SNP party celebrating a majority win in Dundee.

The SNP took majority control of Dundee City Council in a result the party said was a reflection of their “incredible track record”.

The nationalists just got over the line to form an administration on their own after winning 15 councillors out of 29.

Despite being the only party standing in the election with enough candidates to win a majority, the SNP still had to undergo a tough battle to ensure they no longer need to depend on the support of an independent to maintain control.

Commenting on the win, reinstated council leader John Alexander said it’s “astounding” to see the SNP increasing it’s vote after 10 years in power.

John Alexander takes a selfie with the SNP group as they celebrate a majority win.

He said: “It’s absolutely incredible, I’m so proud of the team, they’ve worked so hard to get this result and of course very few councils have a majority administration led by the SNP and I think that’s just an incredible track record.

“What this has proved is we’ve got it right – we’ve been able to articulate what we’ve delivered over a ten-year term.

“If you look at some recent stats, employment is up by 9.8%, the huge improvements across education for example, those are the bread and butter issues that matter to people so we’ve delivered on that front.

“I’m so proud of the team but I’m so thankful to the people in Dundee for showing us that trust and hopefully we can repay that over the next five years.”

Majority secured in the West End

Newcomer Nadia El-Nakla secured a seat in the West End ward ensuring the SNP would have a majority.

Labour and Conservatives faced some difficult loses throughout the day, with Donald Hay (Conservative) and Richard McCready (Labour) losing their seats in the West End.

The shock of Mr McCready’s defeat was felt throughout the party with Strathmartine councillor Kevin Keenan and MSP Michael Marra commenting on the disappointing outcome after Mr McCready’s 15 years in the council.

Nadia El-Nakla celebrates with other candidates as she secures the winning seat for SNP.

Mr Marra, who stepped down as a councillor in this year’s election, said: “We’ve lost a brilliant councillor in Richard McCready in the West End and that’s a real disappointment – I think not just for the Labour party but for the city.

“I hope that there’s a change in direction within the administration because of the level of incompetence in the management of the finances in the city, the closure of the Olympia, the scandals that are around all of that, [and the] roofing problems.

“We need to make sure that we have a really robust opposition to hold them to account and that’s what Labour will continue to do.”

Controversial Siobhan Tolland secures seat

Despite controversies this year, Siobhan Tolland managed to achieve a seat in the Lochee ward.

The nationalist party faced demands earlier in the year to drop the councillor in the election comments emerged from postings online 12 years ago.

The SNP previously said she had apologised for the posts, including comments about the Pope, and claimed they did not “accurately reflect her views”.

Lib Dems take over Lord Provost’s seat

People were also eager to see who would secure the vacant seat in Strathmartine after former Lord Provost, Ian Borthwick, stepped down from his duties after almost 60 years in council.

In the last election, the SNP relied on the Independent councillor after he lent his support to the party to form an administration.

And it was Liberal Democrat, Daniel Coleman, who secured the seat after a tight defeat when he stood in the 2017 elections.

Liberal Democrat, Daniel Coleman, celebrated as he secured a seat in Strathmartine.

Following his victory, Daniel said: “It’s been a long time of a campaign and it was very close in the previous election – it was eight votes short despite being ahead of first preferences at that time so it was very difficult.

“But I’m very much feeling a sense of indication after the disappointment of five years ago and it’s certainly given a cause to celebrate.

“I know I’ve got big shoes to fill and I’ll do all the best I can.”

The final results across the board in Dundee saw 15 seats for SNP, nine seats for Labour, four seats for Liberal Democrats and one seat for Conservative.

ANALYSIS: Derek Healey on the SNP’s greater goal

The looks on their faces say it all.

It was never in any doubt that the SNP would claim victory in Dundee but party insiders had their eye on an even greater goal.

The STV voting system is specifically designed to prevent any single party from being able to win a majority.

The SNP were the only one in Dundee to even try but getting over that line meant making progress in at least one of two key wards – the West End and the Ferry.

The victory of newcomer Nadia El-Nakla, who lives in the city with her husband Humza Yousaf – the SNP health secretary, was met with elation.

It was the first major sign that the party was on its way to a big victory – confirmed later when Kevin Cordell held on to his Ferry seat.

It is a remarkable achievement after more than a decade in administration but the people of Dundee will expect the SNP to deliver after such strong backing.

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