Tories claim they could win 15 seats in Scotland at general election

Theresa May has sought to play down talk of a landslide general election victory after the Conservatives made major gains at local elections, BBC News reports.

Counting continues this afternoon but gains by the SNP and Tories mean Labour can no longer win an overall majority on Glasgow city council, which had been a heartland area of local government.

The local election results saw the SNP lose just seven seats, while the Tories gained 164, mainly at the expense of Labour who lost 133.

But even if everyone who voted independent would have voted SNP in a general election (a highly improbable supposition), that clearly can not account for all of the difference between the two performances.

"We will lead the fightback against the SNP right across Scotland and we're going to fight on behalf of everyone".

VoteSNP on 8 June to stand against Tory cuts. On average the party's share of the vote has been up ten points on 2012 in such contests.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said the selection of Mr McDougall shows that her party is "fighting hard to deliver a Labour government on the side of working people".

Meanwhile polls have warned that Labour, which won a majority in four councils five years ago, could be facing "heavy losses".


Ms Davidson said her party will "speak up for the millions of Scots who have had enough of the uncertainty and division of the last few years" and "stand up for everyone who doesn't want a second referendum on independence".

Over one in ten votes on Thursday were cast for independent candidates - in the Highlands and the Islands in particular, council elections are often still genuinely local rather than partisan battles. It is pretty clear that Theresa May, on the strength of support in England, is going to win the general election.

"The results like this across Scotland are a real springboard to beat the SNP where we are challenging them on 8 June", he said. Labour shed 112 councillors to trail in third on 262, losing control of three councils.

Last week's results followed a campaign by the Tories focused on opposition to a second referendum - a message they will carry through their General Election campaign in the weeks ahead.

"There were a lot of people who voted for us for the very first time and what I would say is that every single Conservative councillor who has been elected across Scotland will absolutely work so hard to put local services first and not drag us back to any more constitutional division".

A spokesperson for Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson downplayed the "good" results, telling the Guardian the party was "coming from an incredibly low base".

The Conservatives are bidding to oust a number of high-profile nationalists, including Westminster leader Angus Robertson, former first minister Alex Salmond, and Pete Wishart, the chair of the Scottish Affairs Committee, in the General Election.


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