Local election: SNP win most seats in North Lanarkshire, but fight to run the council is far from over

Will David Stocks be the next leader of North Lanarkshire Council?
Will David Stocks be the next leader of North Lanarkshire Council?

The SNP took one more seat than Labour at North Lanarkshire Council, however both parties are looking to form the new administration.

SNP group leader David Stocks was adamant there would be no coalition with the new Conservative group, but Labour leader Jim Logue refused to rule anything out at this stage.

The SNP won 33 seats to Labour’s 32, but the Conservatives pulled off a major shock having 10 councillors returned while there are two independents.

Councillors Stocks said: “As far I’m concerned we won the election in North Lanarkshire and it is our right to try to form the next administration.

“Obviously I’d hoped for a majority and I believe we would have got it had it not been for the Tories entering the fray in a big way.

“I have some people to speak to, but one thing I can say is we will not form a coalition with the Tories, as far as we’re concerned they have one policy and that is to stop an independence referendum.

“However, despite our differences all the parties are now going to have to find a way to work together and Jim Logue is certainly someone I intend to speak to over the weekend.”

Councillor Logue is still hopeful he can continue to lead an administration despite being at a numerical advantage.

He said: “There was no outright winner, the SNP have one more member, and that means we have to have a totally different mind-set.

“There are 10 Tories and two independent members, those two independents may decide they’d prefer to work with Labour.

“There are 77 members of North Lanarkshire council, the SNP have 33, so numerically they are not in a position to form an administration so I will meet with senior colleagues, we’ll sit down and look at the all the options while ruling nothing in and nothing out.”