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Scottish local elections, 2007

Scottish local elections, 2007

3 May 2007 (2007-05-03)

All 1,222 seats to Scottish councils
  First party Second party
Leader Alex Salmond Jack McConnell
Party SNP Labour
Leader since 3 September 2004 22 November 2001
Last election 181 seats, 24.08% 509 seats, 32.62%
Seats won 363 348
Seat change Increase182 Decrease161
First preferences 585,885 590,085
First preferences (%) 27.90 28.10
Swing (pp) Increase3.82 Decrease4.52

  Third party Fourth party
Leader Annabel Goldie Nicol Stephen
Party Conservative Liberal Democrats
Leader since 31 October 2005 27 June 2005
Last election 122 seats, 15.08% 175 seats, 14.5%
Seats won 143 166
Seat change Increase21 Decrease9
First preferences 327,591 266,693
First preferences (%) 15.60 12.70
Swing (pp) Increase0.52 Decrease1.80

Colours denote the winning party with outright control

Colours denote the party with the most seats

The Scottish local elections, 2007 were held on 3 May 2007, the same day as Scottish Parliament elections and local elections in parts of England. All 32 Scottish councils had all their seats up for election – all Scottish councils are unitary authorities.


  • Background 1
  • eCounting fiasco 2
  • Party performance 3
  • Results 4
  • Councils 5
  • Notes and references 6


This was the first election for local government in Great Britain to use the Single Transferable Vote (the system is used in Northern Ireland), as implemented by the Local Governance (Scotland) Act 2004. The new electoral system resulted in most councils being under no overall control.

eCounting fiasco

Scanners supplied by DRS Data Services Limited of Milton Keynes, in partnership with Electoral Reform Services (ERS), the trading arm of the Electoral Reform Society, were used to electronically count the paper ballots in both the Scottish council elections and the Scottish Parliament general election.[1][2]

Because of the fiasco in 2007 of holding parliamentary (Holyrood) and local elections simultaneously, the following Scottish local elections were held in 2012 instead of 2011.

Party performance

The Labour party lost control of all but two of its councils, Glasgow and North Lanarkshire, but received the largest number of votes, while the SNP were the main beneficiaries of the new voting system, picking over 180 new seats. The Scottish Greens elected their first-ever councillors, winning eight seats.


 Summary of the 3 May 2007 Scottish council election results[3]
Votes %
Labour 590,085 28.1 −4.5% 348 −161
SNP 585,885 27.9 +3.8% 363 +182
Conservative 327,591 15.6 +0.5% 143 +21
Liberal Democrats 266,693 12.7 −1.8% 166 −9
Independent 228,894 10.9 +0.8% 192 −38
Other 102,897 4.9 +1.3% 10[5] +6
Total 2,099,945 1,222
Party Councils - majority Councils - in coalition/minority Councillors
SNP 0 11 363
Labour 2 11 348
Liberal Democrats 0 12 166
Conservative 0 8 143
Scottish Green 0 0 8
Scottish Socialist 0 0 1
Solidarity 0 0 1
Other 3 9 192[6]
No overall control 27 - -


The notional results in the following table are based on a document that John Curtice and Stephen Herbert (Professors at the University of Strathclyde) produced on 3 June 2005, calculating the effect of the introduction of the Single Transferable Vote on the 2003 Scottish Local Elections.[7]

Council 2003 result Notional control
(based on 2003 results)
2007 result Details
Aberdeen City No overall control (LD + Con) NOC No overall control (LD + SNP) Details
Aberdeenshire No overall control (LD + Ind) NOC No overall control (LD + Con) Details
Angus SNP NOC No overall control (Ind + Con + LD + Lab) Details
Argyll and Bute Independent Independent No overall control (Ind + SNP) Details
Clackmannanshire Labour NOC Labour (Lab minority) Details
Dumfries and Galloway Labour (Lab minority[8]) NOC No overall control (Con + LD) Details
Dundee City No overall control (Lab + LD+ Con) NOC No overall control (Lab + LD+ Con) Details
East Ayrshire Labour Labour SNP (SNP minority) Details
East Dunbartonshire Liberal Democrats (LD minority[9]) NOC No overall control (Lab + Con) Details
East Lothian Labour NOC No overall control (SNP + LD) Details
East Renfrewshire No overall control (Lab + LD) NOC No overall control (Lab + LD + Ind + Con) Details
City of Edinburgh Labour (Lab minority[10]) NOC No overall control (LD + SNP) Details
Falkirk No overall control (SNP + Ind + Con) NOC No overall control (Lab + Ind + Con) Details
Fife Labour (Lab minority[11]) NOC No overall control (LD + SNP) Details
Glasgow City Labour Labour Labour Details
Highland Independent Independent No overall control (Ind + SNP) Details
Inverclyde Liberal Democrats NOC Labour (Lab minority) Details
Midlothian Labour NOC Labour (Lab minority) Details
Moray Independent Independent No overall control (Ind + Con) Details
Na h-Eileanan Siar Independent Independent Independent Details
North Ayrshire Labour Labour Labour (Lab minority) Details
North Lanarkshire Labour Labour Labour Details
Orkney Independent Independent Independent Details
Perth and Kinross No overall control (SNP + LD + Ind) NOC No overall control (SNP + LD) Details
Renfrewshire Labour NOC No overall control (SNP + LD) Details
Scottish Borders No overall control (Ind + Con) NOC No overall control (Ind + Con + LD) Details
Shetland Independent Independent Independent Details
South Ayrshire Conservative (Con minority[12]) NOC Conservative (Con minority) Details
South Lanarkshire Labour Labour Labour (Lab minority) Details
Stirling Labour (Lab minority[13]) NOC Labour (Lab minority) Details
West Dunbartonshire Labour Labour No overall control (SNP + Ind) Details
West Lothian Labour NOC No overall control (SNP + Ind) Details

Notes and references

  1. ^ "Electronic counting to take over from tellers at elections", The Scotsman, 19 April 2006
  2. ^ "Green light for DRS & ERS to deliver e-Count for 2007 Scottish Elections", press release, DRS Data Services Limited
  3. ^ Figures from the Electoral Commission's Scottish Parliamentary and local elections 2007 statutory report
  4. ^ Votes for parties are back-calculated from percentages and the total vote, so are subject to rounding error
  5. ^ 8 Scottish Green Party, 1 Scottish Socialist and 1 Solidarity councillor. Separate vote figures not found
  6. ^ 193 according to the BBC website
  7. ^
  8. ^ Labour minority control. The council was previously run by a coalition of Scottish Liberal Democrats, Independents and the SNP.
  9. ^ Liberal Democrats lack a majority (LD: 12 councillors; opposition: 12 councillors)
  10. ^ Labour lack a majority, after by election loss to Scottish National Party (Lab: 29 councillors; opposition: 29 councillors)
  11. ^ Labour minority administration
  12. ^ Conservative and Unionist control, on a cut of the cards (Con: 15 councillors; opposition: 15 councillors)
  13. ^ Labour lack a majority, after by election loss to Scottish National Party (Lab: 11 councillors; opposition: 11 councillors)
Preceded by
Scottish local elections, 2003
Scottish local elections Succeeded by
Scottish local elections, 2012
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