Sturgeon slams claims Tory surge could derail indyref2

Local election results matter

Mr Mackay, the Scottish finance secretary, added: "The SNP has won the local elections emphatically, with more seats than any other party, an increased and higher share of the vote than any other party and as the largest party in more councils than any other party".

But Labour said that the "Sturgeon surge has become the Sturgeon slump" and the party's leader in Scotland, Kezia Dugdale, told supporters "a vote for the Tories won't send Nicola Sturgeon a message - it will just send Theresa May back to Downing Street".

This leaves an interesting challenge ahead, whether the "old guard" coalition of a Labour/SNP administration will prevail, or whether the Conservatives can come to a working agreement with the two Indy councillors.

Indeed, as soon as Theresa May called a snap general election for June 8th the Scottish Conservative party simply rolled two campaigns into one.

During the campaign the Tories and the SNP effectively banned deals with each other, leaving Labour as their most credible partner. Although that marked the first time that the SNP had managed to outpoll Labour in local elections, the outcome was, in truth, widely regarded as a disappointment for the nationalists.

"Labour values must run through any deals: the defence of local services against cuts; and the proper funding of the services so many people rely on such as education and care for the elderly".

Meanwhile, leading pollster Professor John Curtice said claims of a Tory resurgence could be overblown - and that the contest to be Scotland's biggest pro-Union party was not yet won.

"It is now essential - more so than ever - that Scotland has a strong voice to stand up to the Tories".

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"Taking nothing away from the tremendous result they had in 2015, they then tried to do that thing where they made out that the SNP was Scotland and Scotland was the SNP. They're really angry at Nicola Sturgeon for trying to assimilate their vote for Remain as a proxy vote for independence when it was nothing of the sort".

Voters also backed the Tories in the Borders constituency of Berwickshire, Roxburgh & Selkirk, where first preference votes outstripped the SNP by 20 per cent.

"I think this (General Election) has the possibility to reshape not just the electoral map of Scotland, but the politics of Scotland and the framework of the question of constitution in Scotland.it's that important".

The SNP leader has framed the General Election as a choice between the Scottish Parliament's right to take decisions and the Conservative government at Westminster.

The First Minister insisted 8 June is the chance to put "Scotland's in Scotland's hands" and not those of Mrs May.

"Do we want to have strong voices standing up for Scotland?"

"SNP win local election in Scotland", declared a press release shortly before 6pm yesterday.

"As none of us are strong enough to win any of the seats in Kent on our own it is nearly as if they want the status quo of traditional party divides to remain and ensure another five years of Conservative government".

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