In Scotland there are 32 local authority seats being contested. The proportional representation voting system in the country means a majority of councils are run by coalition or mixed party alliances - in Angus for example Labour, the Lib Dems, Conservatives and some independents are the current ruling parties.
Like the rest of the UK the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives are expected to get a poor showing in Scotland, but rather than the Labour gains we’ve seen elsewhere it’s likely to be the SNP who benefit from a Westminster Coalition protest north of the border.
The Nationalist party led by First Minister Alex Salmond are expected to consolidate their historic Holyrood Election result of last year with the snatching of Glasgow City Council from Labour hands. The city chambers in Glasgow have been under Labour rule almost uninterrupted since the 1930’s. It’s unlikely the SNP will achieve a majority rule in Glasgow but following last year’s Election result not many pundits are willing to write it off.
It would be a huge boost to the Nationalists and undoubtedly be read by the party as a sign they are on track to win the Independence referendum of 2014. However, that view may well be misplaced. It’s true that the party continues to gain support in Scotland - its’ membership is almost more than that of Scottish Labour, the Lib Dems and the Scottish Tories combined - however experts say that’s more to do with their record in Government and popular policies such as free prescriptions and hospital parking rather than a sign Scots want Independence.
This year there was no through the night count in Scotland so results will not start trickling in until mid-morning. The picture of how the country has voted should be clear by lunchtime. As those votes are counted it’s expected they will also point to a poor turnout at the ballot box.