Scottish Borders local election results explained

The Scottish Conservatives got 14 seats in the Scottish Borders

It's all over bar the wrangling over a cup of tea or two.

Despite fears their seat tally would be badly hit by the partygate revelations involving Boris Johnson, the Scottish Tories live to fight another day on Scottish Borders council.

With the final results declared, the Conservatives were down just one seat to 14 councillors, no change for the SNP on nine, three Liberal Democrats (up one), one Green - the first on the council - and seven independents, down one.

Which puts the Tories in pole position to retain control of the council and key leadership positions, but does not make that inevitable.

A lot will depend on the independents, who the Tories would most likely have to rely on to take control. 

Will the seven independents come together to form one group, or just a loser 'alliance' of some kind?

Or might there be an independent group, made up of most of them, and independents independent of the independent group? Confused? You might well be. 

What we do know is that nothing is likely to be finally settled over the weekend.

Come Monday the various groups and the independents will come together to try to hammer out some kind of deal.

As the Tory leader, Mark Rowley, put it, with some new faces on the council, and slightly changed group numbers, they all need to spend some time "over a cup of tea" and try to work something out.

An alternative to the option of the Tories and the independents coming to some deal would be a 'rainbow coalition' - some combination of the SNP, independents, Liberal Democrats and Greens.

However, speaking to some Liberal Democrats at the count in Kelso this afternoon, they did not seem very enthusiastic about that.

But their Scottish party leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has said during the campaign his party would not rule coalitions on councils if they benefited local people. So it has not been ruled out. 

And there's at least one other possibility - a 'confidence and supply' deal between the Tories and the Lib Dems. The Lib Dems would vote with the Tories if there were confidence motion in the administration, but extract concessions issue by issue, as would other parties.

It could well be the middle of next week before anything is settled. There's a lot riding on those chats over the cups of tea.