It is not often that a political party continues to win elections after ten years in Government. In fact, it is almost unheard of. Yet that is exactly what happened yesterday as the SNP swept across the country, becoming the largest party in 19 of 32 Councils and increasing the total number of SNP Councillors.
The people of Scotland have had ten years to see what we are capable of in the SNP and they have decided once again that they like what they see.
The SNP have won 431 seats to the Tories’ 276 (Almost all of which came from hardline unionists abandoning Labour in droves) and have become the largest party in the four biggest cities in Scotland.
In Glasgow, a city which has been voting for Labour for 80 years, saw the fate of Labour sealed. A humiliating collapse of their vote to the Tories and loss of the Council to the SNP have consigned Labour in Scotland and their horrendous mismanagement to the people of Glasgow to the history books – where they belong.
Now the city of Glasgow, like most Councils in Scotland, will have a tremendous team of SNP Councillors fighting to empower local communities and build the self-belief and trust that will help lead us towards independence for Scotland.
We in the SNP have made history once again.
As always though, there is another election around the corner and some of the results in the Council election show that we cannot afford to be complacent. With the self-inflicted demise of Labour the race is now between the SNP and the Tories. It is a straight fight between a progressive, optimistic and internationalist SNP who will stand up for Scotland, or the regressive, fearful and insular Tories who will dance to whatever tune Theresa May plays. It is a choice of baby boxes or rape clauses. A choice of hope for a better future or the brutality of more austerity for our poorest and most vulnerable.
It may sound clichéd but these next elections will have a huge impact on how protected the people of Scotland are and how well placed we are for another referendum when it comes. Let’s make sure we grab this opportunity with both hands. Let’s get out there and make history again.
Alex Kerr – SNP Youth Glasgow Convener