A THIRD of Glasgow’s ruling Labour councillors could be headed for the exit door amid fears they will be caught up in an “SNP tsunami”, according to party sources.

At least fifteen of the city’s 45 Labour councillors are believed to see their future elsewhere after last month’s crushing General Election defeat which saw the SNP take every Westminster seat in Glasgow. A majority of people in the city also voted for independence in last year’s referendum.

Three Labour councillors have told the Evening Times that they won’t put themselves forward for the council elections in 2017.

Another senior councillor is understood to have sounded out the SNP about a switch which would see them follow Councillor Stephen Dornan, who joined the Nationalists in February.

Several more current Labour councillors confirmed that they could walk away and senior Glasgow Labour sources suggested a dozen may not seek reselection.

Councillor Aileen Colleran has already signalled her intention to stand down and Sohan Singh is still suspended from the party.

With three sitting councillors aiming to become MSPs at next year’s Scottish Parliament elections – and council leader Gordon Matheson eyeing a place on the Glasgow Regional list as he bids to become Scottish Labour’s deputy leader - the group could be reduced by a third.

One departing Labour councillor, who asked not to be named, said: “The only thing the Labour Party has to its advantage, given the SNP tsunami that is happening at the moment, is incumbency. I would hope that would apply to an extent.

“I don’t know what anyone else’s reasons are for standing down but my reasons are nothing to do with the current political situation, they are purely personal.

“However, you cannot rely on the electorate, or the largesse of the leader, to give you an income and it’s fair to say there are at least a dozen Labour councillors considering their future.”

The party deselected 17 councillors before the 2012 local elections to make way for new talent.

An SNP source at Glasgow City Council said: “It is understandable Labour councillors are feeling unhappy after two major defeats in the city in the referendum and the Westminster elections, but it’s the lack of leadership and positive vision within the Labour group that really seems to be driving this mass desertion.

“Gordon Matheson gives the impression of being more interested in engineering himself a safe exit to Holyrood than addressing the problems in his own administration.

“It looks as though they’ll struggle to find enough credible candidates for the 2017 elections. In contrast, the SNP group has held a couple of informal briefing sessions for potential council candidates that have attracted over 100 members, even this far out from the council elections.”