The SNP have retained their status as the largest party on Glasgow City Council after a nail-biting finish to the election.

Ina day of political drama not seen at an election count in Glasgow for decades, the outcome came down to the final declaration just before 5pm at the Emirates Arena, with Labour and the SNP nervously waiting for the Maryhill ward to declare.

After a day of close declarations Labour and the SNP were neck and neck going into the final few ward counts.

The final result was SNP 37 Labour 36, Greens 10 Conservatives 2.

In the final count in Maryhill, the SNP won two seats to Labour’s one.

Glasgow Times:

The result went down to the final transfer of votes when the green candidate was eliminated giving the SNP enough to get a second councillor elected.

The SNP lost two form the last election, Labour gained five, the Greens gained three and the Tories lost six.

The result leaves the Greens in position of holding the balance of power with 43 seats needed to from a majority administration.

It means talks will now take place between the parties in an attempt to form a stable administration. The SNP and Greens are expected to begin talks to agree a way forward over the next few days.

Labour are also expecting to be involved in talks with the Greens before any formal arrangement is agreed.

Susan Aitken said she expects to continue as SNP Group leader and to go into eh talks with the Greens, despite losing seats and only narrowly holding on.

She said: “We’ve got a brilliant mixture of experience and fresh blood and I’m excited about this group.

“We have worked well with Green colleagues and I’m confident we will have conversations. There’s goodwill on both sides. There is more in common than differences.” On her own position she said she is not expecting change.

Ms Aitken said: “There’s a group meeting tomorrow (Saturday). It is not my expectation that Myself and Ricky Bell will be anything other than leader and deputy leader.”

On how the talks could progress she added: “Let’s let the dust settle. There are conversations to be had.”

While the results were coming in there was room set aside for talks between parties at the counting hall but it was not used.

Ms Aitken maintained it was a victory for the SNP.

She said: “Labour threw everything at this election, with all the resources of the British party. But ultimately, they failed and we remain the biggest party.

“I’m disappointed to be losing three brilliant colleagues and I will miss them enormously. But we are only down two seats from the 2017 election.

Labour while at the end were disappointed not to have taken over as the biggest party, were pleased with the outcome and running the SNP so close.

Malcolm Cunning, Labour group leader, said: We were ahead in many seats and we ran them close in every other seat.

Glasgow Times:

The Greens had a good day and the SNP suffered. There is an element of dissatisfaction with how the city has been run.”

The councillor for Linn, who was comfortably reelected, said it looks good for the future for Labour in Glasgow.

He said: “It is a hell of a platform to build on. There are seats in a general election we would be on course to win.”

One of the upsets was SNP stalwart Mhairi Hunter losing her seat in Southside Central.

Mr Cunning said: “In the heartland of Nicola Sturgeon, that is an astonishing result. In those parts of the southside is where some of the areas most affected by the neglect are to be found.”

With the result being so close, the Labour man was not ready to give up ambitions of taking control.

He said: “There will be discussions. I’m not conceding at this stage the SNP will form an administration.”