The Scottish National Party (SNP) have come away from North Ayrshire Council’s election having gained the most seats of any party.

Though whether they will be able to take control of the council will not be decided until May 18.

The 33 seats were split largely amongst three parties, with the SNP taking 12 seats – a gain of one from 2017, the Conservative and Unionist party taking 10 – a gain of three from 2017, and Scottish Labour taking nine – a loss of two from 2017.

While the remaining two seats were taken by independent candidates – Donald L Reid and Ian Murdoch.

To take control of North Ayrshire Council, an agreement must now be reached amongst all parties – which is certain to throw up some interesting scenarios.

 

Party by party summary:

 

The SNP

 

The big winners on the day were clearly the SNP, who picked up the most seats of any party.

They picked up multiple seats across four of the nine wards: Saltcoats and Stevenston, the North Coast, the Garnock Valley and Irvine West.

While only gaining one seat from the last local election, it was enough to see the party take the most seats and SNP councillors will be walking away pleased with today’s result.

 

The Conservative and Unionist Party

 

The big gain in today’s election came from the Conservative and Unionist Party, obtaining three more seats than they did in the last election.

While they only returned two councillors in one ward (the North Coast) they performed consistently in all nine, returning a seat in every ward.

They also become the second largest party in North Ayrshire, overtaking Scottish Labour.

They are now certain to have a big say in who takes control of the council, if of course they do not themselves.

 

Scottish Labour Party

 

The biggest loss was clearly by Scottish Labour, who controlled the council before today, but have now slipped to be the third largest party.

They returned multiple councillors in two wards: Saltcoats and Stevenston as well as Kilwinning, though failed to pick up a seat in two wards.

Despite having the least seats of the three major parties, they will still undoubtedly hold a lot of power in terms of who will take control of the council – if anyone can take control at all that is.

 

Independents

 

Independent councillors saw some of the most familiar faces miss out, all in wards who have seen their boundaries change recently.

While Donald L Reid and Ian Murdoch won their seats comfortably, Robert Barr, Ronnie McNicol and Jimmy Miller – who were all part of the previous council – all missed out.

With 17 seats needed for a majority, it is unlikely any party looking to take control of the council will be able to do so with only the support of independent candidates.

 

Who missed out?

 

As mentioned above, the most well-known figures who missed out on a seat were all independent candidates.

In the Garnock Valley, North Ayrshire’s former deputy provost Robert Barr lost his seat, having previously held one in the old West Kilbride and Dalry ward.

While two independent candidates missed out in the Saltcoats and Stevenston ward.

Former old people’s champion Jimmy Miller lost his seat, meaning his role will now have to be filled by another councillor.

Well-known local Ronnie McNicol also missed out, in one of the days closest calls. He has been particularly vocal in past council meetings of his disagreement with the site chosen for the new Ardrossan Academy campus.

 

Key battle grounds

 

While some wards may be seen as ‘predictable’ there were some key wards which ultimately decided who took the most seats from this election.

Arran – Its own ward for the first time, Timothy Billings took the first ever Arran ward seat for the Conservative and Unionist Party. His victory over in this ward is surely one of the main reasons that his party secured more seats than Scottish Labour.

Irvine West – The SNP returned two councillors in this ward, which went a long way in securing their victory. It was hard fought and SNP councillor  Shaun Macaulay said they had been “working so hard” for this.

Kilwinning – One of only two wards which Scottish Labour secured two seats, it was also a victory in the sense that it stopped the SNP picking up two seats in the process, and a larger margin of victory.

North Coast – If one ward can be seen as the place where the Conservative’s secured winning more seats than Labour it’s the North Coast. While they returned two councillors, Labour returned none, pushing them two seats ahead of Labour with one ward left to be declared.

Saltcoats and Stevenston – Both Labour and the SNP returned two councillors here, which was huge for both parties. However, with the Conservative’s securing a seat here also, it secured their tenth seat, one more than Labour. Having previously had no seats in either Saltcoats or Stevenston when they were a separate ward, this was a big win for the party.

 

Summary of Results (as they came in)

 

Ardrossan

Stewart Ferguson (Conservative & Unionist)

Tony Gurney (Scottish National Party)

Amanda Kerr (Scottish Labour Party)

Irvine Times: Ardrossan's new councillorsArdrossan's new councillors

Arran

Timothy Billings (Conservative and Unionist Party)

Irvine Times: Arran's new councillor Timothy BillingsArran's new councillor Timothy Billings

Garnock Valley

John Bell (Scottish Labour Party)

Anthea Dickson (SNP)

Magaret Johnson (SNP)

Ronnie Stalker (Conservative and Unionist Party)

Donald L Reid (Independent)

Irvine Times:

Irvine East

Marie Burns (SNP)

Nairn McDonald (Labour and Co-operative Party)

Angela Stephen (Conservative and Unionist Party)

Irvine Times: Irvine East's three successful candidatesIrvine East's three successful candidates

Irvine South

Robert Foster (Scottish Labour Party)

Christina Larsen (SNP)

Matthew McLean (Conservative and Unionist party)

Irvine Times: The three victorious Irvine South councillorsThe three victorious Irvine South councillors

Irvine West

Shaun Macaulay (SNP)

Louise McPhater (Scottish Labour Party)

Scott Gallacher (Conservative and Unionist Party)

Chloe Roberstson (SNP)

Irvine Times: Irvine West's new councillors (minus Louise McPhater)Irvine West's new councillors (minus Louise McPhater)

Kilwinning

Joe Cullinane (Labour and Co-operative Party)

Scott Davidson (SNP)

John Glover (Conservative and Unionist Party)

Donald Reid (Labour and Co-operative Party)

Irvine Times: Your new Kilwinning councillorsYour new Kilwinning councillors

North Coast

Ian Murdoch (Independent)

Todd Ferguson (Conservative and Unionist Party)

Tom Marshall (Conservative and Unionist Party)

Alan Hill (SNP)

Eleanor Collier (SNP)

Irvine Times: The five councillors elected in the North Coast wardThe five councillors elected in the North Coast ward

Saltcoats and Stevenston

Jean McClung (SNP)

Davina McTiernan (SNP)

Cameron Inglis (Conservative and Unionist Party)

Jim Montgomery (Scottish Labour Party)

John Sweeney (Scottish Labour Party)

Irvine Times: Saltcoats and Stevenston's councillors, minus Jim MontgomerySaltcoats and Stevenston's councillors, minus Jim Montgomery