CSPP’s Richard Kerley and Polling Expert John Curtice Discuss Scotland’s Local Government Elections

CSPP’s Professor Richard Kerley and Strathclyde University’s Professor John Curtice were recently interviewed on BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland regarding the May 2017 Scottish local government elections.

Professor Curtice commented that the elections look set to confirm the trend whereby Scottish Labour’s vote is squeezed in favour of the Scottish National Party and a resurgent Conservative Party. This would have a significant effect on the political control of local councils across Scotland, particularly in currently Labour-controlled councils such as Glasgow.

Meanwhile, CSPP Chair Richard Kerley suggested that as there is already a great variety in the political groupings and coalitions which run Scotland’s councils, he did not envisage a great change in the way local services are governed as a result of the election. While a rise in the number of majority controlled councils could lead to greater change, it was felt that an increase in the number of mixed-controlled councils was more likely.

Professor Curtice added to this analysis that if the SNP should emerge to hold majority control of up to half a dozen councils, including in Scotland’s major cities, then this would entail a change in the relationship between local and central government, with the SNP also holding power in Holyrood. It was posited that this could potentially generate greater political difficulties around any future cuts to local government budgets.  

The full interview can be heard here from 1:54:20. 

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