SNP targeting 2012 local authority elections as Unionist bloc vote erodes

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Analysis of all local authority by-elections since the May 2011 Scottish Parliament elections shows the momentum behind the SNP has continued since the party’s historic victory last month, with voters backing SNP candidates in local by-elections across Scotland.

The SNP enjoyed continued success in the City Centre Ward in Edinburgh on Friday and analysis of the combined vote in all the by-elections which have taken place since May’s election show significant swings of 4.16% from Labour, 6.03% from the Conservatives and an astonishing 10.68% from the Liberal Democrats.

The SNP has gained two seats in the five by-elections held since the elections and seen its support increase by almost 11% since the last Local Authority Elections.

Following the SNP’s victory in Friday’s by-election the current Lib Dem Cllr for the area revealed he would be standing down in May.  One City Lib Dem has joined the SNP and another 3 including the Lord Provost, Education and Finance Conveners have already indicated they will leave in May.

Commenting on the analysis SNP Campaign Director Angus Robertson MP said:

“These are very encouraging results for the SNP showing that our momentum continues since May 5th.

“With the local authority elections taking place in less than twelve months the support of the public for SNP councillors and candidates is a very encouraging sign.

“Our positive message and positive vision for the future has been backed by people across Scotland. The electorate have chosen to put faith and trust into the SNP because the SNP has faith and trust in them.

“In Government and in councils we will continue to work hard to make Scotland better and repay the trust given to us.”

The growth in support for the SNP is in contrast to the humiliating collapse of the Lib Dems, both in the capital and across the country.  The Lib Dem candidate was the first to be knocked out of Friday’s Edinburgh by-election and a senior councillor from the party subsequently announced that he would not stand next year.

Commenting on the problems facing the Lib Dems, SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central Marco Biagi added:

“It is clear from Friday’s result that there is no love left for the Lib Dems in Edinburgh.  Lib Dem Councillors across the city have clearly seen the writing on the wall and are not willing to stand and fight for a party which has abandoned its principles.

“Across Scotland in May Lib Dems disappointed with their party’s actions in coalition with the Tories turned to the SNP to support their ideas and principles. As the new leadership at Holyrood walks further away from those values of federalism and home rule it is no surprise more Lib Dems are walking away from their party.”