Voters face straightforward choice between SNP and Tories - Nicola Sturgeon

Such an outcome would mean instability in the currency markets, a lack of status and clarity on trade and diplomatic limbo for the UK Government, British firms and nationals.

But Labour said that the "Sturgeon surge has become the Sturgeon slump" and the party's leader in Scotland, Kezia Dugdale, told supporters "a vote for the Tories won't send Nicola Sturgeon a message - it will just send Theresa May back to Downing Street".

The SNP has lost its overall majority in Dundee, although it remains the largest party there with 14 councillors.

"Across Scotland, there has been a clear backlash against the SNP's plans for a divisive second independence referendum and anger over the SNP's woeful record running our schools, hospitals and public services".

"We are determined to speak up for people in Scotland who are beginning to find their voice". And even those who voted to Leave the European Union should be concerned about the consequences of a hard Brexit that puts winning the votes of Ukip ahead of Scottish jobs.

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But even if everyone who voted independent on Thursday would have voted SNP in a general election (a highly improbable supposition in itself), that clearly can not account for all of the difference between the two performances. They want to pick fights with Europe.

Pollsters got the result of the 2015 election badly wrong, concluding that they had underestimated support for the Conservatives and had over-represented Labour supporters in their surveys. They rejected the compromise plan from the Scottish Government to keep both Scotland and the United Kingdom in the single market, putting at risk 80,000 Scottish jobs.

Talks will take place with the Greens over the next few days, Ms Aitken said, even though Martin Bartos, the leader of the party in the city, was taken to hospital after a bike accident. "There is now no doubt - they'll sacrifice Scotland's interests and jobs because they're far more concerned about winning votes from Ukip". Imagine what they could achieve if they succeeded in their aim of crushing all parliamentary opposition.

Moray's MSP Richard Lochhead hit back at comments from Ruth Davidson, saying they demonstrated a "special kind of arrogance" from the Tories. "Labour is collapsing but the SNP is dedicated to standing up for Scotland".

"We have gained seats in councils all over Scotland today".

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Meanwhile, Nuttall said his party was "caught in a Tory tidal wave" after losing all its 145 councillors in the local elections.

Tony Blair's landslide victory 20 years ago all but wiped out Scottish Conservatism, with the party failing to win a Westminster seat in 1997 and never holding more than a single constituency since.

FORMER First Minister Alex Salmond has vowed to fight off a Tory challenge for his Gordon seat at next month's General Election.

But, equally, it could be a sign that the party has lost ground.

The SNP has won Scotland's council elections, winning more councillors, more votes and more councils than any other party.

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Scottish Labour, a party that used to weigh its vote in town halls across Scotland, particularly in the West, did predictably badly, now finding itself where the Scottish Tories once languished, unloved and increasingly irrelevant.


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