General election 2017: Scotland's political leaders step up their campaigns

"The local elections are now behind us".

Speaking in Ellon as he launched his campaign to be re-elected on June 8, Mr Salmond stated: "I said the Tory support was on the rise, it should be said in Gordon constituency we got more councillors in than the Tories, we got 11 councillors to their nine and six for the Liberal Democrats".

This is the third local government election in a row that the party has made losses.

"The SNP has won the election in Scotland and won it loud and clear", Ms Sturgeon said.

The Conservatives believe that they could take 15 seats, and have given the SNP good reason to fear the fate of some senior figures.

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

"Theresa May and I are determined to stand up for all those people who have had enough of the chaos and uncertainty of the past few years".

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Conservative councillors are now the largest grouping in six local authorities. Independent candidates will not do that well in the general election.

But even if everyone who voted independent would have voted SNP in a general election (a highly improbable supposition), that clearly can not account for all of the difference between the two performances.

The party's share of first preference votes jumped from 13.27% at the last election in 2012 to 25.3%.

The SNP had been hoping to topple Labour from the Glasgow stronghold where it has held power for more than three decades.

Still, that disappointment did not stop the SNP winning half the vote in 2015, and so perhaps it will not do so again.

THE SNP in North Ayrshire have said that they are open to a coalition with Labour, following the vote that saw North Ayrshire Council hung.

Overall, however, the party lost councillors.

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Ruth Davidson was campaigning in the former First Minister's patch on Saturday, after last week's local elections left the Conservatives as the largest group on Aberdeenshire council. There have been boundary changes since the last vote.

"The Tories are helping us in their rather presumptuous announcements that they're going to win the seat". It has fallen heavily in much of the north-east in particular.

The Scottish Conservatives appear set to make significant gains in Scotland, as local election results beginning to roll in.

It shows that the Tories could be set to unseat SNP depute leader Angus Robertson in Moray.

Labour needed 43 seats on the council to keep control.

Elsewhere in the west of Scotland the party's vote also increased especially sharply in West Dunbartonshire (up ten points), and in Inverclyde (up seven).

If the results of Thursday's polls in Wales, Scotland and 32 county councils in England were repeated nationally, the Conservatives would be on 38%, Labour 27%, the Lib Dems 18% and UKIP 5%, according to analysis by polling expert John Curtice.

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