Ready for action
Rutherglen South was the first local ward to declare on the day.
Just five votes separated the SNP’s Carol Nugent and Robert Brown of the Liberal Democrats, with Ms Nugent coming out on top.
Labour’s Margaret Cowie was also elected.
Ms Nugent said:“I am absolutely delighted, we’ve worked really hard on this campaign.
“I’m just pleased to be elected. I’ve already had people come to me with cases so there is a lot of hard work still to be done.
“I think people want to be listened to. I will be a visible councillor and I promise I will listen and do my utmost to help.”
Margaret Cowie is already well known in the ward and said:“Our campaign has focussed on local issues and I will do my best for the area.
“South Lanarkshire Council have been a fantastic council in Rutherglen South when you think of the new schools and housing. Hopefully that can continue.”
Robert Brown saw his own vote rise by over 600 votes with turnout up nearly seven per cent on five years ago.
He said:“I’m very grateful to people for their vote against really big national issues. Being on the council is all about relationships and I was fortunate to have a very good relationship with the last leader. I hope that continues with the new leader.”
Both Labour and the SNP were keen for success in Rutherglen Central and North with the symbolism attached to Eddie McAvoy’s old seat.
But sitting councillors Gerard Killen and Gordon Clark were beaten by new SNP candidate Janine Calikes with the Conservatives’Jared Wark managing to muscle his way into third place.
Mr Killen said:“The result goes to show you how divided this country is. Nicola Sturgeon has achieved what no Tory leader could - a Conservative revival.
“The Labour group will be meeting early and it will be impossible to say at this stage what sort of role I could play but I will be hoping to deliver where we can and follow through on the commitments we have made.”
Janine Calikes was visibly stunned at losing her running mate, saying:“I’ve not really had time to digest it. My aim is local engagement and making people’s voices heard by the people who represent them.
“I’m just so excited. It’s a big responsibility and I will take it very seriously.”
Mr Wark looked equally shocked, saying:“I wasn’t expecting it, but I’m looking forward to it.
“There was a lot of encouraging people to get out and vote. The SNP are very loud and visible and they are good at encouraging people to get out, that’s what we were trying to do.”
In Cambuslang West much of the focus during the campaign had been on the state of the Main Street and all three councillors were asked their plans.
The SNP’s John Bradley said:“I’m looking forward to representing the people of Cambuslang West to the best of my ability and live up to Clare McColl’s ability.
“I’m fully agreed with the community council and their ambitions and plans to transform the Main Street to regenerate the area, bring in shops and sort out the parking.”
Margaret Walker of Labour said:“It is a privilege to serve the people of Cambuslang West. I will be fighting on behalf of the people.
“I want to work in partnership to achieve the improvements - with businesses, the private sector and find funding sources to take action.”
The Conservatives’Ann Le Blond pledged to work across party lines to help the town centre:“I’m just over the moon, I’m just so pleased people have given me their backing,“she said.
“The problems in Cambuslang are what pushed me to get involved. I am willing to work with the other two councillors to get the best for the area.”
In Cambuslang East campaigning had focussed on the lack of facilities and housing developments.
Perhaps reflecting local anger, turnout was up nearly 10 per cent, although it was still the lowest in the four wards.
Alistair Fulton, whose election for the SNP meant they would emerge as the biggest party, said:“That was nerve wracking, I’m very relieved, but it is a great opportunity to serve the people of Cambuslang East.
“It’s going to take the weekend to get over the shock, I am so happy.”
When asked if Cambuslang East would get a high school, Katy Loudon said:“I hope so. It’s certainly something Clare Haughey has been campaigning on.
“I have been elected to serve the folk of Cambuslang East and that is what I’m going to do. Some difficult decisions will have to be made and I will make sure their voices are heard.”
Walter Brogan gained the most first preference votes with 1,553 but his running mate, Stuart Gallacher, could only muster 134, meaning he was squeezed out.
Mr Brogan said:“On a personal level I am delighted but I am disappointed for Stuart. He would have been a great help.
“We’ve spent 10 years building this place up and now we need to make sure we keep that going. We need that school, a medical centre and infrastructure. The most important thing for me is to get more power for local councillors in the community.”