Council election results: SNP aims for Glasgow as Tories make gains
The SNP is cautiously optimistic of removing Labour from power in Glasgow as the counting of council election votes continues across Scotland.
Many of the country's 32 local authorities have already announced their first results.
Much of the national attention is on Glasgow, where the SNP is hopeful of finishing as the largest party.
Meanwhile, the Conservatives have been making gains in several areas of the country.
Orkney was the first to announce its early results, with councils including Clackmannanshire, Renfrewshire, Scottish Borders, Argyll and Bute and South Ayrshire following soon after.
The full national picture is expected to become clearer by Friday afternoon, but the Conservatives have been winning seats in areas which had previously been "no-go" for them.
In Clackmannanshire, the Conservatives picked up five seats - four more than in 2012 - with the SNP remaining the largest party with eight, the same number as five years ago.
Labour lost three seats, leaving them with five members in the 18-seat council, which means no party has overall control.
Elsewhere, the SNP group leader on Fife Council, Neale Hanvey, lost his seat to a Conservative.
And in Aberdeen, Labour's Willie Young - who had been the city's finance convener - lost his Bridge of Don seat.
Mr Young has been embroiled in controversy over repairs worth ?200,000 that the council ordered to be carried out on land owned by his father.
Early results from local and mayoral elections in England and Wales show a swing from Labour to the Conservatives.
A report published ahead of the vote by polling expert John Curtice indicated Labour was likely to lose control of Glasgow, and the three other local authorities in Scotland where it won an overall majority in 2012 - North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire.
BBC Scotland's local government correspondent, Jamie McIvor, has been told by a senior Labour figure in Glasgow - where overall turnout is thought to be relatively low - that he expects the SNP to be the largest group in the council, but to fall short of a majority.
The Scottish government's transport minister Humza Yousaf, who is an SNP MSP in Glasgow, told the BBC that it "looks good and feels good" for the party, but said it was still too early to tell what the final outcome would be.
The SNP is also hopeful of becoming the largest party in the City of Edinburgh Council, with Labour and the Conservatives likely to be in a battle for second place.
During the election campaign, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said a win for her party in Glasgow "would be hugely significant" but insisted she would "take nothing for granted".
The election used the single transferable vote system (STV), with voters ranking candidates in order of preference.
The system makes it difficult for any one party to win overall control of a local authority, with many being run by coalitions or minority administrations.
The SNP won overall control of just two councils - Angus and Dundee - in 2012, while no party had overall control in 26 of the 32 local authorities.
People aged 16 or over were eligible to vote, with more than 4.1 million people in Scotland registered.
A total of 1,227 councillors will be elected across the country's 32 local authorities, with more than 2,500 candidates putting themselves forward.
The SNP fielded 625 candidates across Scotland, with Labour putting forward 453 and the Conservatives 380.
Meanwhile, the Scottish Liberal Democrats had 247 candidates standing, and the Scottish Greens 219. There were 499 independent candidates, and 148 from other parties.
In the last election five years ago, the SNP secured 503,233 first preference votes and returned 425 councillors, with Labour winning 488,703 first preference votes and seeing 394 of its candidates elected.
The Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Scottish Greens will also be looking to make gains this time around, after returning 115, 71 and 14 councillors respectively in 2012.
There will be full live coverage of the results on the BBC website, and across the BBC's television and radio programming.
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