NOW that the dust is beginning to settle after the latest council elections, it is increasingly puzzling that the Labour party is opposing forming formal coalitions with the Tories or SNP, despite such arrangements existing in the last term.

The election resulted in a total of 27 out of 32 councils with no overall control, with the SNP and Labour each securing a majority in one and independents forming a majority in three.

This nonsensical “no coalition” pledge is most recently being played out in Edinburgh, where it is clear that Labour’s leader on the council wants to continue its partnership with the SNP, but Labour HQ has overruled this.

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While Labour accuses the SNP of not valuing councils and undermining local democracy, in the same breath they clearly do not trust council colleagues to decide what is best for their own areas.

Labour should also have been clearer to voters in its own campaign material that in the vast majority of cases it had no chance of being in administration given the proportional representation electoral system.

Despite making moderate advances at the election, the irony is that Labour, which aspires to form the Scottish Government, will inevitability be in administration in considerably fewer councils than previously.

Alex Orr

THERE was not a hint at either of the hustings I attended that the LibDem candidates would seek or go into a council coalition with the Tories. All across Scotland they profited hugely from disgust at the Tories yet we now see them negotiating in places to actually join up with them and put them in control.

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I (foolishly perhaps) gave them a vote (after the SNP, of course) in my ward in Argyll, where I believe there is the option of a progressive coalition with the SNP (the largest party) and the Greens and some independents. I hope they have the good sense to take it.

Dave McEwan Hill