May 4 2012 By Alistair Watson
THE Labour party are in prime position to form the next West Lothian Council administration after finishing with 16 councillors at today’s local government elections.
All 16 Labour candidates won their contests to leave them just one seat short of a majority.
The Scottish National Party gained two councillors to end with 15 - their best ever result - but look set to lose their grip on power within the local authority.
Labour leader John McGinty said: “We are clearly the largest group in the council and in the best position to take forward our mandate for West Lothian.
“But we can’t do it on our own and we have to talk to our other colleagues and see how we can best form an administration.
“We need it to be a forward looking administration that will do a great job for the people in the county.”
The balance of power now lies in the hands of Armadale and Blackridge Independent Councillor Stuart Borrowman and the sole Conservative councillor Tom Kerr.
Both are expected to hold talks with the Labour group today (Friday).
Councillor Borrowman told the Courier: “I am willing to speak to people and the situation presents itself as an opportunity to fulfil campaign aspirations for the Armadale and Blackridge ward which I might not have been able to under a purely party political administration,.
“The result has been very tight but there is a lot of water to flow under the bridge before anything can be agreed.”
The biggest losers on the night was the Action to Save St John’s Hospital party who lost all three seats they won at the previous election in 2007.
For full coverage of the elections, please see next Thursday's West Lothian Courier.