2003 Scottish local elections

The Scottish local elections, 2003 were held on 1 May 2003, the same day as Scottish Parliament elections and local elections in parts of England. All 32 Scottish councils had all their seats up for election – all Scottish councils are unitary authorities.

2003 Scottish local elections

 1999 1 May 2003 (2003-05-01) 2007 

All 1,222 seats to Scottish councils
  First party Second party
Leader Jack McConnell John Swinney
Party Labour SNP
Seats won 509 181
Seat change 42 23
Popular vote 611,843 451,660
Percentage 32.6% 24.1%
Swing 3.7% 4.6%

  Third party Fourth party
Leader Jim Wallace David McLetchie
Party Liberal Democrats Conservative
Seats won 175 122
Seat change 18 14
Popular vote 272,057 282,895
Percentage 14.5% 15.1%
Swing 1.9% 1.6%

Colours denote the winning party with outright control

Colours denote the party with the most seats

Colours denote party of the elected councillor for each ward

This was the last election for local government in Scotland to use the first past the post electoral system.

Boundary changes

Minor council boundary took place to better reflect certain areas:[2]

  • Transfer of properties at Blackburn from Aberdeen City Council to Aberdeenshire Council
  • Transfer of an area of land at West Farm, Broxburn from City of Edinburgh Council to West Lothian Council
  • Transfer of an area of land and properties at Ardoch Sewage Works from Argyll & Bute Council to West Dunbartonshire Council
  • Transfer of an area of land at Braehead from Glasgow City Council to Renfrewshire Council


e  d Summary of the 1 May 2003 Scottish council election results
Parties Votes Votes % +/- Wards Net
Labour 611,84332.6−3.7%509−42
SNP 451,66024.1−4.6%181−23
Conservative 282,89515.1+1.6%122+14
Liberal Democrats 272,05714.5+1.9%175+18
Independent 189,74910.1+3.0%230+39
Other 67,5333.6+2.0%4−6


Council 1999 result Control before election
(if different)
2003 result Details
Aberdeen City Labour NOC No overall control Details
Aberdeenshire No overall control No overall control Details
Angus SNP SNP Details
Argyll and Bute Independent Independent Details
Clackmannanshire No overall control Labour Details
Dumfries and Galloway Labour No overall control Details
Dundee City No overall control No overall control Details
East Ayrshire Labour Labour Details
East Dunbartonshire No overall control No overall control Details
East Lothian Labour Labour Details
East Renfrewshire No overall control No overall control Details
City of Edinburgh Labour Labour Details
Falkirk Labour No overall control Details
Fife Labour Labour Minority No overall control (Lab[3]) Details
Glasgow City Labour Labour Details
Highland Independent Independent Details
Inverclyde Labour NOC Liberal Democrats Details
Midlothian Labour Labour Details
Moray Independent Independent Details
Na h-Eileanan Siar Independent Independent Details
North Ayrshire Labour Labour Details
North Lanarkshire Labour Labour Details
Orkney Independent Independent Details
Perth and Kinross No overall control No overall control Details
Renfrewshire Labour Labour Details
Scottish Borders No overall control No overall control Details
Shetland Independent Independent Details
South Ayrshire Labour NOC No overall control Details
South Lanarkshire Labour No overall control (Lab minority) Details
Stirling No overall control (Lab minority) Labour Details
West Dunbartonshire Labour NOC (Ind+SNP+SSP) Labour Details
West Lothian Labour Labour Details

Notes and references

  1. p. 102
  2. [email protected], Scottish Government, St. Andrew's House, Regent Road, Edinburgh EH1 3DG Tel:0131 556 8400 (7 January 2002). "Boundary changes agreed". scotland.gov.uk. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  3. Labour minority administration
Preceded by
1999 Scottish local elections
Scottish local elections Succeeded by
2007 Scottish local elections