The more things change...

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The Labour group in East Renfrewshire were in a celebratory mood after Friday’s election results.

Each one of the party’s eight candidates were elected to the council, including newly-elected councillors Paul O’Kane and Kenny Hay.

Local anger towards the coalition in Westminster appears to have taken its toll, with the Conservatives losing one of their seven councillors — former provost Leslie Rosin got the chop from the Neilston, Uplawmoor and Newton Mearns south ward.

Meanwhile, Provost Alex Mackie, a Liberal Democrat, was ousted from the Giffnock and Thornliebank ward, with SNP man Vincent Waters taking his place.

However, although the SNP increased their group within the council from one to four, former group leader Douglas Yates was a casualty, losing out to party colleague Tommy Reilly.

This result means no real change in a council, which previously consisted of seven Labour, seven Conservative, three SNP, two independent and one Liberal Democrat councillor.

Now, the composition of the council is eight Labour, six Conservative, four SNP councillors and two independent councillors.

Labour leader Jim Fletcher told The Extra: “People are not overly happy with the coalition and there is an electoral whirlwind because of that.

“From our own perspective, we campaigned on local issues in the face of economic and consitutional issues and that has chimed with local people”.

Fellow Giffnock and Thornliebank councillor Vincent Waters (SNP) thinks a positive campaign is responsible for his party’s success.

He said: “We focused on the issues that matter to people, and when going door to door, the issue that kept coming up was the economy. People are not happy with UK government cuts and that created a lot of resentment from voters”.

New Conservative group leader Gordon Wallace believes the result is a sign that “politics is changing”.

He told The Extra: “ Independents did exceptionally well. Maybe people are getting fed up with party politics and it’s time for some grown up thinking”.

Ralph Robertson, one of two independents elected on Friday, was the only councillor to increase his vote share. The Netherlee, Stamperland and Williamwood councillor said: “My percentage vote went up by over 50 per cent which means that residents like the fact that I will always vote on what is best for the ward and residents with no political strings”.