Brian Monteith: Few will mourn loss of Lib Dems

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The real fight starts now.

The Edinburgh electorate has spoken and the Liberal Democrats have been decapitated. Few will be wearing black arm bands or toasting absent friends at social gatherings.

Reality has collided with self-delusion and the councillors most noted for their support for the trams – so much so that they bizarrely advocated spending more money the city does not have by extending the network – have been given a very loud raspberry.

Let’s face it, although it was refreshing to not have Labour in power after what painfully seemed like eternity, Jenny Dawe and Gordon Mackenzie did not have the common touch and gave Evening News cartoonist Frank Boyle a rich seam of misjudgements to lampoon. The main beneficiaries have been Labour and the Greens and yet there remains all to play for as the parties now manoeuvre to form a ruling coalition – for no one party has sufficient support to enjoy outright majority rule.

Labour has said it will talk to anyone but the least likely discourse will be between Labour leader Andrew Burns and the gallus Stevie Cardownie of the SNP – formerly of Labour in tooth and claw. The Greens and even the Conservatives might therefore be in with a shout, the former must be the favourites, if only because forming a coalition with Tories is hard enough but with them being in power at Downing Street it is far, far harder. So I would wager on the Greens – maybe it’s a Green year all round?

• Brian Monteith is an Evening News columnist and former Conservative MSP