The votes have been counted and the candidates elected to South Ayrshire Council have been announced, but no one party controls the council yet.

The count began inside a packed-out Citadel Leisure Centre this morning around 8.30am and was finished shortly before 3pm when the final ward was announced.

Council candidates gathered in the leisure centre to watch the counting of ballots, which were this year counted via computer software in an attempt to speed up the process.

The first ward was announced around 11.15am and the final one just before 3pm, by which point the hall had nearly emptied.

The Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party are once again the largest political party on the council, collecting 10 seats. That is down one from their 2017 total.

The SNP retain nine seats and Labour returned five seats, also the same as in 2017.

There were four independent councillors elected. Councillor Hugh Hunter, previously of the Conservatives, was elected in the Prestwick ward and, in perhaps the biggest surprise of this year's elections, former journalist and pub owner Bob Shields was elected in the Ayr West ward, coming in second there after Martin Dowey of the Conservatives.

Whilst the Conservatives have the most councillors (as they did in 2017), they do not have enough to form a working majority.

The most likely outcome is that the SNP will once again enter into coalition with the Labour Party and independent councillors.

Negotiations between parties will now take place to decide on a working coalition.

Full list of councillors elected to South Ayrshire Council:

  • Ward 1 (Troon): Craig Mackay (SNP), Phillip Saxton (Labour), Bob Pollock (Conservatives), and Kenneth Bell (Conservatives).
  • Ward 2 (Prestwick): Ian Cochrane (SNP), Hugh Hunter (Independent), Martin Kilbride (Conservatives), and Cameron Ramsay (Labour).
  • Ward 3 (Ayr North): Laura Brennan-Whitefield (SNP), Ian Cavana (Labour), Ian Davis (Conservatives), Mark Dixon (SNP).
  • Ward 4 (Ayr East): Chris Cullen (SNP), Mary Kilpatrick (Conservative), Brian McGinley (Labour).
  • Ward 5 (Ayr West): Bob Shields (Independent), Martin Dowey (Conservatives), Lee Lyons (Conservatives), George Weir (SNP).
  • Ward 6 (Kyle): Julie Dettbarn (SNP), Steven Ferry (Conservatives), Duncan Townson (Labour).
  • Ward 7 (Maybole, North Carrick and Coylton): Brian Connolly (Independent), William Grant (SNP), and Iain Campbell (Conservatives).
  • Ward 8 (Girvan and South Carrick): Alec Clark (Independent), Peter Henderson (SNP), Gavin Scott (Conservatives).