Labour managed to retain control of Scotland's biggest local authority, with a slender majority.

For decades, the city has been dominated by Labour, with the opposition parties amounting to little more than a flea on the backside of an elephant.

The elephant remains very much alive, but it is a weaker animal wounded by the new voting system.

The SNP fielded 22 candidates across 21 multi-member wards and returned every single one.

The Green Party scored a series of victories with their first ever councillors in the city, managing a haul of five.

The Liberal Democrats also captured five, while the Conservatives were left disappointed with just one. Solidarity also won their first council seat.

Under the old first-past-the-post system, Glasgow Labour enjoyed a majority of 59, and decisions made in private in group meetings went through almost unchallenged.

The new single transferable vote (STV) threatened to produce a hung council but the decision of the SNP not to seek more than one councillor per ward across the area has left Labour with 45 seats.

The SNP is now a sizeable opposition with the Greens and Liberals providing a like minded block of 10 on environmental and planning issues.

The majority of 11 pleased senior Labour figures although some high-profile members lost out.

A relieved council leader, Steven Purcell, said: "It is sad to lose colleagues who have made a significant contribution to the transformation of Glasgow. The best we could hope for was a small working majority. But the change in the system means we move into a period of new politics.

"We will be seeking to embrace that new politics for the benefit of the people of Glasgow."

While Labour lost ground nationally, in many of their traditionally strong areas of Glasgow they still won two and sometimes three out of four council seats.

However, the strong showing by SNP candidates, many taking the first preference votes, suggests had they been bolder they could have wiped out Labour's majority and even challenged for control.

The SNP made massive progress in the local authority elections following up their success in the parliamentary elections where they took five seats in the city including Govan. SNP group leader John Mason welcomed 18 new colleagues to the opposition benches.

He said: "Our plan has been fulfilled. This is what we wanted. To go from a group of four to 22 is quite a jump. This will provide better decision-making and people will have a choice of councillor.

"Many of the decisions that have been made I have agreed with, but this will ensure a proper examination of policy.

"We are bringing new expertise on a range of issues. I am absolutely thrilled with this result."

The most surprised party was the Scottish Greens who went from zero to five councillors. An environmentally aware electorate in the west of the city led to Green victories in Partick West, Hillhead, Anderston, Canal in the north-west and one in Southside Central.

Stuart Clay, 24, still a student at Glasgow University, took time out from his final exams to fight a winning campaign in Partick.

He said: "I was shocked when I heard the result. I want the Greens to start influencing transport and planning issues and there has been a lot of anger about Tesco's plans for Partick."

The LibDems and especially the Tories were left disappointed as the expected gains promised by PR failed to materialise.

The Conservatives stay on one, in the shape of 23-year-old accountant David Meikle, in Pollokshields.

He said: "Personally, I am overjoyed. We wanted to gain three, but I am sure I can find people in the council I can work with."

Liberal Democrat group leader, Christopher Mason, said his party narrowly missed out on five occasions and could have doubled their final tally of five.

He said: "Labour have kept their majority and the people of Glasgow will have to put up with whatever they decide to do. The elections overall have focused on the contest between Labour and the SNP and we have seen that translate to a local level here in Glasgow."

Ruth Black succeeded where Tommy Sheridan failed and won a place for his Solidarity party. She took a seat in Craigton, ousting Labour stalwart of 22 years Gordon Macdiarmid in the process.

One man left counting the cost of voters deserting the socialist parties was Keith Baldassara of the SSP who failed to be re-elected.

He said: "It is what I expected. The socialist vote has been split."