NOMINATIONS have shut for May's local elections, with Labour rebels in Glasgow fielding more than 20 candidates as they vie to hold the balance of power.

Three former Labour Glasgow councillors will stand as independents as the cull by Labour of its "dead wood" threatened to come back and bite the party.

Just over 1220 seats across Scotland are up for grabs on May 3 in the first stand-alone local election since 1995.

Labour is fielding 500 candidates across every mainland local authority in Scotland, plus the Western Isles, while the SNP is standing in more than 600 – almost 50% more than in 2007.

The Tories will field 360. There is no figure yet for the number of Liberal Democrats running .

Glasgow First will field 20 candidates, as the deselected Labour councillors will be joined by relatives. In all, 225 hopefuls will vie for the 79 seats on Glasgow City Council, with Labour running 45 to the SNP's 43.

Far-left Solidarity and Scottish Socialist candidates will not stand in the same wards.

A council source said: "Whoever runs Glasgow after May will do so largely on the basis of where the second preference votes go."

In North Lanarkshire, where many see Labour's grip on power as shaky, the SNP is not fielding candidates in some areas but putting three in others.

In the Western Isles, 45 of the 63 candidates are independents, while over 120 will contest Edinburgh.

SNP local government campaign director Derek Mackay MSP said: "With a record number of SNP candidates standing, voters all over Scotland will have the option of electing a strong team of effective SNP local councillors and SNP councils that will work to build recovery, support families and improve and protect local services."

Glasgow's Labour leader Gordon Matheson said: "In the coming days I will publish my manifesto with 100 reasons for voting Labour. In this campaign, we will set out a vision that transforms Glasgow, a vision which is nothing short of making the biggest city in Scotland the greatest city in the world."

Tory leader Ruth Davidson said: "Conservative councillors have made a difference to people across Scotland. In Stirling, there has been a reduction in the council tax, while in South Ayrshire a determination to improve education standards has helped the local authority to be among the top four in the country."