Power sharing is not being ruled out by North Ayrshire Conservatives after they increased their representation by more than 40 per cent.

But group leader Tom Marshall admits the prospect of forming the opposition could still prove appealing.

The Tories increased their number of councillors from seven in 2017 to 10 after having only one elected in 2012.

Delighted Tom said: “The key is quite a few of us were very active in holding the Labour Party to account and we put in a lot of stuff to the press.

“We ran a very organised campaign.”

He added: “There could be a minority administration or SNP and Labour could come together.

“The SNP have made it clear they will not do any deal with the Conservatives so we’re quite relaxed in that.

“Whether Labour will want to deal with us we are relaxed on that.

“But a lot of Labour policies we could not agree with like Municipal Socialism and Community Wealth Building. 

“I’m not terribly optimistic of coming to a deal as quite a bit divides us, but we’d want to make sure they didn’t waste a lot of money on hair-brained schemes.

“The SNP might want to run it on their own.

“We just might be happy being an effective opposition as we would be very constructive and effective opposition as we have a lot of experienced folk on board and young candidates learning the ropes.”

SNP leader Marie Burns said there had been no developments yet in terms of what their plans were following election success.