Political Correspondent

THE Greens have released their list of candidates for the council elections and are hoping for a big breakthrough in the City Chambers this May.

Having almost doubled their number of votes in the Holyrood election in the city, the party is looking to increase their number of councillors from their current group of four.

With an increase in membership and more activists than before the Greens are hopeful of greater influence on the council.

Five years ago the party won five council seats but lost one in a by election when one of its councillors stood down for health reasons.

The Greens are standing in each of the 23 council wards in Glasgow where they are mounting their biggest local government election campaign.

With the SNP looking to take over control of the City Chambers and Labour desperately battling to hold on the Greens could be he power brokers if no party achieves a majority in Glasgow.

With 85 seats up for grabs in the city, if the Greens can repeat their success in the Holyrood election and turn an increased vote into seats its councillors could be needed for either Labour or the SNP to form a majority administration.

Current Councillors Martha Wardrop and Martin Bartos are standing again in Hillhead and Partick East/Kelvindale respectively.

Nina Baker stands down in Anderston City and Christy Mearns hopes to repeat her success in the renamed Anderston/City/Yorkhill ward.

And Andrew Smith is looking to win in Canal where Kieran Wild won in 2012.

Tanya Wisely is standing in Langside where the party will fight to regain the seat it lost to the SNP in a by election when Liam Hainey stood down.

The city’s Green MSP Patrick Harvie said sustainable jobs and public services would be the focus of the party’s campaigning.

He said: “Our councils need more voices speaking up for good jobs and strong public services. Social enterprises are a great example of the kind of economy we should be encouraging.

“Green MSPs have demonstrated their commitment to protecting local services, by securing an extra £160million from the Scottish Government for councils to spend on local priorities. It’s this bold and constructive approach that more Green councillors will bring to our local authorities.”

In 2012 the Greens polled 8000 votes across Glasgow.

It was fourth place behind the Tories but due to a better spread in different wards was able to win five seats to the Tories one.

At the Holyrood election in 2016 the Greens increased their vote from 12,500 in 2011 to 23,400, but narrowly missed out on a second MSP to the Tories.

It took 9.4% of the votes and a similar showing across the city could lead to more councillors.

The Greens will launch their campaign at its Spring conference in Glasgow this Saturday.