AHEAD of the local council elections on May 5, The National have been putting the spotlight on each of Scotland's 32 council areas in the run up to polling day.

With local elections generally having a lower voter turn out than national elections, and notoriously hard to poll, some council's could change hands in just two weeks time.

Our political journalists have been talking to candidates across the country to get a picture of the big issues on the ground and what really matters to voters. 

Read below to see if we have covered your council area so far.

1. Dumfries and Galloway

KICKING off our series, we looked at D&G where the Tories are standing three candidates in each ward in a bid to take control.

The current administration is an SNP-Labour coalition.

READ MORE: Showdown in southern Scotland: Tories look to take control of key council region

2. South Ayrshire

HOME to the main town of Ayr, but stretch as far north as Troon and to the south Girvan, there is a strong core Tory vote in South Ayrshire.

But could partygate and the numerous scandals presided over by the Prime Minister cut into this?

READ MORE: Hopes partygate will hit Tory vote in South Ayrshire

3. East Ayrshire

THE SNP group in East Ayrshire are confident they can achieve a majority and built on their first term in administration. 

Fielding 17 candidates - they are the only party in a position to take full control.

READ MORE: SNP set sights on majority this time round in East Ayrshire

4. North Ayrshire

WHILST residents in North Ayrshire are facing high levels of poverty and the impact of cost of living crisis, there could be tactical voting along constitutional lines.

The current Labour minority administration is frequently backed by the local Tory group in the chamber.

READ MORE: Region in poverty crisis as ballot nears

5. Scottish Borders

CONTROL of the Scottish Borders council could hinge on which independent councillors are elected.

The area has a rich history of electing independents to the local authority, and this year there are 16 independent candidates, the same number as the Tories have stood. 

READ MORE: Independents likely to hold key in Scottish Borders council election

6. East Lothian

LABOUR could be in trouble in East Lothian - last year the area elected the SNP's Paul McLennan to Holyrood after years of Labour MSPs.

But will this trickle through at the local level?

READ MORE: Council vote may see final nails in Labour's coffin in a historic stronghold

7. Midlothian

MIDLOTHIAN has seen a population boom with Edinburgh commuters helping to give the area the title of the fastest-growing area in Scotland.

The "Better Together" council has been criticised for it's secrecy and lack of action, could Labour lose control due to the influx of new voters?

READ MORE: Can a population boom put an end to this 'Better Together' council?

8. Edinburgh City

THE SNP-Labour administration has had a tumultuous term over the past five years - particularly with the pandemic's impact on the capital's tourism. 

With Covid recovery, a growing population and a housing crisis caused by short-term lets impacting residents, will the SNP keep control?

READ MORE: Who can get Scotland's historic capital looking at the future again?

9. Falkirk

COULD the SNP council's handling of the pandemic bolster their vote share in Edinburgh? 

The party think so - and are fielding 16 candidates in a bid for a majority.

READ MORE: SNP handling of Covid-19 'could impact this local election race'

10. West Lothian

IN West Lothian the minority Labour administration is currently propped up by eight Tory councillors - despite the SNP having the most councillors, keeping them in opposition.

But will the historic Labour stronghold turn yellow this year?

READ MORE: Is this time up for Labour in West Lothian's 2022 council election?

11. Clackmannanshire

Scotland's smallest local authority - an SNP minority - only elects 18 councillors.

But 2017 saw a rise in the Tories vote share - will we see something similar despite the party being dogged with sleaze allegations and the PM's fixed penalty notice?

READ MORE: All eyes are on Tories in Clackmannanshire as party struggles to shake off sleaze

12. Fife

ELECTORAL victory isn't guaranteed for any party in the Kingdom of Fife. 

The current SNP-Labour coalition could crash and burn after Anas Sarwar ruled out power sharing at local level. 

READ MORE: It's all to play for in the kingdom of Fife

13. North Lanarkshire

ANOTHER Labour council propeed up by Tories where the SNP - despite having the most amount of councillors - were forced into opposition.

Could a change be on the cards?

READ MORE: SNP hoping to make history in plan to oust Tories

14. South Lanarkshire

THE SNP's main challengers in South Lanarkshire are Labour - but the unionist party aren't standing enough candidates to secure a majority and have ruled out a coalition with the Tories.

So could the SNP turn their minority into a majority?

READ MORE: SNP confident once again they will lead South Lanarkshire council

15. Glasgow

AFTER almost 40 years of Labour control, the SNP took over as a minority administration in 2017.

But will they manage to hold on to power, or will they need to seek support from the Greens?

READ MORE: SNP-Green coalition could be on the cards

16. Renfrewshire

ANOTHER key race where the SNP are aiming for a majority - having seized control of Renfrewshire council from Labour in 2017.

At the last election the party almost cinched a majority - will they do better this time?

READ MORE: SNP set sights on full majority in race to control council

17. Inverclyde

ONE of the most politically diverse council's in Scotland, with representatives from five parties alongside independents, Inverclyde is still set to be a two horse race between SNP and Labour.

READ MORE: Will Labour cling on to power or can SNP take control in Inverclyde?

18. East Renfrewshire

CURRENTLY under SNP control, the party are bidding to keep East Renfrewshire - banking on education and early learning achievements to keep them in office. 

READ MORE: Judge us on our record, says SNP East Renfrewshire council

Council profiles still to come

(In no particular order)

East Dunbartonshire
West Dunbartonshire
Argyll & Bute
Perth & Kinross
Dundee City
Aberdeen City
Western Isles