THE SNP and the Greens have begun “formal negotiations” around forming a coalition to run the council in Scotland’s capital city.

Edinburgh’s councillors have been in political deadlock since the local elections on May 5, with no party winning enough seats to command a majority on the 63-seat council.

The SNP were the largest party, winning 19 seats, but Labour’s 13 candidates ruled out any deal, despite the parties having jointly run the council before the vote.

As talks continued, the LibDems’ 12 councillors also ruled out a deal with the SNP. The Tories, who had a terrible election, falling into fifth place with only nine seats, will also not work with the party.

READ MORE: SNP and Greens strike deal to run Glasgow council in landmark agreement

The Greens returned 10 councillors, their best ever result in Edinburgh, and have said they share a “good amount of similar policy” with the SNP to allow talks to begin.

The two pro-independence parties combined would still only have a minority administration, falling three seats short of the 32 needed for a majority.

However, given Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar’s “no coalitions” rhetoric, a joint administration of the three Unionist parties seems unworkable.

Adam McVey (below), the SNP group chief and previous leader of Edinburgh Council, said: “I am happy to say the SNP Group has begun formal negotiations with Green colleagues with the aim to form a coalition.

The National:

“The election saw the SNP returned as by far the biggest party and there is broad support for the progressive ideas we have to take Edinburgh forward.

“The SNP and Green groups are having constructive discussions about how we can work together to implement the policies that we campaigned for and that our residents voted for. These meetings have been positive and focused on the further progress we can deliver for Edinburgh.

“We believe this coalition gives Edinburgh the best way forward to tackle climate, fight poverty and improve the core services we all depend on.

“The city deserves clear and strong leadership and I am confident we can provide that. We look forward to continuing discussions with Green councillors to explore how we can make sure the capital has a fair and successful future.”

Interim Green group co-convener Steve Burgess also released a statement on Tuesday evening.

He said: “There is a good amount of similar policy in both our election manifestos that could result in a greener and fairer Edinburgh.

"There are also areas such as action on the climate emergency, transport, housing and equalities where Greens would like to see the council go much further. That’s what we are keen to talk with the SNP councillors about this week to see if we can reach agreement on a programme that will benefit the city.

“Any such agreement would also have to be approved by the individual members of the Edinburgh Greens and we’re looking forward to sharing more details with our members soon.”

The news comes after the SNP and Greens struck a deal in Glasgow. The agreement won’t see the Greens enter administration, instead letting the SNP run the council as a minority.

However, the smaller party negotiated key positions for its councillors in return for its support to form an administration.