THE SNP have lost control of one Scottish council to the Conservatives.

Moray Council has been turned blue after an exceptional set of election results saw the Tories return 11 councillors, three more than they had had before the local votes on May 5.

However, they were still short of the votes needed for a majority on the 26-seat council.

Regardless, the SNP, who returned eight councillors, were hopeful of continuing to run the authority as a minority administration and attempted to convince the other parties to lend them their support.

READ MORE: Unionists' 'dirty deal' ends SNP council administration despite election win

However, Labour’s three councillors abstained from the crunch vote on Wednesday morning, along with the two independents and one Green on the council.

The LibDems’ single councillor voted with the Conservatives to hand them power.

Graham Leadbitter, the SNP group’s co-leader and now former council leader, told The National: “It’s very disappointing that we now have a Tory administration in Moray. We offered an alternative based on progressive socially just policies which we believe there is majority support for on the council.

“However, other councillors chose to abstain rather than back our progressive vision, allowing the Tories in through the back door with a minority of votes.”

His SNP group added on Twitter: “Today at the first meeting of the new Moray Council, Labour helped usher in a Tory administration.

“Our communities need stable and compassionate leadership in these tough times - something the Tories cannot provide.

“Yet again, Labour working hand in hand with the Tories.”

Moray Labour told The National on Tuesday that they would be abstaining from the vote after neither the Tories nor the SNP were able to commit to delivering "hugely popular" policies such as scrapping brown bin recycling charges and restoring school lollipop crossings.