The negotiations over who runs Fife Council are set to begin this weekend after no party emerged in overall control.
The SNP finished top with 29 seats, five more than Labour on 24.
The Lib Dems took just seven seats, while the kingmakers could be the Tories after a hugely successful day saw them claim 15 seats.
The SNP has previously worked in administration with the Lib Dems, and now the trading will begin in earnest as the party’s strategists and leaders weigh up the vote.
Councillor Karen Marjoram stepped in as interim leader after the shock defeat of Neale Hanvey, and her first role will be to meet with her newly elected team of councillors tomorrow before planning their next moves.
She said she is open to working with other parties to get “the best deal for the people of Fife.”
Cllr Marjoram was delighted with the returns.
“We have more seats than ever before, and we got more votes than ever before,” she said.
There has been a huge increase in our support across the Kingdom, and the SNP is the only [arty with a councillor in every ward, so no matter where you live, you can get someone from our party to help with your issues.”
The SNP group meets on Saturday morning to discuss if it can form an alliance to return to power in the Kingdom.
Working with the Lib Dems would give them a total of 36 councillors – but if Labour and the Tories teamed up it’d give them 39 seats in total.
Cllr Marjoram said she would begin discussions with all parties, but absolutely ruled out a coalition with the Tories.
“Over my dead body,” she said. “That is something I could not do personally. We will talk to them but I would not have a coalition per se.
“The only way I would work with them is on local issues within our wards. When if comes to taking decisions on what is best for Fife we are diametrically opposites.”
That raises the prospect of a first ever SNP-Labour coalition in the Kingdom.
The parties share power in Edinburgh, and Cllr Marjoram admitted: “It seems to work well.
“We have to do what we believe is best for the people of Fife.”