Today’s Scottish election has been described as the most important since devolution, and it was not just constitutional matters that marked it out as unique.
For months, there have been questions over how it could be held in a safe way during the Covid pandemic – and even whether it could be held on the planned date at all.
But as the polls close at 10pm, the organisation of the election appears to have gone as smoothly as anyone could have hoped.
Just don’t expect to see results coming in any time soon.
Here is a selection of big stories that have made the 2021 Scottish elections memorable.
Waking up to winter
A number of people in the Cairngorms and southern Highlands looked out their windows this morning at a scene that didn’t exactly scream ‘it’s the last month before summer’.
The blanket of snow outside was unlikely to be a welcome sight to people now used to leaving home as little as possible, who would have to make their way out to a polling station.
The Met Office even had to issue a yellow weather warning for snow this morning, and the A939 near Tomintoul was closed off after a tanker got stuck in a drift.
Sturgeon confronts ex-Britain First deputy
A video of SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon clashing with far-right activist Jayda Fransen in Glasgow lit up social media this evening.
Unfortunately for the former deputy leader of Britain First, the vast majority of online comments have been supportive of the first minister as she told Fransen: “You are a racist, and the southside of Glasgow will reject you.”
Fransen, who has convictions for religiously aggravated harassment, was standing today as an independent candidate for the Glasgow Southside constituency.
Glasgow Southside is the most diverse and multi-cultural constituency in Scotland – one of the many things that makes it so brilliant. I am confident it will unite today to utterly reject these fascists. https://t.co/ygPJRksO2d
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) May 6, 2021
One of the more lighthearted traditions at British elections made a reappearance today, with people sharing pictures of patient pooches at polling places.
Of course, it wasn’t just Scotland voting today – elections were taking place for the Welsh Senedd, London assembly, the constituency of Hartlepool and 143 local councils in England as well as a selection of other regional posts.
That meant a lot of dogs in a lot of tweets – including one from our very own live news editor (and my boss) Joe Cawthorn.
— Joe Cawthorn (@josephcawthorn) May 6, 2021
We’ve gathered up a selection of the best contributions to the trend in a separate article, which you can read and enjoy here.
What happens next?
Due to Covid restrictions, the counting of votes in this election will take a little longer than it does most years.
The good news is we won’t have to struggle through another election all-nighter – instead it will probably take until the weekend before we get a full picture of what the Scottish Parliament will look like over the next five years.
Political reporter Calum Ross has taken a look at the 17 most interesting races, which might give us a clue to the future as the results come in, and created a list of seven possible events that might take place in the next few days.
For the very latest news on results and other events, keep an eye on this website. We’ve got a few exciting plans to keep you up to date.