Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Scottish election: Millions vote in Holyrood’s ‘most important’ election

most important Scottish election
Voters arrive to vote in Dundee.

Millions of Scots cast their vote on Thursday in what promises to be one of the most important elections in Scottish political history.

Six weeks of chapping doors, TV debates, interviews and picture opportunities culminated in Thursday’s knife-edge poll, which could have major implications for the future of the Union and direction of the country.

Nicola Sturgeon, who is almost certain to remain first minister either at the head of an SNP majority government or pro-independence coalition, was all smiles as she met supporters in Glasgow yesterday.

Ms Sturgeon said: “If I am re-elected first minister, I guarantee I’ll be back at my desk straight away tackling the pandemic.

“And when the Covid crisis has passed, we will give the people of Scotland the opportunity to decide if they want the recovery to be in the hands of the likes of Boris Johnson and the austerity-driven Tories, or to put Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands with independence.”

Douglas Ross, who is eager to see the Scottish Tories keep their place as the second-largest party at Holyrood, was joined by his wife Krystle and son Alistair as he arrived at Alves Hall in Moray to cast his vote.

Mr Ross said “no matter the result” of Thursday’s poll, all leaders “have a duty to put aside political differences and fixate on what really matters”.

He added: “We must begin the hard graft of rebuilding Scotland now. We cannot afford to wait or waste time squabbling over the same arguments that have dominated our politics for more than a decade.”

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar, who has been buoyed by the positive reaction to his campaign, was in high spirits at a Glasgow polling station yesterday.

He said: “I’m enormously proud of our positive and uplifting campaign, which has focused relentlessly on the priorities of the people of Scotland.

“Labour is building a credible alternative, with a focus on jobs, the NHS, education, climate and communities.”

Alex Salmond may have been the story of this election, with the launch of the Alba Party, but the former first minister has found it difficult to gain traction with voters – with poll after poll making dire predictions.

Mr Salmond was in confident mood yesterday, however, telling reporters he had put forward a “positive case” for “urgency” on Scottish independence.

most important Scottish election
Alba Party leader Alex Salmond.

Questioned about his feelings on returning to his local polling station with the Alba Party on the ballot paper, Mr Salmond said it was a “different experience, but a familiar one”, adding: “Polling day is always an exciting day.”

Party leaders will have a more agonising wait for results this year, as due to coronavirus restrictions there will be no overnight counts.

Counting will begin on Friday morning, with results expected sometime on Saturday.

Alongside the Scottish parliamentary elections there are also elections for the Welsh Assembly, English local councils, the London, Teesside and West Midlands mayoralty and a by-election in Hartlepool.

Sir Keir Starmer.

YouGov local election polling published last week suggested the Tories could take over a number of Labour councils and win Hartlepool, which has been red for more than half a century.

Sir Keir Starmer said it would take time to rebuild his party after the worst general election result since 1935 under Jeremy Corbyn, adding: “I never thought we would climb the mountain we have to climb in just one year.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in



More from the Press and Journal Scottish politics team

More from the Press and Journal