The first day of ballot counting in the Scottish election has ended with the potential for an SNP majority still within the party’s grasp.
In an election unlike any other, counting began on Friday morning after Thursday’s vote and will continue into Saturday, meaning the precise make-up of Scotland’s next parliament is yet to be determined.
We take a look at the story so far:
What have we learned?
The SNP has picked up 39 constituency seats, with an overall majority still within the party’s sight.
Nicola Sturgeon said it was “not impossible” for her party to secure at least 65 seats, after her party won three from the Tories.
However, the SNP’s success in some constituencies could see it lose seats on the South of Scotland list, where it picked up three MSPs in 2016.
It was a disappointing night for the Alba Party with initial regional vote share figures showing they were generally failing to poll much above 2% in several constituencies.
The Liberal Democrats held on to four constituency seats in Edinburgh Western, North-east Fife, Orkney Islands and Shetland Islands, with party leader Willie Rennie doubling his majority in the process.
However, the party missed out on a key target in the mainland’s most northerly constituency, Caithness, Sutherland and Ross, where their candidate, Molly Nolan, lost to the SNP.
The Scottish Conservatives held three seats with former party leader Jackson Carlaw re-elected in Eastwood, along with Dumfriesshire and Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire.
Scottish Labour retained two seats on Friday with the party’s deputy leader, Jackie Baillie, increasing her majority in what was the country’s most marginal seat.
It was a notable result as Jackie Baillie’s Dumbarton constituency had been a top target for the SNP and would have made their path to an overall majority clearer.
It was also good news for Daniel Johnson, who saw his majority over the SNP rise from 2.9% to 8.9%.
How many seats changed hands?
Only three constituency seats changed party allegiances.
Former SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson won Edinburgh Central, a constituency previously held by former Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson.
The newly-elected MSP overturned a Conservative majority of 810, taking 16,276 votes after record numbers of voters turned out in the Scottish capital.
The SNP also gained one seat from the Conservatives in the shape of Ayr (South) and won East Lothian from Labour.
Were there any surprises?
There were no major surprises on the day, although there were significant swings in some constituency seats and high turnouts in many.
The SNP held on to Banffshire and Buchan Coast, with Aberdeenshire councillor Karen Adam elected the constituency’s new MSP, after party veteran Stewart Stevenson decided to retire.
However, it was a tightly-run contest in which Ms Adam was declared the winner by only more than 700 votes and a swing to the Conservatives of 10.3%.
On Saturday, we expect counts and results to be announced for the remaining constituencies across Scotland.
Among these are some key battlegrounds, including Aberdeenshire West, which the SNP is hoping to win from the Scottish Conservatives.
The parties are also going head to head in Perthshire South and Kinross-shire with Tory front-bencher Liz Smith eager to secure the seat from the SNP’s Jim Fairlie.The declaration of the full regional list results will not be announced until Saturday, when all the counts have been completed.
All eyes will be on Alex Salmond and the Alba Party to see if they secure a single MSP and the battle will ramp up to decide who will be the second-biggest party at Holyrood.
The full list of constituencies still to declare:
- Aberdeen South and North Kincardine
- Aberdeenshire East
- Aberdeenshire West
- Almond Valley
- Angus South
- Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley
- Cumbernauld and Kilsyth
- Dundee City East
- East Kilbride
- Edinburgh Northern and Leith
- Edinburgh Pentlands
- Galloway and West Dumfries
- Glasgow Cathcart
- Glasgow Kelvin
- Glasgow Provan
- Glasgow Shettleston
- Falkirk West
- Mid Fife and Glenrothes
- Midlothian South, Tweedale and Lauderdale
- Perthshire South and Kinrossshire
- Renfrewshire South
- Uddingston and Bellshill