Voting ends in multiple elections in UK

Voting ends in multiple elections in UK

First results from England's local election expected from midnight; counting starts on Friday in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal

LONDON (AA) – Voting for local elections in England, Scotland and Wales, and Northern Ireland Assembly has ended as polling stations closed at 10 p.m. local time.

As many as 4,350 seats in 140 councils across England are being contested in the election, whereas all seats of Scotland’s 32 and Wales’ 22 councils are up for grabs.

Northern Irish voters have voted to fill their 90-seat local parliament.

The counting in England has started, and results are expected to start coming in as early as midnight. A clearer picture, however, will come by midday Friday.

In Scotland and Wales, the counts will begin on Friday, and the earliest results are expected in the afternoon.

The count in Northern Ireland will also start at 9 a.m. Friday, and first results are expected around lunchtime.

The overall vote across the UK will show whether the leading Conservative Party has lost public support due to illegal lockdown parties and other issues such as the rising costs of living.

A poor result for Tories might prompt a leadership contest to replace Boris Johnson as the party leader and prime minister.

Scotland results are expected to show the support for a second independence referendum, which the Scottish National Party (SNP) leader has promised to hold by the end of 2023.

In Northern Ireland, nationalist Sinn Fein is projected to come out as the biggest party for the first time leaving behind the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), a result that may see months of uncertainty for the country's fragile political system.

The total vote the Sinn Fein receives will also be indicative of taking steps for a unified Ireland.

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