Wait begins for count after Holyrood voting closes

Counting due to begin around 9am on Friday morning with final results over the weekend.

Wait begins for count after Holyrood voting closes iStock

Counting will begin on Friday morning after voting closed in the 2021 Holyrood election.

There will be no overnight drama this year in a bid to prevent the spread of Covid-19, with a slower count expected to last until Saturday afternoon or possibly even Sunday.

More than 4.2 million voters – a record number for a Scottish election – registered to have their say at the ballot box.

But polling stations looked a little different than normal due to the pandemic, with various safety measures in place to protect voters and staff from coronavirus.

Anas Sarwar (Labour), Douglas Ross (Conservative) and Patrick Harvie (Green) were among the party leaders voting in person on Thursday, while Nicola Sturgeon (SNP) and Willie Rennie (Lib Dem) sent in their ballots by post.

Opinion polls for STV News carried out by Ipsos MORI have all predicted that the SNP will be comfortably the biggest party, but it remains to be seen whether they will secure an overall majority.

Winning at least 65 of the 129 available seats would give Sturgeon’s party what it believes is a mandate to hold a second independence referendum.

Opposition parties have focused their campaigns on preventing an SNP majority, with the Scottish Conservatives calling on Labour and Liberal Democrats supporters to “lend their vote” to them.

Elsewhere, former first minister Alex Salmond is bidding to return to frontline politics as an MSP with his new party Alba.

How can I follow the results?


  • Live rolling coverage on the STV News website and social media throughout the counting.

STV and STV Player

  • Friday: 4-7pm
  • Saturday: 4.40-6.30pm
  • Sunday: 5.35-6.30pm
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