BBC News: Election 2010 BBC News

Page last updated at 20:38 GMT, Thursday, 6 May 2010 21:38 UK

Election 2010: Voting in UK general election nears end

The leaders of the main Westminster parties set an example and were out early to make their mark

Voting in the UK general election is nearing an end, with millions of people in constituencies across the country having already cast their votes.

Polling stations opened in 649 constituencies at 0700 BST and close at 2200 BST.

More than 44 million people are registered to vote. Elections are also under way for 164 English councils.

Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has said he is "lucky to be alive" after he was in a light aircraft crash.

In the general election there are nearly 4,150 candidates standing for election across the country.

David Cameron was the first of the main UK party leaders to cast their vote. The Tory leader went to a community hall in the Witney constituency, Oxfordshire, shortly after 1030 BST, accompanied by his wife, Samantha.

Results live on BBC One from 2155 BST
Also on BBC HD and BBC News Channel
Live coverage on the BBC News website
Election Night on BBC Radio 5 live from 2200 BST
BBC Radio 4's Election Special from 2200 BST

Labour leader Gordon Brown went to vote shortly after 1100 BST at a community centre close to his home in North Queensferry, Fife. His wife, Sarah, was with him.

Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats, cast his vote at a polling station in Sheffield Hallam with his wife, Miriam, at 1120 BST.

Ieuan Wyn Jones of Plaid Cymru voted in the constituency of Ynys Mon in north Wales at lunchtime. The leader of the Scottish National Party, Alex Salmond, had already cast his vote by post.

Polling in one constituency - Thirsk and Malton - was delayed until 27 May because of the death of one of the candidates during the campaign.

The vast majority of constituencies will conduct their counts overnight, with about 20 not due to begin the process until after 0900 BST on Friday.

Plane crash

Among the council elections taking place, voters choose representatives in 32 London boroughs, 36 metropolitan authorities and 20 unitary authorities.

In these elections, a total of 15,785 candidates are contesting 4,222 seats.

Voters in Hackney, Newham, Lewisham and Watford also chose elected mayors.

Mr Farage, a UK Independence Party Euro-MP, said he was "lucky to be alive", after being involved in a light plane crash near Brackley, Northamptonshire.

Crashed plane
Mr Farage was a passenger in the light aircraft when it crashed

He is standing in the general election in Buckingham. He suffered non-life-threatening injuries when the aircraft came down just after 0800 BST.

He was initially taken to hospital in Banbury, Oxfordshire, before being moved to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. The pilot is currently being treated at University Hospital in Coventry.

Mr Farage's agent, Chris Adams, told the BBC he had to be moved for more checks.

"I believe it's just precautionary, obviously, for chest pains and we've just got to do all the tests... and the required X-rays, and hopefully he'll be on the mend. The pilot, unfortunately, is in a more severe condition," he said.

A spokeswoman for the John Radcliffe Hospital said Mr Farage would be kept in overnight and "will be with us for a few days".

The crash is being investigated by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch and Northamptonshire Police. The aircraft was towing a banner when it crashed shortly after take-off.

UKIP spokesman Duncan Barkes said the plane "juddered a little bit" and "seemed to lose control ever so slightly".

Speaking from the scene of the crash, Detective Chief Inspector Martin Kinchin said: "Looking at the wreckage behind me, I think you can make your own judgement as to how lucky they were."

Pictures from the airfield showed the Polish-built light aircraft was left lying upside down, with its cockpit badly damaged.

Print Sponsor

But now comes the difficult part - making it work
Why has Eton College produced 18 British PMs?
Frantic talks on who will form the next government


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific