Page last updated at 21:00 GMT, Thursday, 5 May 2011 22:00 UK

Scottish election: As it happened


Victory for 'team Scotland' - Salmond

By Steven Brocklehurst & Doug Kennedy

1807 That is the end of the live page. The SNP has won a "historic" victory. They have achieved a majority of seats in the Scottish Parliament, something many doubted was even possible. The final results were: SNP on 69 seats, Labour on 37, Conservatives on 15, Liberal Democrats on five and Greens on two. Independent MSP Margo MacDonald was also returned to parliament. Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Alex Salmond pledged to "make the nation proud".

1803 The current session of the Scottish Parliament will last five years. It will be a year longer than normal so that it does not clash with the Westminster election scheduled for 2015. MSPs will meet next week for the "swearing in" and chosing a presiding officer.

1800 Alex Salmond's victory speech ended: "I'll govern for all of the ambitions of Scotland and for all the people who imagine that we can live in a better land. This party - the Scottish party - the national party - carries your hope and we shall carry it carefully and make the nation proud."

1752 "This is not just a victory for a single political party, I believe it is a victory for a society, a people and a nation," Alex Salmond said. To make the breakthrough needed the trust of all the people, he said. "When our movement began it called itself the National Party of Scotland and that is what it is again. A party for all the people - a national party."

1751 "Scotland want to travel in hope and aim high," Alex Salmond told the crowd in Edinburgh. "It can be better, it want to be better, I'll do all I can as first minister to make it better. We have given ourselves the permission to be bold. We will govern fairly and wisely, with an eye to the future but a heart to forgive."

1744 Alex Salmond says the SNP is again "Scotland's national party" - Team Scotland. He said Scotland had chosen to believe in itself and he promised to govern properly.

1742 The SNP leader pays tribute to his opponents and welcomes their commitment to "constructive" relationships in the parliament. Mr Salmond also says he will be "laying down markers" with Prime Minister David Cameron about what his victory means for Scotland's relationship with the United Kingdom. He says we have the majority of seats but no monopoly on wisdom so will welcome support from across the parliament.

1740 Alex Salmond speaks: "I am delighted to confirm I will be seeking re-election by the Scottish Parliament as the first minister of Scotland."

1730 Prestonfield House is the place Alex Salmond declared victory after the Scottish Parliament election in 2007. On that occasion he had a single seat more than Labour. This time he has 32 seats more than Labour and overall majority in the parliament.

1728 SNP leader Alex Salmond steps out his helicopter. SNP deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon is stood waiting for him. They embrace and kiss. There are cheers from the assembled crowd. He will give a victory speech very soon.

1725 Here comes "Saltire 1" - Alex Salmond's helicopter lands at Prestonfield House in Edinburgh

1721 That is all the results in: Final totals: SNP 69, Labour 37, Conservatives 15, Lib Dems 5, Scottish Greens 2, Independent 1

1716 DECLARATION: Mid-Scotland and Fife - SNP 1, Labour 3, Conservative 2, Lib Dem 1

1714 There is a huddle at Mid-Scotland and Fife. The final results of the Scottish Parliament elections are minutes away.

1713 Labour's David Stewart, elected in the Highlands and Islands, said "electors did not feel we represented them well enough".

1711 Labour's Michael McMahon says the Labour vote has gone down just 0.5% across Scotland. He says Labour could not have anticipated so many Lib Dems moving to the SNP.

1707 Reflecting the success the SNP had in the constituency seats in the Highland and Islands region, the party got names number 5,6 and 7 on their list elected. The SNP won 6 of the 8 constituency seats in the region. The only two they did not win were Shetland and Orkney where huge Lib Dem majorities took a battering but they held on. Orkney and Shetland - the Northern Isles - were the only two constituency seats the Lib Dems won. They have picked up just two regional list seats, taking them to 4 MSPs in the next parliament.

1706 SNP on 68 seats with Mid-Scotland and Fife still to declare. That is an overall majority of 3.

1705 DECLARATION: Highlands and Islands regional list - SNP 3, Labour 2, Tory 2

1656 The first A/V referendum result in Scotland has come through from Orkney. Orkney says NO to changing to an Alternative Vote system for the Westminster parliament. The vote was 60% to 40% against A/V.

1654 The turnout in Glasgow Provan was 34.5%

1652 The Eastwood constituency in East Renfrewshire had the highest turnout at 62.8%.

1646 Catriona Renton asks Willie Rennie if Scottish Lib Dem leader Tavish Scott should resign. "We are in mourning, let us mourn," said Mr Rennie.

1645 UK Labour leader Ed Miliband said: "I respect the decision Iain Gray has made today and I want to thank him for everything he has done for the Scottish Labour Party. While we have seen good results today, gaining councils and councillors across England and winning in Wales, this is clearly a very disappointing election result in Scotland. We need to learn the lessons of that result, both political and organisational. That is why I, with Iain, am today putting in place a root-and-branch review of the Labour Party in Scotland. This will bring together all elements of the Scottish party to renew it for the future."

1640 Catriona Renton said the result was due on Mid-Scotland and Fife regional list "reasonably soon". Lib Dem candidate Willie Rennie said the waiting had been so tedious he had been counting the bricks in the wall. Mr Rennie said the outcome so far had been a "terrible" result for the Lib Dems. "We'll be back. We are going to listen and going to learn from this defeat," he said.

Tim Reid
1637 BBC Scotland's Tim Reid said SNP leader Alex Salmond was due in 40 minutes to arrive at Prestonfield House in Edinburgh to deliver his victory speech. He said flying into the grounds of a posh hotel would give the speech a "presidential" air.

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1632 From Twitter: BBC Scotland's Scott Holdaway says: "Kenny MacAskill declines to discuss timeframe for independence referendum, but says "It is going to take place...that is a certainty."

1624 In the A/V referendum - Turnout was highest in Scotland, at 50.7%. Holding the referendum on the same day as devolved elections was a highly controversial move, with critics complaining that higher turnout in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland would skew the national picture.

1609 Prof Alice Brown said Mr Harvie was right to be disappointed as the aim of the Scottish Parliament's voting system had been to provide more "diversity". She added that the number of women in the parliament had fallen from last session. It is 39 women down from 45, which was itself down on the previous parliament. Prof Brown said the drop in the number of women could have been more serious but Labour had more female candidates on its regional lists than it did in its constituency seats.

1603 Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, Patrick Harvie, said he was disappointed that his party had only secured two MSPs. He said: "I would be lying if I tried to hide my disappointment. It looks like we are in for another five years of extremely hard work."

1601 Two regional lists still to declare: The total so far is SNP 65, Labour 32, Conservative 11, Lib Dems 4, Scottish Greens 2, Independent 1.

1553 Independent candidate Margo MacDonald is back in the Scottish Parliament on the Lothian regional list. She said: "I have got some ideas for things I want done and I might work with the government. Alex Salmond's not daft, he knows a good idea when he sees one. There are some things I will be working against the government on."

1547 The SNP got 110,953 regional list votes in Lothian - 40,000 more than Labour. However, the additional member system did not hand any further seats to the SNP because it had won 8 of the 9 setas in the region.

1542 Former Tory leader David McLetchie, who lost Edinburgh Pentlands to the SNP, has been elected on the Lothian list. Labour's Sarah Boyack, who lost Edinburgh Central to the SNP, has got into the Scottish Parliament on the regional list. Labour rules do not usually allow candidates to be on both the regional list and fight a constituency seat. However, in cases such as Sarah Boyack's, whose constituency had been redrawn to give a notional victory to another party, there were exceptions made by Labour.

1536 DECLARATION: Lothian regional list - Labour 3, Conservative 2, Green 1 (Alison Johnson), and Independent Margo Macdonald are elected. The SNP which took eight of the nine seats in the Lothian first-past-the-post constituencies got no regional seats.

1531 First Minister Mr Salmond is expected to land by helicopter in Edinburgh later

1527 In a BBC Scotland interview Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray says he takes "full responsibility" for the defeat, there will be a "root and branch review" and he intends to stand down as leader of the Scottish Labour party in the autumn

1523 BBC Scotland's Catriona Renton said it would be close to 1600 BST for the Mid-Scotland and Fife regional list. SNP are going to have to go down to number four on their list to find someone who has not already been elected in a constituency seat.

1521 Alex Salmond is the first Scottish first minister to hold a majority in the Scottish Parliament. The SNP chief said he now leads "Scotland's national party".

1520 Counting begins in the A/V referendum at 1600 BST so the regional list counting needs to be done by then.

1515 BBC Scotland's Craig Anderson in Dingwall says the Highlands and Islands regional list, expected by 1600 BST, is difficult to call but he predicted "2 SNP, 2 Labour, 1 or 2 Tories and possibly a Lib Dem or a Green".

1502 Three regional list declarations still to come - Lothians was postponed because of irregularities but is expected in the next hour. Highlands was scheduled for about 1600 BST and Mid-Scotland and Fife can't be far away. Counting in all the Fife constituencies ended at 1430 BST.

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1457 From Twitter BBC Scotland's Scott Holdaway: Lord Steel on Lib Dem #sp11 collapse: "The party lost votes not because of anything it did in Scotland but because of the coaliton."

1432 The SNP's Keith Brown polled a 48.3% share of the vote in Clackmannanshire & Dunblane. His very slim notional majority over Labour in the redrawn seat has increased to 3,609.

1429 Labour were down just 0.5% in Kirkcaldy but the SNP steamed through to win with an 11.95 increase in share. The Lib Dems yet again collapsed, down 10.1%.

1425 All the constituency seats are in. The SNP has 65 seats - an overall majority in the parliament, with 21 regional seats still to declare.

1423 DECLARATION: Clackmannanshire and Dunblane - SNP hold. The SNP's victor in Argyll and Bute, Mike Russell,

1422 Kirkcaldy win for David Torrance takes the SNP to 64 seats, just one short of an overall majority.

1420 DECLARATION: Kirkcaldy - SNP gain from Labour

1413 BBC political editor Brian Taylor wrote on his blog : "On the occasion of his first victory, Alex Salmond declared: 'I heard a rumour. I think we won the election.' No single seat victory this time. No murmured rumour, even expressed ironically. This is a yell, a holler. For the SNP, a shout of joy. For Labour and others, a shriek of pain.

1405 Mike Russell polled 50.6% of the vote in Argyll and Bute. His share was up 16% while the Lib Dems were down 19.6%. Russell's majority rose tenfold from 807 to 8,543.

1402 DECLARATION: Argyll and Bute - SNP hold. Mike Russell, education secretary in the previous Scottish goverment, is the latest SNP candidate to be elected.

1400 Top political pundit John Curtice is predicting 68 seats for the SNP. This means the SNP would have an overall majority.

1355 It's been a long night/day in the TV studio..... Glenn Campbell: "The Holyrood banana is very yellow". Douglas Fraser: "Yes. It's a yellow banana."

1349 RECAP There have now been 70 constituency declarations. SNP 50, Labour 15, Conservatives 3 and Lib Dems 2. There have been five of the eight regional lists declared: SNP 12, Labour 14, Conservatives 6, Lib Dems 2, Scottish Greens 1. There are 24 seats still to be decided. The SNP have a total of 62, Labour have 29, Conservatives 9, Lib Dems 4 and Greens 1. The SNP are just three seats short of an overall majority, despite a voting system designed to spread the second votes proportionally among all the parties.

1345 One of the four SNP candidates returned from the South of Scotland regional list is newspaper columnist Joan McAlpine.

1342 The redrawn Dunfermline constituency gave the Lib Dems a very small notional majority of just 77 over Labour. In the end, the SNP came through and took the seat with 37.6% of the vote. The Lib Dems again collapsed, down 13.5%. The Lib Dems were more than 5,000 down on the SNP.

1341 DECLARATION: Dunfermline - SNP gain from Lib Dems

1340 A very rare success for Labour in Cowdenbeath. The Labour vote went up by 3.4% and helen Eadie held off a challenge from the SNP whose vote went up by 13.1%.

1339 - DECLARATION - Cowdenbeath - Labour hold

1336 DECLARATION: Fife North East - SNP gain from Lib Dems

1334 Tricia Marwick wins for the SNP in Glenrothes. That seat and four in the South of Scotland region ake the SNP to 60

1334 DECLARATION: Mid-Fife and Glenrothes - SNP hold

1332 DECLARATION: South of Scotland regional list - SNP 4, Labour 2, Lib Dem 1

Iain Gray
1315 A statement from Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray said: "It is now clear that the SNP has won the election, so early this morning I spoke with Alex Salmond to congratulate him on his victory. Labour has lost many talented representatives, and it seems very likely that Labour's new and returning MSPs will play their part in the democratic process in the Scottish Parliament from opposition, but will do so with gusto. Labour's MSPs will work constructively with the new Scottish government to create jobs and tackle unemployment wherever we can."

1314 From BBC Scotland's Laura Bicker: "The Scottish Labour party deny rumours that Iain Gray is to quit. Sky News have been reporting that the Labour leader is expected to stand down. But a spokesman for the party says this is not true."

1311 BBC Scotland's Lisa Summers says all the votes have been declared in the Lothians but the regional list has been postponed due discrepancies. It appears 200 votes went missing in Midlothian and there will be a recount.

1306 The only seat the Lib Dems have taken on the Scottish mainland is a regional list seat in the North East. Their other two seats are the Northern Isles - Shetland and Orkney. They were two of the safest seats in Scotland but the Lib Dem vote dropped by 19.2% in Shetland and by 11.8% in Orkney.

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1302 From Twitter @patrickharvie. "Whatever you think of #sp11 result, please spare a thought for the staff of all defeated MSPs. They work hard, and this process is brutal."

1259 Constituencies still to declare: Argyll and Bute; Clackmannanshire and Dunblane; Cowdenbeath; Dunfermline; Kirkcaldy; Mid-Fife and Glenrothes; North East Fife. Four regional lists Highlands and Islands; Mid Scotland and Fife; South of Scotland; and Lothians.

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1257 From Twitter: BBC Scotland's Scott Holdaway says: "15.8% swing from Labour to SNP in Nah h-Eileanan an Iar. Alasdair Allan increases SNP majority by more than 4,000 votes."

1254 Alasdair Allan of the SNP held the Western Isles seat with 65.3% of the vote. Labour collapsed, down 13%

1251 DECLARATION: Nah h-Eileanan an Iar (Western Isles) - SNP hold.

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1248 From Twitter - @stigweird85 channels the Proclaimers with the tweet: "Skye no more, Lochaber no more, Lib Dems no more."

1246 From Twitter - @ thesnp says: "A Brucey bonus for the SNP - Bruce Crawford holds Stirling by 5,000."

1240 The redrawn Stirling seat was supposed to be a marginal between the SNP and Labour. The SNP's Bruce Crawford was returned with a majority of more than 5,600. Mr Crawford got 48.9% of the votes cast - up 16.1%.

1239 DECLARATION: Stirling - SNP gain from Labour

1226 Jamie McIvor says Michael Russell of the SNP is expected to win easily in Argyll & Bute. "The question is how big Mike Russell's majority will be and whether the Lib Dems will slip from second to third or fourth," Jamie says. Argyll and Bute had been the Lib Dems top target.

1230 Andrew Anderson says Clackmannanshire and Dunblane is expected to declare at about 1400 BST.

1226 Jamie McIvor: Argyll & Bute result possible between 1330 and 1400 BST.

1225 Sandy Murray says Stirling could be ready to declare in the next 10 minutes. It looks like a comfortable SNP win, Sandy says.

1221 Total seats so far SNP 53, Labour 26, Conservatives 9, Lib Dems 3, Scottish Greens 1. The SNP needs 9 more seats for an overall majority, something which the electoral system designed by Labour was to make impossible. At the last Scottish Parliament election in 2007, the SNP formed a minority government with 47 MSPs.

1215 RECAPThere have been declarations in 64 of the 73 constituency seats. The SNP has won 45, Labour 14, Conservatives 3, Lib Dems 2. There have been results from four of the eight regional lists. Labour has picked up 12, SNP 8, Conservative 6, Lib Dems 1, Scottish Greens 1. That is 92 of the 129 seats declared. There are 9 constituencies and 28 regional seats still to declare.

1213 The SNP's Fergus Ewing got 51.5% of the vote in Inverness and Nairn. The Lib Dems went down 15.9%.

1211 BBC Scotland's Iain MacDonald said Lib Dem "meltdown" in the Highlands. The SNP holds all the Highland constituencies. Shetland and Orkney, which fall under the Highland region, are still Lib Dem, though with reduced share.

1207 DECLARATION: Inverness & Nairn - SNP hold Fergus Ewing holds on to the seat for the SNP

1203 Political analyst John Curtice said: "The Labour party looks like it is heading for its worst result in Scotland since at least 1931. Perhaps most remarkable is many a seat in the west of Scotland which the Labour party has long regarded as invulnerable is now in SNP hands. In truth we have seen something little short of a political revolution in Scotland over the past few hours."

1200 The SNP's Dave Thomson got 46.2% of the vote in the redrawn Skye seat. The Lib Dems, once a force in the Highlands, again collapsed, losing 11.3%.

1157 DECLARATION: Skye, Lochaber & Badenoch - SNP gain from Lib Dems

1154 Top psephologist John Curtice said the Scottish Greens had not made a breakthrough on the regional list and that means there was more left for the SNP. His latest forecast is 67 seats for the SNP - an overall majority of two. He said: "It may all depend on the decimal points of the last few seats but it would be strange for the SNP not to get an overall majority."

The SNP candidate elected in the North East region was fifth on their list. He turned up for the count in jeans and t-shirt, never expecting to be elected.

1147 The SNP won all 10 first-past-the-post seats in the north east and it should have been impossible for them to pick up any additional list seats. The SNP got a 40.5% share on the North East list. The next closest was Labour on 19.6%. The Greens polled more than 10,000 regional votes in north east but were squeezed out by the SNP's massive 140,749. The SNP got almost 14 times the number of votes of the party in fifth place, the Scottish Greens.

1145 David Denver, political pundit, who said the SNP could not get a seat in the North East, says he is amazed. He is off to look at the figures.

1144 DECLARATION: North East Scotland regional list - Labour 3, Conservatives 2, Lib Dems 1, SNP 1

1138 The SNP's John Mason, who took Glasgow Shettleston from Labour, said: "It was rock-solid Labour and so were a lot of seats. We have taken five in Glasgow, which is quite amazing for all of us. As Jimmy Reid said it was not he who left the Labour Party it was the Labour Party who left him."

1136 Caithness takes the SNP to 50 seats

1133 Rob Gibson takes a huge win in Caithness for the SNP. The SNP vote was up 16.6% while the Lib Dems were down 18.1%. BBC Scotland's Iain MacDonald said the Highlands used to be a Lib Dem stronghold but it looks like they will be wiped out tonight and it will become an SNP stronghold.

1132 DECLARATION: Caithness, Sutherland & Ross - SNP gain from Lib Dems

1123 John Park, Scottish Labour's campaign manager said the ultimate responsibility for the campaign's failure "falls on me". He said: "I think organisationally we did run a good campaign in a lot constituencies." He said Iain Gray was unfairly singled out for criticism during the campaign. "A lot of really good MSPs are no longer going to representing Labour in the parliament."

1120Henry McLeish added: "In my 30 years in politics this campaign has been the most negative. People want a vision, they want Scottishness to be an important factor."

1116Former Labour first minister Henry McLeish said he was depressed and disappointed but not surprised. He said: "We haven't taken the SNP as seriously as we might have done. We don't really respect the fact it is a very distinctive Scottish election around Holyrood in contrast with Westminster. These lessons could have been learned four years ago."

1112BBC Scotland's Heather Dewar is at the count in Dunfermline. Four seats will declare there. She said ballot boxes were locked in the sports centre overnight and counting began at 0800 BST. Declarations expected at about 1300 BST.


1106 BBC Scotland's Joanne Macaulay says counting is very slow in Glenrothes. They are still verifying the papers. Counting not started. The SNP activists in Mid-Fife and Glenrothes believe they will hold the redrawn seat. However, the SNP are not as optimistic of taking Kirkcaldy from Labour.

1105 The BBC's Jamie McIvor says senior Lib Dems are expecting SNP to hold Argyll & Bute with an increased majority

1054 From Twitter: @StevieWardDrive says "SNP in charge in Scotland, Labour in Wales, Con-Dem running Westminster. United Kingdom? I think not."

1050Under the additional member electoral system the SNP cannot get any regional list seats in the North East of Scotland because of its massive success in the first-past-the-post vote. It won all 10 constituency seats in the North East Scotland region.

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1049 From Twitter: @LegalWeasel says: "Labour peer Lord Hattersley says the SNP have made gains because they are offering something "genuinely radical".

Brian Taylor
1037 BBC Scotland political editor Brian Taylor says the voting system used in the Scottish Parliament was designed by a Labour goverrnment at Westminster with the "explicit" intention of preventing the SNP from gaining a majority of the seats on a minority of the popular vote. He said: "The SNP has now done so well that they have overcome that hurdle. Even though they have won all those first-past-the-post seats and the second vote is designed to be a corrective mechanism - to give some support to the other parties who have gained a string of second places - the SNP vote is so strong on the second vote that they are picking up seats there as well."

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1024 From Twitter - BBC Scotland's Tim Reid says: "Reliable sources suggesting that Lib Dems might lose to SNP in North East Fife and two Highland seats, including John Farquhar Munro's former constituency, which is now called Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch

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1021 From Twitter - BBC political correspondent Laura Kuennsberg -@BBCLauraK says: "Senior SNP source tells me 'confident of making further gains which may mean an overall majority' - won't know for sure before 1200 BST

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1015 From Twitter - BBC political correspondent Laura Kuennsberg @BBCLauraK says: "John McTernan (former political secretary to Tony Blair) tells me Iain Gray won't be Labour leader in Scotland at next election."

1012 Regional list votes in the Lothians and in North East Scotland have been delayed. Mid-Scotland and Fife, South of Scotland and Highlands and Islands also still to declare. Lothians expected about 1530 BST. Highlands could be 1600 BST. Dunfermline first-past-the-ppost constituency not due until 1200 BST. There are 35 regional seats and 12 constituency seats to declare.

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0959 From Twitter: Tim Reid @TimReidBBC - "Salmond aide admits "no" didn't expect such a good result but says 70-seat projection unlikely. I regard 60 as a ceiling"

0955 On the West of Scotland regional list the SNP took 117,306 votes - 41.5% of all the votes polled. However, they do not get the most seats on the list because they had already won 6 of the 10 first-past-the post seats in that region. The regional list is an additional member top-up system which was designed to bring an element of proportionality to the system.

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0952 From Twitter - Glasgow City Council - The turnout across Glasgow is 40.14% in the constituency contests and 40.17% in the regional vote

0945 DECLARATION: West of Scotland regional list - Labour 3, Conservative 2, SNP 2 Scottish Conservative leader Annabel Goldie returned to Holyrood on the West of Scotland list. Defeated Eastwood Tory candidate Jackson Carlaw also in on the list.

0930 RECAP: 61 out of 73 constituency results have been declared. SNP have won 42, Labour 14, Conservatives 3, Lib Dems 2. There have been declarations at two of the eight regional list counts. Labour has 6, SNP 5, Tory 2, Scottish Greens 1. The six regional lists contain another 42 seats. A final SNP tally of 68 seats is being predicted, which would give the party an overall majority at Holyrood.

0918 Prof Pittock said Labour misjudged the approach to the election, adding: "Labour has steadily treated Holyrood as a B-team, just somebody that people should vote for to give the Tories a bloody nose. Labour was negative."

0916 Professor Murray Pittock, a vice principal of Glasgow University, and author of The Road to Independence?, suggested Labour may have been guilty of complacency in seats the party did not expect to lose. He said: "The scale of it is a surprise, particularly the fact that so many first-past-the-post seats have fallen."

0907 The SNP's share of the first-past-the-post constituency votes declared so far is 45.1% - that is up 12.3% on the last election. Perhaps, surprisingly Labour is only down 0.6%. The Lib Dems are down 7.6%.

0856 Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale is a mainly rural seat which takes in Penicuik, Peebles and Galashiels. The Lib Dems' Jeremy Purvis was the party's finance spokesman and had been an MSP since 2003. His vote went down 2.2%, Labour was down 2.6% and Conservatives were down 4.4%.

0850 DECLARATION: Midlothian South, Tweeddale & Lauderdale - SNP hold The old Tweeddale, Ettrick & Lauderdale seat was Lib Dem, but under boundary changes the redrawn seat was counted as SNP. Christine Grahame has won it for the SNP. Her share of the vote was up 9.6%

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0849 From Twitter: Tim Reid: "Scots Tories claim they may end up with "close to" previous total of 17 MSPs. Aides say Goldie's leadership not in question." #sp11

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0839 From Twitter - BBC Business editor Robert Peston - @peston - "If SNP has clear mandate in Scotland, and Labour has one in Wales, what authority will Westminster coalition have in those countries?"

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0833 From Twitter @NyborNybor "Sigh. Why oh Why does Scottish TV always have to ask someone from River City what they think?" #sp11

0830 DECLARATION: Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire - Conservative hold John Lamont holds on for the Conservatives and, against the trend, increases his share. The SNP came second. The Lib Dems came third and lost 16.5% of their vote.

0814 From John Curtice, the psephologist's psephologist (he crunches the election numbers). Here is the latest prediction for the final outcome. The latest Scotland prediction is now: SNP 68, Labour 38, Conservatives 13, Lib Dems 6, Scottish Greens three, Others one. This would mean the SNP would have an overall majority. The result would represent Labour's worst result since at least 1931, the worst Tory result ever and the worst Lib Dem performance since 1979.

0807 The returning officer for Edinburgh says that the Lothians regional list will not be declared until about 1530 BST.

Douglas Fraser
0759 Douglas Fraser says: "Annabel Goldie says Tories will "seek agreements that serve Scotland for the next few years, not just the next few weeks". That's if the SNP needs Tory votes for a majority, and that's not yet clear."

Brian Taylor
0753 From Brian Taylor's blog: " Impact from the results obviously most clearly felt at Holyrood . But there will be pressures elsewhere too. Firstly, the impetus towards an independence referendum will be significantly enhanced. Secondly - and probably more immediately - there will be pressure for greater powers within the Scotland Bill, presently before Westminster."

Brian Taylor
0739 Political editor Brian Taylor said Labour suffered two types of defeat. In some constituencies its share of the vote went up but it lost because the collapse in the Lib Dem vote went to the SNP (Glasgow Kelvin, Strathkelvin & Bearsden and Edinburgh East are examples of this). However, if Labour wanted to use this as a narrative for their poor performance, Brian Taylor says it would be "tosh". In head-to-head contests with the SNP, Labour lost (Cumbernauld and Kilsyth, Carrick, Cumnock & Doon Valley and Glasgow Shettleston, one of Labour's safest seats.)

0730 Aberdeen Donside saw the SNP entrench its domination of the north east. The SNP took 55.4% of the vote, up 10.6%. Labour was down 3.2% but the Lib Dems lost 10% of their vote.

0725 DECLARATION: Aberdeen Donside - SNP hold Brian Adam holds the redrawn Aberdeen South seat for the SNP

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0721 @CameronButtle on Twitter says: SSP Colin Fox has list on his fridge of all party leaders going back five years "looking forward to scoring out another couple of names!"

0718 With 58 constituencies and two regional lists declared. The total is SNP 45, Labour 20, Conservative 4, Lib Dems 2, Scottish Greens 1.

0715 DECLARATION: Aberdeen South and North Kincardine - SNP gain from Lib Dems. Maureen Watt wins for SNP. Her vote was up 13.2%. Labour were also up slightly but the Lib Dems lost 18.4%.

0708 DECLARATION: Renfrewshire North and West: SNP gain from Labour

0705 DECLARATION: Midlothian North and Musselburgh: SNP gain from Labour

0700 The SNP's Humza Yousaf, who was elected on the regional list in Glasgow, said: "At the moment it's completely unbelievable, shell-shocked. Not just by the fact I am being elected, I was always quite confident we would do well on the list here in Glasgow, but by the national picture. I think even by our wildest, optimistic dreams we couldn't have imagined such a historic landslide."

0657 With two of the regional lists declared the total MSPs per party is: SNP 44, Labour 20, Conservative 4, Lib Dem 2, Scottish Greens 1

0652 DECLARATION: Aberdeen Central - SNP hold (notional)Boundary changes gave this as a very narrow SNP majority despite Labour's Lewis Macdonald being the sitting MSP. In the end the SNP won with a majority of 617. Both the Labour and SNP vote went up. The Lib Dems down 17.6%.

0649 @Gill_Potter Apparently East Kilbride was trending worldwide on Twitter. The power of politics! -- Labour's Andy Kerr lost his East Kilbride seat to the SNP's Linda Fabiani.

0645 On the regional list the SNP's representation has gone down despite their vote going up. In Glasgow in 2007 the SNP took four (a notional five after boundary changes) this time they got two. In Central Scotland in 2007 SNP got five, this time they got three. This is because the additional member system is designed as a top-up to increase the proportional representation in the Scottish Parliament. The SNP's massive constitutency vote means they need very little top-up.

0640 Overall swing from Labour to the SNP of 6.5%. The SNP polled 46.4% of the regional vote in Central Scotland.

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0635 Andrew Black on Twitter: Hugh O'Donnell, the rebel Lib Dem who quit the party to stand as independent gets 821 votes in Central Scotland list, so not elected #sp11

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0631 Andrew Black on Twitter: And we have a father/daughter Labour MSP team at Holyrood with election of Michael and Siobhan McMahon #sp11

0627 Patrick Harvie from the Scottish Greens said Labour were picking up regional list seats because they did so badly in the constituency seats.

0625 Glasgow regional list - 3 Labour, 2 SNP, 1 Conservative, 1 Green (Patrick Harvie). George Galloway failed to pick up a list seat

0621 Central Scotland regional list confirmed as Labour 3, SNP 3, Tory 1

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0617Andrew Black on Twitter says Central Scotland regional list declaring soon. "We're hearing it could be 3 SNP, 3 Labour and 1 Tory MSP elected."

0608Good morning. A change of shift here and time for a quick recap. With 54 constituency seats declared the total is SNP 37, Labour 14, Lib Dem 2, Conservative 1. SNP leader Alex Salmond called it a "historic" night. His party have so far made 19 gains. Among the Labour losses are former minister Andy Kerr and Tom McCabe. The Lib Dems have lost their deposit in 20 seats. The Tories have lost three seats.

0602: Party supporters say Glasgow regional list: Lab 3, SNP 2, green 1, Tory 1. #sp11 @BBCandrewkerr

0558: DECLARATIONS: Kilmarnock & Irvine Valley - SNP hold. Clydebank & Milngavie - SNP gain. Gil Paterson for the SNP beats Labour's Des McNulty in Clydebank & Milngavie.

0555: DECLARATION: Glasgow Anniesland - SNP gain. After a recount, only seven votes in it in Anniesland and the seat falls to the Scottish National Party.

0553: Good morning if you're just joining us, the tally so far: SNP - 34; Labour 14, Lib Dem - 2, Conservative - 1.

0549: DECLARATIONS: Carrick, Cumnock & Doon Valley - SNP gain. Aberdeenshire West - SNP gain. Dennis Robertson takes Aberdeenshire West ahead of the Liberal Democrat veteran Mike Rumbles.

0543: DECLARATION: Edinburgh Central - SNP gain. Marco Biagi takes the seat, just 237 votes ahead of Labour's Sarah Boyack. Further success in the cities for the Nationalists.

0540: DECLARATION: Perthshire South & Kinross-shire - SNP hold. The SNP's Roseanna Cunningham keeps the seat, with a 51% share of the vote and a majority of just over 7,000.

0532: DECLARATIONS: Angus North & Mearns - SNP hold. Edinburgh Northern & Leith - Labour hold. Dumbarton - Labour hold. Some good news for Labour as Malcolm Chisholm holds on in Edinburgh Northern & Leith with a slim majority of 595.

0527: DECLARATION: Perthshire North - SNP hold. John Swinney is returned in Perthshire North. Meanwhile there are reports that Labour has conceded the recount in Donald Dewar's old seat of Glasgow Anniesland.

0519: DECLARATIONS: Renfrewshire South - Labour hold. Edinburgh Eastern - SNP gain. Hugh Henry is successful in Renfrewshire South while Kenny MacAskill's gain comes against a notional Labour majority in an Edinburgh seat which had its boundaries redrawn.

0517: The seats have been coming thick and fast, with good news for the SNP in many areas, but how will the list votes break down?

0514: DECLARATION: Cunninghame North - SNP hold. Kenny Gibson keeps the Cunninghame North constituency with a healthy majority of 6,117.

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0512: Double whammy for SNP in Renfrewshire. Winner in Paisley, George Adam, was best man at Ren N&W winner Derek McKay's wedding! #sp11

0507: DECLARATION: Renfrewshire North & West - SNP gain. Derek MacKay takes the seat for the Nationalists. Tory leader Annabel Goldie came third, behind Labour's Stuart Clark in second. Annabel Goldie is, however, expected to be returned on the party list.

0500: DECLARATIONS: Almond Valley - SNP hold. Angus South - SNP hold. Banffshire & Buchan Coast - SNP hold. Edinburgh Southern - SNP gain. The Liberal Democrat's Mike Pringle loses his seat in Edinburgh to the SNP.

0455: DECLARATION: Paisley - SNP gain. George Adam increases the SNP share of the vote by almost 13% to take what had been a Labour seat for former Labour leader Wendy Alexander.

0454: The Daily Record front page says Ecky Thump, while the Scottish Sun goes with Shock And Awesome.

0451: Iain Gray says: "I am the elected leader of the Scottish Labour Party, and that gives me the responsibility. The responsibility to lead, looking at the campaign, analysing what's happened tonight, and deciding how the party goes forward. That's a responsibility that I intend to undertake."

0445: DECLARATION: Linlithgow - SNP gain. Fiona Hyslop for the Nationalists overturns a Labour majority. Ms Hyslop says the result was a victory for the politics of hope.

0438: DECLARATIONS: Glasgow Kelvin - SNP gain. Edinburgh Western - SNP gain. Glasgow Pollok - Labour hold. Johann Lamont holds on in Pollok, the SNP's Sandra White beats Labour's Pauline McNeill in Glasgow Kelvin and Colin Keir ousts Margaret Smith in Edinburgh Western.

0436: Alex Salmond tells BBC Scotland this is a "historic" night.

0432: DECLARATION: Cunninghame South - SNP gain. Margaret Burgess of the SNP defeats Labour's Irene Oldfather, yet another of the class of '99. There was a swing of 9.9% from Labour to the Nationalists.

0422: DECLARATIONS: Glasgow Provan - Labour hold. Strathkelvin & Bearsden - SNP gain. Edinburgh Pentlands - SNP gain. Dumfriesshire - Labour gain.

0414: DECLARATION: Aberdeenshire East - SNP hold. SNP leader Alex Salmond returned with a 15,295 majority. He says: "The SNP must represent all of Scotland, just as all of Scotland needs the Scottish National Party." Mr Salmond says the SNP has a mandate to increase the powers of the Scottish Parliament.

0412: DECLARATIONS: Motherwell & Wishaw - Labour hold. Moray - SNP hold. The Nationalist's Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead is re-elected in Moray.

0408: DECLARATION: Galloway & West Dumfries - Conservative hold. The Tory's Alex Fergusson is the first Holyrood presiding officer to seek re-election, all previous presiding officers have stepped down.

0405: Safe Labour seats are falling, Glasgow Anniesland are recounting with the SNP up by only one vote. Labour's Margaret Curran says the results are "shocking". She says she has long been arguing Labour needs an overhaul.

0401: DECLARATION: Glasgow Cathcart - SNP gain. Labour's Charlie Gordon loses the seat to the SNP's James Dornan. He beat Labour's transport spokesman by 1,592 votes, with an increase of 14% in the SNP share.

0357: Iain Macwhirter says this is a "once in a century" event, where the SNP has replaced Labour as the party of Scotland.

0355: After 20 declarations: SNP - 11, Lab - 7, LibDem - 2.

0348: DECLARATIONS: Falkirk East - SNP gain. Cumbernauld & Kilsyth - SNP gain. Labour leader Iain Gray says: "These are very big losses and my heart goes out to colleagues who have lost their seats tonight. These are very bad results. I think we've failed to convince enough Lib Dem voters that have moved away from the Lib Dems to vote Labour."

0346: DECLARATION: Glasgow Shettleston - SNP gain. Frank McAveety does lose his seat and the SNP's John Mason returns as a Nationalist representative. Mr Mason was an SNP MP after winning the Glasgow East by-election in 2008. The seat was retaken by Labour in the 2010 UK general election.

0343: DECLARATION: Dundee City West - SNP hold. Joe Fitzpatrick of the SNP saw his share of the vote increase by 12%. This was a Labour target seat.

0336: DECLARATIONS: Falkirk West - SNP hold. Glasgow Maryhill & Springburn - Labour hold. Orkney Islands - Liberal Democrat hold. Coatbridge & Chryston - Labour hold.

0330: DECLARATION: East Lothian - Labour hold. Labour leader Iain Gray hangs on by 151 votes. Mr Gray says: "We will work with anyone who will work with us to get Scotland working again."

0328 : DECLARATION: Shetland Islands - Liberal Democrat hold. Liberal Democrat leader Tavish Scott was always likely to hold what is a very safe seat.

0325: DECLARATION: Greenock & Inverclyde - Labour hold. Duncan McNeil successful for Labour with a much reduced majority of 511.

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0322: Conservatives David McLetchie says he's "gutted", says he's lost EDIN Pentlands. @cameronbuttle

0316: Alex Neil, who took Airdrie & Shotts for the Nationalists, says there has been a "political tsunami" in favour of the SNP. Commentator Iain Macwhirter says there has been an epic change in the political landscape. He predicts there will be a referendum on independence.

0313 : DECLARATION: Dundee City East - SNP hold. Shona Robison gets in on a majority of 10,679. There was a swing of 12.5% from Labour to SNP.

0305: DECLARATION: Glasgow Southside - SNP gain. SNP deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon wins what was a slim notional Labour seat after boundary changes. She says: "I am so proud of the positive, upbeat campaign conducted by the SNP. This has been a triumph for positivity over negativity." Ms Sturgeon says she believes there may be more shocks to come - there are some rumours that Frank McAveety may be in trouble in Glasgow Shettleston.

0302: DECLARATION: Airdrie & Shotts - SNP gain. The SNP's Alex Neil unseats Karen Whitefield of Labour, another MSP who has lost a seat they had held since the start of the Scottish Parliament in 1999. The seat was fifth on the list of Nationalist's target seats.

0301: Very close in East Lothian.

0259: Also coming up: A raft of constituencies are expected to declare in the next couple of hours, including Falkirk West, where the SNP's Michael Matheson has a 2.6% notional majority over Labour. Results are also due for the six Edinburgh seats, with Central and Eastern both having slim notional majorities. And in Edinburgh South, there are reports that Lib Dem Mike Pringle - who had a 12.3% notional majority - has lost the seat. Councillor Paul Godzik is standing for Labour.

0258: A rush of declarations is expected in Glasgow over the next hour.

0252: DECLARATION: Uddinston & Bellshill - Labour hold. Michael McMahon holds the seat despite a large increase in the SNP vote for Richard Lyle.

0250: DECLARATION: Eastwood - Labour gain. Ken Macintosh wins over the Conservative's Jackson Carlaw. The swing was 8.7% from Conservative to Labour.

0243: Results for party leaders Tavish Scott and Iain Gray expected in the next 15 minutes.

Andrew Black
0240: Andrew Black: All seats at the East Kilbride count have now declared. It's been a devastating night for Labour in supposed safe territory for the party. Labour managed to win Rutherglen, but the SNP have claimed East Kilbride, Clydesdale and Hamilton. It's early days yet on whether we can draw overall conclusions, but big Labour hitters Andy Kerr and Tom McCabe have failed to win seats in one of their party's key heartlands.

0230: Don't forget you can get the breakdown of declared seats on our constituency profiles.

0220: The seat count so far is SNP: 3. Labour: 1

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0217: Prof Richard Kerley: Swings to SNP are v impressive and reflect more than a collapse in the Liberal vote #sp11 @BBCScotElection

0211: DECLARATION: Clydesdale - SNP gain. Another long-standing Labour MSP loses to the SNP. The Nationalist's Aileen Campbell pays tribute to Labour's Karen Gillon, a "well-liked and well-respected" MSP. Ms Gillon has held the seat since 1999. There was a swing of 8.9% from Labour to the SNP.

Raymond Buchanan
0204: Iain Gray "very disappointing" on loss of McCabe and Kerr. He says his own seat is "tight" #sp11. Tom McCabe "very different dynamic in Holyrood and Westminster elections" #sp11 @BBCRaymondB

0200: Winnie Ewing, who won the Hamilton by-election for the SNP in 1967, says she is "moved beyond words" by Christina McKelvie's victory.

0156: Tom McCabe says losing his seat was a shock.

0154: Iain Gray tells BBC Scotland that Labour's vote may have held up but the collapse of the Liberal Democrats has benefited the SNP.

0147: The SNP's Nicola Sturgeon is "cautiously optimistic" about taking Glasgow Southside.

0133: DECLARATION: Hamilton, Larkhall & Stonehouse - SNP gain. Labour's Tom McCabe loses the seat he has held since 1999 to the Nationalists's Christina McKelvie. Mr McCabe says: "We'll learn our lesson and we will do our best to come back." Mr McCabe is a former Labour minister under Henry McLeish and Jack McConnell. There was an 11% swing from Labour to the SNP.

0126: Looking like a collapse in Liberal Democrat votes in parts of Scotland. Former Lib Dem leader Lord Wallace: "You have your ups, you have your downs, we'll be back."

0124: Linda Fabiani says a positive campaign locally and nationally has paid off for the SNP. "People have recognised that what we care about is Scotland."

0122: Labour say it's looking pretty tight between their candidate Karen Whitefield and the SNP's Alex Neil at Airdrie and Shotts

0115: DECLARATION: East Kilbride - SNP gain. A 6.6% swing to the SNP gives Linda Fabiani a majority of almost 2,000 over Andy Kerr. BBC Scotland's Raymond Buchanan says taking a scalp like Mr Kerr's will be deeply concerning for Labour candidates as the night unfolds.

0110: Linda Fabiani seems to look very happy - she's standing against Labour's Andy Kerr in East Kilbride. BBC Scotland hearing indications that Mr Kerr has lost his seat. Labour's finance spokesman has held it since 1999.

Brian Taylor
0108: Brian Taylor: First things first. Warm congratulations to James Kelly for his election as the MSP for the redrawn Rutherglen seat. But the story it tells for Scotland is intriguing. Collapse in the Lib Dem vote - and it seems to have gone to the SNP, rather than Labour. Tories manage to hold on. If, if, that is repeated across Scotland, then the SNP are back in power, big style

0104: Mike Rumbles of the Lib Dems tells Dennis Robertson - SNP candidate in Aberdeenshire West - "It's looking good for you Dennis."

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0103: Scottish Socialist Party's Colin Fox tells me he expects their vote to go up but he's realistic enough to know they won't get a seat #sp11 @cameronbuttle

0054 : DECLARATION: Rutherglen - Labour hold. James Kelly elected MSP on a majority of 1,779. Liberal Democrat vote dropped by almost 15%, while the SNP vote increased by 16%. Labour's vote increased slightly.

Brian Taylor
0047: Brian Taylor: A succession of Labour politicians - most recently deputy Holyrood leader Johann Lamont - disputing strongly that their campaign was misplaced. They opened by targeting the UK Tory cuts - deploying the phrase "now that the Tories are back". But they are insisting that was a legitimate context for the Holyrood elections - even though their main rival was the SNP. Just waiting for first result. May be Rutherglen. May be East Kilbride.

0034: People from all over the world are tuning into BBC Radio Scotland's radio coverage online, including a couple of lads who are sipping beers in 35 degree heat in Las Vegas. That's dedication for you.

Brian Taylor
0032: BBC Scotland political editor Brian Taylor: On our BBC panel, Mike Russell says that the SNP are on course for their largest share of the vote in a Holyrood election. Labour's Douglas Alexander says his party has fought well and their vote is holding up: his forecast is that the Lib Dem vote will slide rapidly. Could that mean a clean sweep for the SNP in Aberdeen - Donside, Central and South?

0031: Voter turnout for Rutherglen at 47% - down slightly from 48.5% in 2007

Andrew Kerr
0015: Andrew Kerr: The SNP are "quietly confident" of how things are going in Glasgow Southside. It is the SNP's top target seat, where Nicola Sturgeon is chasing a Labour notional majority of just 27 after boundary changes.

0010: The SNP may be on course for good results in Aberdeen. The Liberal Democrats' former leader Lord Stephen fears "a very bad night for the Lib Dems". The SNP are very confident of ousting the Lib Dems in Aberdeen South and North Kincardine

Andrew Black
2357: Andrew Black: The first seat to declare may now be Rutherglen, between 1230 and 1245. East Kilbride may be soon after.

2348: Chatter on Twitter suggests Labour may be nervous about Glasgow Kelvin and that it could go to the SNP. The seat is an SNP target and has been held by Labour's Pauline McNeill since 1999 - Sandra White is challenging for the Nationalists.

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2344: Lab confirm their early ballot samples in Renfrewshire N&W also suggest close race with SNP #sp11 @BBCShelleyJ

2341: Meanwhile, the Scottish Sun front page says Alex Salmond is "Home and dry" to be returned as first minister.

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2333: Herald front page 'SALMOND HEADING FOR A SECOND TERM' #sp11 @BBCScotElection.

2330: The incoming Scottish ggovernment is facing an £800m "gaping chasm" in Scotland's finances with some of the country's leading experts warning that politicians failed to address the "reality" of public spending cuts in the election campaign, according to The Scotsman front page

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2223: Ballot boxes arriving thick and fast at the AECC from around Aberdeenshire. #sp11 @Aberdeenshire

2316: When the results come in they will be updated live on our constituency and list scoreboards.

2315: Between 0230 and 0300 BST, Lib Dem leader Tavish Scott's Shetland seat will declare. This has been described as Scotland's safest seat, with Scottish Lib Dem leader Tavish achieving a majority of more than 50% in 2007. However, unrest over Lib Dems' role in Tory coalition at UK-level may have an impact. Prominent Highland councillor Jean Urquhart is standing for SNP. The boundaries of this seat were not changed in the Boundary Commission review.

East Kilbride
Tables at the East Kilbride count where Labour's Andy Kerr is standing
2314: 19,000 postal votes being counted at Braehead. That's about 20% of the total. 630 boxes to be counted in total. Results expected from 0330 onwards

2309: Another declaring around 0200 is the South Lanarkshire seat Clydesdale, which is an SNP target. Labour's Karen Gillon held the seat in 2007, and now has a notional majority of 3.7%. Aileen Campbell is contesting for the SNP. She was the youngest MSP in Holyrood's last term.

2304: ONES TO WATCH. Among the first to declare will be East Kilbride, Labour's Andy Kerr's seat, which is expected after 0200. The former minister has represented the seat since 1999. It has been redrawn following the Boundary Commission review and Andy Kerr has now got a notional majority of 6.8% over the SNP. Linda Fabiani is contesting for the nationalists.

Andrew Kerr
2256: Labour's Charlie Gordon tells me he's still very confident. Rumours he could be in trouble.#sp11 @BBCandrewkerr

2246: The Daily Mail poll conducted by Progressive Scottish Opinion was carried out by telephone with a sample size of 865. For the constituency vote it suggests SNP - 51%; Labour - 26%; Conservative - 12%; Others - 7%; Liberal Democrat - 4%. For the regional vote list it suggests SNP - 53%; Labour 22%; Conservative - 12%; Green - 5%; Others - 5%; Liberal Democrats - 3%. Voting intentions were not declared by about 46% of interviewees.

Ballot boxes
Ballot boxes arriving at the SECC in Glasgow
2240: There are no official exit polls but a newly released Daily Mail poll from 3 May indicates the SNP could be significantly ahead in the constituency and list votes.

2220: Daily Record headline is Eck On Verge of History. The paper says Alex Salmond is heading for a historic second term as first minister, with polls indicating an SNP win.

2214: Ballot boxes are already arriving and counting has begun. The first declarations are expected at around 0200, running through to the final constituency and list declarations between 1500 and 1600 on Friday.

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2213: Reports of early evening leafleting by Labour in Eastwood - urging their voters to turn out to prevent Tory win. #sp11 @BBCScotElection

2204: There are 129 seats in the Scottish parliament. Members of parliament [MSPs] are elected in 2 ways. The 73 constituencies each elect one member by the first past the post system. Voters then have a second vote to elect the seven additional members to represent their region, who are chosen through party-list proportional representation. There are eight electoral regions in Scotland, giving a total of 56 additional MSPs. There have been major boundary changes since the last election in 2007.

2200: Welcome to BBC Scotland's live coverage of the Scottish election 2011. Polling stations closed across the country at 2200 BST. We'll be covering the counts, results and reaction as the night unfolds. You can also follow us on Twitter at @BBCScotElection.


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