22nd July 2018
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LIVE: Election count from Kirkwall

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The polls are closed and counting is underway in an election dubbed “the most important” of our lifetime. We’ll be following all the news from the constituency as it happens and will also bring you snippets of the biggest national stories. This page will automatically refresh at set intervals  during the night.

6.01 – That’s it from our live blog. Thanks for joining us.

6.00 – Coverage of Mr Carmichael’s victory can be found here.

5.31 – Alistair Carmichael has been returned as Shetland and Orkney MP by an increased majority.

4.30 – Candidates to be shown doubtful ballot papers in around 10 minutes time. Declaration to follow soon after.

4.20 – Tories celebrating a massive scalp in Gordon, where former First Minister Alex Salmond has lost his seat.

4.13 – Robert Smith is in the building. The oft-absent UKIP candidate has arrived with 45 minutes to go until the declaration.

3.54 – Official turnout figure for the constituency – 68.26 per cent.

3.50 – Declaration expected at around 5am.

3.30 – Conservative candidate Jamie Halcro Johnston has said that his understanding of the situation in Moray, where list MSP Douglas Ross has become an MP, is that he will now be asked to replace Mr Ross when he formally resigns his position. If this is the case Mr Halcro Johnston said that he “obviously accept” the role.

He added: “I’m very, very glad to see that Moray is a conservative seat once again after Douglas Ross’ excellent campaign.”

3.15 – The narrow contest in Perth and North Perthshire has made Alistair Carmichael’s 817 vote success in 2015 look like an emphatic victory. SNP’s Pete Wishart returned by just 21 votes.

2.58 – One big loss and one big gain for the Lib Dems at this point. Nick Clegg is gone but Sir Vince Cable has regained the Twickenham seat he lost in 2015.

2.54 – Alistair Carmichael and Jamie Halcro Johnston have now both arrived at the count. UKIP candidate Robert Smith is still absent, as he has been for much of the campaign.

2.46 – Sighs from the Lib Dem table here. Former party leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has lost in Sheffield Hallam. Labour gain.

2.42 – More Conservative gains in Scotland coming from East Renfrewshire and Ochil and South Perthshire.

2.26 – The result in Angus means that local Tory candidate Jamie Halcro Johnston will replace Douglas Ross as a Highlands and Islands list MSP, assuming he is not successful in winning tonight.

2.25 – While the press in Kirkwall were patiently awaiting the arrival of Shetland’s ballot boxes the Tories have claimed a huge scalp in Moray. The SNP’s leader in Westminster Angus Robertson is gone and Highlands and Islands list MSP Douglas Ross is in.

2.23 – The ballot boxes from Shetland have arrived at the Kirkwall Grammar School.

1.55 – Shetland’s ballot boxes have landed in Orkney.

1.49 – The Conservatives have gained Angus from the SNP. Mike Weir, who lost his seat, was the SNP’s chief whip in Westminster. The seat was a 12,000 majority in 2015.

01.30 – Mhairi Black has held on in Paisley and Renfrewshire South, narrowly beating Labour’s Alison Dowling. Meanwhile, Labour’s Tom Watson has been re-elected in West Bromwich East.

01.18 – Shetland’s ballot boxes are airborne.

01.14 – Labour have claimed their first scalp of the night, and it’s the SNP who have lost out. Margaret Ferrier has lost Rutherglen and Hamilton West.

00.50 – Early indications point towards a 66 per cent turnout in Orkney.

00.44 – Miriam Brett, responding to the exit poll suggestion that the SNP could lose 22, has said that the result would be devastating for her colleagues.

She said: “Firstly, it would be incredible to see, after such a sinister move to galvanise her support, this election backfire on Theresa May. But, I’m hoping that the exit polls suggesting several SNP losses is not a reflection of what we’re going to see tonight.”

Ms Brett added: “Our team of MPs have been absolutely amazing. It would be devastating to see my colleagues lose their seats.”

Reports from Mhairi Black’s seat of Paisley and Renfrewshire South suggest that the constituency is a neck and neck contest between the prominent SNP politician and Labour’s Alison Dowling.

00.12 – Judging by the mood in the respective camps the SNP and the Tories are not doing as well as hoped at this stage of counting. Could Alistair be on course for an easy win and could Labour secure 3rd place?

00.09 – The SNP’s Miriam Brett has now arrived at the count. Counting staff, meanwhile, are currently separating Orkney votes into piles.

23.57 – The Tories have their first seat of the night after holding Swindon North.

23.46 – Third seat declared, third hold for Labour. Meanwhile, counting staff are still busy hear tallying votes from the Orkney polling stations. Boxes from Shetland are expected some time after 1am.

23.11 – Currently only two candidates have arrived at the count – independent Stuart Hill and Labour candidate Robina Barton.

23.07 – In Houghton and Sunderland South the second result of the night has been declared. It’s a Labour hold with the party taking twice the votes of the second placed Conservatives.

23.01 – Newcastle Central is the first constituency to declare. It’s a huge, and entirely predictable, win for Labour.

22.50 – The last of the Orkney ballot boxes have arrived here at the Kirkwall Grammar School. Shetland’s boxes are still some time away from arriving.

22.43 – The boxes from Stromness have arrived.

22.40 – This exit poll hints that Angus Robertson and Alex Salmond, significant figures for the SNP, could lose their seats. If this prediction holds could Miriam Brett’s night be over before it has begun?

22.35 – The exit poll suggests that the Conservatives will remain the largest party but will lose 17 seats. Labour are set to take 266 seats, the poll suggests, an improvement of 34 when compared with 2015. The SNP could face major losses, down from 56 seats to 34. The Liberal Democrats could take 14 seats, nearly double their result in 2015.

22.31 – The majority of people here are attentitively observing the counting staff in action. Others are huddled in front of a tv hearing news of an exit poll which is predicting a hung parliament.

22.29 – Boxes from Holm and Evie have now arrived.

22.25 – The ballot boxes from Kirkwall are the first to arrive and counting is now underway.

About Keegan Murray

Reporter for The Shetland Times. Interested in politics, literature and music. Born and bred Shetlander. Long suffering Newcastle United supporter.

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