Election result expected in small hours
The general election result for the Orkney and Shetland constituency should be announced in the Clickimin Bowls Hall around 3.30am on Friday morning.
Voting at the 28 separate polling stations in Shetland and 11 in Orkney starts at 7am tomorrow and closes at 10pm.
Counting will begin at the bowls hall on Lerwick votes, as votes from the country stations are being transported to town. The last of the country votes are expected to be counted by midnight, by which time the votes from Orkney should have arrived at Sumburgh on a police-escorted flight from Kirkwall.
When the vote is announced the five candidates – Duncan Cameron (Conservative), Alistair Carmichael (Lib Dem), Gerry McGarvey (Labour), Danus Skene (SNP) and Robert Smith (Ukip) will learn their fates in what is anticipated to be one of the tightest constituency votes in decades.
There is a total electorate of 34,551 in the Northern Isles, making it the smallest UK parliamentary constituency, apart from the Western Isles, with around 16,755 voters in Orkney and 17,796 in Shetland. A greater proportion of the Orkney votes are postal with many of the smaller isles having no polling station.
It is expected that some indication of the turnout will be made late on Thursday afternoon, though the final figure will not be available until the ballot papers are counted.
• The Shetland Times will have a team of reporters at the count bringing you the result as it happens. There will be reaction to the result on the website on Friday morning and full analysis in the 15th May edition of the newspaper.