Politics

Britain awaits results of Super Thursday’s bumper election day


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olls have closed across England, Scotland and Wales and votes will be counted over the coming days in the largest test of political opinion outside a general election.

On what has been dubbed Super Thursday, voters took part in contests which could shake up British politics and have profound implications for the future of the United Kingdom.

The Hartlepool parliamentary by-election will be one of the first indications of whether Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer has been able to turn around his party’s fortunes in its former northern heartlands, or whether Boris Johnson’s demolition of the so-called “red wall” continues.

Bookmakers have made Tory Jill Mortimer favourite to take the seat in a rare by-election victory for a governing party, with a result expected shortly before dawn on Friday.

Counting begins: Ballot boxes arrive at Mill House Leisure Centre in Hartlepool

/ PA

Over the coming days results elsewhere could have an even more dramatic influence on the state of the nation’s politics.

Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon’s push for a second independence referendum means the stakes are high in the Holyrood contest, with results expected to be announced on Friday and Saturday.

The SNP is expected to emerge again as the largest party in the Scottish Parliament after the election, but it wants to win an overall majority of MSPs as it pushes for a second independence referendum – something which polls suggest remains in the balance.

Scottish Parliamentary Elections 2021 / PA Wire

Mr Johnson has refused to countenance another referendum, setting up the potential for constitutional fireworks over the coming years if Ms Sturgeon gets the outcome she desires.

The SNP leader insisted her focus would be on tackling coronavirus and rebuilding the economy.

But “when the Covid crisis has passed, we will give the people of Scotland the opportunity to decide if they want the recovery to be in the hands of the likes of Boris Johnson and the austerity-driven Tories or to put Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands with independence”.

Results of the elections – which also include the Welsh Parliament,  police and crime commissioners and English local authorities and mayors – are expected to continue filtering through until Monday as counting will take longer than normal due to coronavirus restrictions.

London Mayoral election / PA Wire



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