Northern Ireland

Election polls close across Northern Ireland

Polling stations have just closed across Northern Ireland after voters were asked to choose 108 MLAs and 582 councillors.

They were also asked whether they supported a change to the way MPs are elected from first-past-the-post to the Alternative Vote system.

Voting has been described as "slow but steady" across Northern Ireland.

Early indications suggest the turnout will be lower than that of the Westminster elections.

More than 1,200,000 people are registered to vote in Northern Ireland. Polling stations have been open since 0700 BST and will close at 2200 BST.

The Electoral Office spokesperson said it had been a mixed picture of turnout throughout the day.

"It has been quiet in some areas and busy in others.

"There was an increase in turnout after tea-time but most voters had heeded the advice to vote early."

BBC Northern Ireland will begin its election coverage on Friday from all the count centres across NI.

BBC News Online will bring you live results as the 108 new members of the Stormont assembly are elected.

Politicians and pundits will also be giving their reaction on news online, radio and television.

A special programme will begin at 1500 BST on Friday on Radio Ulster and will continue until 2200 BST.

BBC NI's television coverage will begin at 1330 BST until 1345 and resume at 1500 BST.

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