Scotland

Scottish election: Labour win first seat declared

First result at Rutherglen, James Kelly, Labour, holds
Image caption Labour's James Kelly speaks after retaining his Rutherglen seat

The first result in the Scottish Parliament election has come in, with Labour retaining the Rutherglen seat.

The party has held the constituency since 1999 and James Kelly has now won a second term as the area's MSP.

Counting is under way in Scotland to find out who will fill the 129 Holyrood seats, although there are fears that the rain may have affected turnout.

There were no official exit polls but a Daily Mail poll from 3 May indicates SNP could gain an overall majority.

A survey of Scottish voting intentions, conducted by Progressive Scottish Opinion for Scottish editions of the Daily Mail, was published at 2200 BST and predicts an SNP overall majority.

For the constituency vote it suggested the SNP would win 51% of the vote; Labour 26%; Conservative 12%; Others 7%; Liberal Democrats 4%.

For the regional vote list it suggested the SNP would win 53% of the vote; Labour 22%; Conservative 12%; Green 5%; Others 5%; Liberal Democrats 3%.

However, the newspaper said voting intentions were not declared by about 46% of 865 interviewees.

The four main Scottish parties; the SNP, Labour, the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives had been battling it out on the campaign trail for the past six weeks.

The Scottish Greens are also contesting, as are a number of smaller parties and independents.

Several results are due to come in from the early hours of Friday, but the full picture is not expected to emerge until Friday afternoon.

The Rutherglen result was expected between 0200 and 0300 BST but was declared at about 0045 BST. The turnout was 47.7%, which was just below the figure for the 2007 election.

The Labour candidate got 12,489 votes, or 46%, which is up 1.5% on 2007, the SNP's Jim McGuigan achieved 10,710 votes - or a 39.5% share - which is a 16.3% increase on the last election.

The Liberal Democrat share of the vote fell by 14.8%, to 1,194, or 4.4%, as did the Conservative share, by 0.9% to 2,096, or 7.7%.

This constituency was redrawn after a review by the Boundary Commission. It now stretches further south, taking in Blantyre.

As well as determining a new Scottish government, voters have also been asked if they want to keep the first-past-the-post system for Westminster elections or switch to the alternative vote.

The result of that referendum is not expected until between 2000 and 2200 BST on Friday.

MSPs are voted in in two different ways - 73 by constituency and 56 by regional vote.

Election result service

The latter system is designed to ensure the number of seats won by each party reflects the proportion of votes it received more accurately than "first-past-the-post" allows.

BBC Scotland's election result service on TV, radio and online will run through the night on Thursday and the following day.

Derek Bateman and Kenneth Macdonald will keep Radio Scotland listeners informed during the night, while Sally Magnusson and David Henderson will host the TV special from 2345 BST.

From 0600 BST, Jackie Bird and Glenn Campbell will take over the election programme on BBC One Scotland.

BBC Scotland's news website will follow the results story with minute-by-minute updates on its LIVE: Election page and there will also be a live stream of the TV coverage.

And political editor Brian Taylor will update his blog from the studio broadcasting the live programme. And correspondents will be tweeting throughout the night and the following day.

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