Scottish election: Last two hours for Fifers to cast their votes
The last few hours of an election vote like no other are now underway.
Polling stations across Fife have decamped into hotel function suites, a Salvation Army hall and even a theatre as a host of first-time venues were called into action to be part of the 2021 Scottish parliamentary election.
Some traditional venues were out of commission having been turned into COVID testing and vaccine centres, while the need to limit numbers saw Fife Council’s election team look far and wide for alternatives.
For the first time ever, I found myself voting in the function suite of the Windsor Hotel in Kirkcaldy - a room more associated with some great live gigs.
It’s certainly the first time I’ve stepped into a polling booth just feet from a full gantry of optics and bottles of alcohol. A unique combination of politics and pints …
In common with venues across the region, numbers were managed, resulting in small queues at peak times.
Phase one of the election like no other will end at 10pm when all polling stations close.
The traditional count through the night has been scrapped, and instead it will take place across Friday and Saturday - and in two different venues.
The five Fife constituencies will be counted between Michael Woods Sports Centre and Rothesay House in Glenrothes.
All parties have been allowed very limited numbers of checkers and number crunchers, while media numbers will be lower than ever.
Results are not expected until late afternoon on both days - possibly even later.
Fife isn’t renowned for declaring early, so it could be a very long two days for candidates and Holyrood hopefuls as they wait to find out their fate at the hands of electorate.
For results, updates and analysis visit www.fifetoday.co.uk - and check in with the Fife Free Press’ social media channels on Twitter and Facebook.