Scottish Election 2021 Thursday RECAP: Polling across Scotland closes as Nicola Sturgeon fights for SNP majority | Anas Sarwar's Labour tries to overtake Douglas Ross's Conservatives | Dogs pictured at polling places

Here is a look back on polling to elect the next Scottish Government today (May 6) as polls across Scotland close.

Live updates as Scots head to the polls in the 2021 Holyrood elections.

Polling stations were open from 7am till 10pm, in an election which could be crucial in determining Scotland’s future within the UK.

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Scottish Election 2021 LIVE: Election results and updates from across Scotland |...

Follow this recap which takes a look back at the news and events as they unfolded throughout the day.

Scottish Election 2021 RECAP: The updates from around the country as Scotland went to the polls

Last updated: Thursday, 01 January, 1970, 01:00

  • Scots headed to the polls on Thursday to elect next Scottish Government
  • Polling stations were open from 7am till 10pm
  • Sturgeon and SNP pushing to win overall majority at Holyrood

Scottish election 2021: Nicola Sturgeon warns 'never has so much been at stake' as Scotland goes to polls

Scottish Election 2021: Nicola Sturgeon warns 'never has so much been at stake' as Scotland goes to the polls

Nicola Sturgeon has today warned “never has so much been at stake” as she makes her final bid to the nation as Scotland goes to the polls.

Polling stations open across Great Britain for Super Thursday

Polling stations have opened for voters to cast their ballots in a set of elections which could shake up British politics and have profound implications for the future of the United Kingdom.

On what has been dubbed Super Thursday, polling stations opened at 7am across Great Britain in the largest test of political opinion outside a general election, with the future of the Labour Party and the state of the Union among the issues at play.

Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon’s push for a second independence referendum means the stakes are high in the Holyrood contest.

In England, as well as local council and mayoral contests, the Hartlepool parliamentary by-election will indicate what progress – if any – Labour has made in regaining votes in its former northern heartlands.

Scottish election 2021: Will this election see demands for a new voting system?

Scottish election 2021: Will this election see demands for a new voting system?

“Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried” is the Churchillian quip most often quoted when the root of the UK electoral system is occasionally dug up, examined for signs of life and then replanted.

Vote counting times affected by Covid

Just as coronavirus has impacted the election campaign, it will also affect the time it takes for all the votes to be counted.

The need for social distancing, with fewer staff able to physically count the ballot papers, means there will be no overnight counts.

Votes will instead start being counted at 9am on Friday, with some of the constituency seats declared later on the same day.

The results of the remaining constituencies, along with the results of the eight regional list areas, will be declared on Saturday.

Party leaders cast ballots in Scottish Parliament election

The leaders of Scotland’s political parties are heading to the polls to cast their own votes in the Scottish Parliament election.

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar voted at his local polling station at Pollokshields Burgh Hall in Glasgow on Thursday morning.

Mr Sarwar is standing against First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in the Glasgow Southside constituency, which includes Pollokshields.

Ms Sturgeon has already voted by post but she will join SNP candidate Rosa Salih at Annette Street Primary School polling station in Govanhill, Glasgow, to lend her support and meet a Syrian family as they cast their ballots.

Scottish Greens co-leader Lorna Slater will vote at a primary school in Edinburgh, while her fellow co-leader Patrick Harvie will vote at a school in Glasgow.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross will vote in Moray, while Alba Party leader Alex Salmond cast his ballot in Strichen, Aberdeenshire.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has already voted by post.

Voters heading to polls for crucial Holyrood election

Scots are heading to the polls to elect the next Scottish Government – though the coronavirus pandemic means it could be more than 48 hours before all the results are counted.

Polling stations opened at 7am on Thursday and will close at 10pm, in an election which could be crucial in determining Scotland’s future within the UK.

Some voters had to battle snowy conditions to get to their polling station, with wintry weather in parts of the north amid a Met Office yellow weather warning for snow across much of the Highlands, Grampian and down towards the central belt.

Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP leader, is certain to be returned as First Minister with the largest party in the 129-seat Scottish Parliament.

But she and her party are pushing to try to win an overall majority at Holyrood, in the hope that this could help secure a second independence referendum.

Throughout the campaign Ms Sturgeon has stressed that such a ballot would not take place until the immediate health crisis brought about by the pandemic has passed.

Her opponents, however, in the pro-UK parties insist a referendum would hinder Scotland’s recovery from the virus, arguing it is the recovery which must be the focus of the next Scottish Parliament.

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