The polls have now officially closed across the UK, bringing the nation’s ‘Super Thursday’ of elections to an end.
The pandemic saw last year’s elections delayed by 12 months, resulting in two years’ worth of polls taking place across the country today.
Voting stopped at 10pm this evening, with counting now beginning for the Hartlepool parliamentary by-election, Doncaster mayor and 18 of 143 councils in England.
All eyes will be on Hartlepool early on Friday, with Boris Johnson hoping to steal the seat from Labour. Early indicators have suggested the Tories are likely to clinch the victory, with one poll putting them 17 points ahead.
The results from the area will likely be seen as a barometer for how the two parties could do as the rest of the various elections’s results trickle in over the next four days.
However, Conservatives sought to play down their high expectations this evening, with a source stating that it was ‘looking tough in Hartlepool’ as Labour had ‘flooded the area with activists’. The seat has been Labour since its creation in 1974.
Last week YouGov local election polling suggested the Tories could also become the largest party in both Bolton and Dudley, while Labour sources are said to fear losing Sunderland and Durham councils for the first time in half a century.
Sir Keir tweeted as the polls closed this evening: ‘Huge thank you to all the incredible Labour Party members who have given up their time to campaign in these elections. You’re an inspiration.’
Results for many of the polls will be produced over the next few days, as Covid restrictions will slow the counting progress.
In Wales, where people over the age of 16 have been allowed to vote for the first time, the make-up of the Senedd should become clear on Friday.
While the outcome of the Holyrood election is expected to be declared by Saturday evening.
It could then be Sunday night before all of England’s local results are in, while the outcome of the Police and Crime Commissioner elections may not be until Monday night.
The London mayoral election should also be declared by Saturday or Sunday. Only Doncaster will count their ballots for the mayoral election overnight, and Liverpool is the only area that plans to count them during the day on Friday.
This evening London mayor Sadiq Khan, who is hoping to be re-elected, tweeted: ‘To the thousands of Labour activists and supporters who joined us on the most unique election campaign of my lifetime.
‘To the Londoners who came out to lend me your vote for the better and brighter future our city deserves. Thank you. I truly am grateful.’
Conservative London mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey also wrote online: ‘Standing for mayor is the experience of a lifetime. So with polls now closed, I want to thank everyone who voted for me and campaigned with me.
‘Whatever the result, we gave a voice to Londoners who know our city needs a fresh start. We can all be proud. See you on Saturday!’
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