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Election / Polls open for Scottish Parliament by-election

SIC returning officer Jan Riise. Photo: Chris Cope/Shetland News

POLLING stations across Shetland are now open for the Scottish Parliament by-election.

The polls are open from 7am to 10pm today (Thursday) as Shetland votes for its new MSP following the resignation of Tavish Scott.

The votes will be counted at the Clickimin in Lerwick, with results expected in the early hours of Friday.

Shetland News will report live from the election count in Lerwick on Thursday evening and into Friday.

Returning officer Jan Riise said preparations had gone well for the big day, with training taking place for staff earlier in the week.

There are 28 polling places open, including this one at the Gulberwick Hall. Photo: Chris Cope/Shetland News

He said there are a total of 100 people overseeing the election on the day, with 30 on hand to help with the count.

Riise confirmed that as of Wednesday afternoon, 71 per cent of postal votes had been returned, which amounted to around 2,100.

However, he reminded people that unreturned postal votes can still be handed into polling stations on the day.

There are 28 polling places, with Lerwick’s Gilbertson Park the largest – it accounts for 4,296 voters.

The smallest is Uyeasound Public Hall in Unst, with 96 voters in person.

There are a few changes to the usual poling station set-up. In Whiteness votes will be cast at the Whitedale Youth Club, while in Walls people are asked to go to the Germatwatt Centre, not the hall.

In Cunningsburgh votes will be cast in the Ben End of the public hall.

Photo: Chris Cope/Shetland News

Riise added that the last of the ballot boxes to arrive in Lerwick will be from the North Isles, with the police on hand to escort the votes south.

Boxes from the outer isles will be transported by the council’s internal ferries, with the mainland votes taken by road.

There are a total of ten candidates competing in the by-election. They are in alphabetical order:

Johan Adamson (Scottish Labour), Brydon Goodlad (Scottish Conservatives), Stuart Martin (UKIP), Debra Nicolson (Scottish Greens), Ian Scott (independent), Michael Stout (independent), Peter Tait (independent), Ryan Thomson (independent), Tom Wills (SNP) and Beatrice Wishart (Scottish Liberal Democrats).