Today’s elections in the United Kingdom may be scoured for signs about the level of support for leaving the EU, ahead of the June 23 referendum, even as analysts warn any attempt to extrapolate the results may be a mistake.
There are elections for Scottish Parliament as well as Welsh and Northern Ireland Assembly elections as well as local council elections in England, excluding London.
In London, voters will be selecting a new mayor to replace Boris Johnson and representatives for the greater London Assembly. There are two by-elections, in Ogmore and Sheffield Brightside, where the outgoing Labour MPs have solid majorities.
Voting began at 7am and will finish at 10pm.
When Will We Get the Results?
The first local council to declare will likely be either Sunderland or Tunbridge Wells around 11pm U.K. time and the majority of results will be in by 7am Friday; the final council declaration isn’t expected until Sunday.
The results of the two by-elections will likely be declared in the early hours of Friday while the final Welsh result is expected at 7am and the last Scottish declaration at 8am.
Boris Johnson’s replacement as mayor of London won’t be known until some time Friday evening.
Labour’s candidate Sadiq Kahn has a clear lead in his bid to be mayor, leading the Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith by 9 points, according to an Opinium poll and by 12 points according to a ComRes poll.
While the main opposition normally wins seats in local council elections outside general election years, the Labour Party is forecast to lose 150 seats, according to Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher, professors of politics at Plymouth University. Anti-Europe party United Kingdom Independence Party may gain 40 seats, they say.
The SNP, whose leader Nicola Sturgeon expects a second referendum on Scottish independence, is expected to win another majority. Second place in Scotland is expected to be a tight race and an STV poll suggests Labour could cede its place as the main opposition party to the Conservatives.
In Wales, where Labour is in power, support for the party slipped to its lowest level in six years; UKIP is expected to win seats for the first time, with 8 seats, according to a YouGov poll for Cardiff University.