Edinburgh's key battleground set to indicate early election result

Edinburgh is set to go to the polls on Thursday - and with some hotly-contested, marginal seats up for grabs - anyone looking for an early lead on the wider result will be looking to the results in Edinburgh’s six Holyrood constituencies.

Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 6:50 pm

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Here’s when the results are expected to be announced:

Edinburgh City Council is holding the count at The Royal Highland Centre, near the airport, but unlike previous elections the count won’t take place overnight - instead, votes will be counted from 9.30am onwards on both Friday and Saturday.

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All the candidates are hopeful of winning a seat in Holyrood

The council will split the count equally over the two days - meaning three constituencies will be counted each day, rather than all six at once.

The Edinburgh Central, Edinburgh Southern and Edinburgh Western constituencies are set to be counted on Friday, and Edinburgh Eastern, Edinburgh Northern and Leith, and Edinburgh Pentlands will be counted on Saturday.

As it happens, the three most contentious and marginal seats in the capital will be announced on Friday, giving an early indication of the wider result.

Edinburgh Central, now vacated by former Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson, is essentially a three-way marginal, with the Tories, the SNP and Labour all vying for the capital’s centre.

The Conservatives have chosen Corstorphine and Murrayfield councillor Scott Douglas to fight for the seat, while SNP veteran Angus Robertson needs just a 0.90 per cent swing to take the seat for his party.

Scottish Labour are also targeting the seat, with their candidate, Maddy Kirkman, needing a 4.19 per cent swing to steal the seat.

Edinburgh Southern, which until the dissolution of parliament was held by Labour’s Daniel Johnson, is also a target for the SNP and the Tories.

The SNP’s Catriona MacDonald needs a 1.47 per cent swing to nab the seat, while Tory candidate and current regional list MSP Miles Briggs needs a swing of 4.74 per cent to unseat Mr Johnson.

Edinburgh Western, which is being fought by the incumbent Liberal Democrat candidate Alex Cole-Hamilton, is a target for the SNP.

The SNP’s candidate, Sarah Masson, needs a 3.73 per cent swing to gain the seat.

Two of the constituencies set to be announced on Saturday, Edinburgh Eastern and Edinburgh Northern and Leith, are strong SNP seats, but Edinburgh Pentlands, held by the SNP’s Gordon MacDonald, is a target for the Conservatives.

The Tory candidate, Gordon Lindhurst, needs a 3.68 per cent swing to gain the seat.

Council officers have advised it will take between 8-10 hours to count the votes each day, meaning the results for Central, Southern and Western are expected from 5.30pm onwards on Friday, and the results for Eastern, Northern and Leith, and Pentland are expected from 5.30pm onwards on Saturday.

The regional list results will only be announced once the constituency votes are counted, so these results are expected late on Saturday.

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