Counting of votes begins in Northern Ireland as Labour suffers 'meltdown' in Scotland

The SNP continued to dominate in Scotland but failed to retain its overall majority

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SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon celebrates after retaining her seat at a Scottish Parliament election count. Image: Danny Lawson / PA Wire/Press Association Images

It is count day in Northern Ireland as they open the ballot boxes in the Stormont Assembly elections.

The vote in the six counties was part of multiple polls across the UK yesterday, although the results of the Northern Irish election are not expected to be known until Saturday.

Labour has had a bad night - particularly in Scotland where they have lost 12 seats in the Parliament.

It is going better for Labour in Wales, however, while UKIP has gained more than 20 English councillors.

Enda Brady, Sky News Correspondent, spoke to Newstalk Breakfast about the results across the UK.

On the subject of Northern Ireland, he says it will probably be two days before we get a full picture.

"I would imagine by the end of it all, we will be looking at a very similar position," he explained. "The Democratic Unionists will be the main power brokers. Sinn Féin will be in second place".

Labour has fallen into third place in Scotland after recording its worst vote share since 1910 - but the party retained key councils in England.

The party was overtaken by the Conservatives in Scotland, who are celebrating their best ever Holyrood result.

The SNP continued to dominate but failed to retain its overall majority - meaning the party will have to proceed as a minority government or form an alliance.

The final result was: SNP 63 seats, Conservatives 31, Labour 24, Greens six, the Lib Dems five.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale admitted it was a "very disappointing night" but said she would not resign, while SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon described Labour's collapse in support, particularly in Glasgow, as "quite staggering".

The former Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont said: "As grim nights go, it's grim."

Mr Corbyn refused to answer questions as he left his north London home on Friday, though early results from England and Wales are more positive for his party.

Labour has so far held on to key councils and lost control of only one.

Latest results show Labour has lost 28 seats, the Conservatives have gained seven, the Liberal Democrats are up eight, while UKIP has seen the biggest gain with 23 seats.

While some within Labour will be relieved the losses are not as great as had been feared, there will be those who argue the party should be making gains.

Labour MP Neil Coyle said: "These results cannot be swept aside. No one can pretend this has been a good night for Labour. We have fallen back from where we need to be."

UKIP has taken its first seats in the Welsh Assembly - but Labour remain dominant.

With only a few seats left to declare, the party has taken 29 seats - just short of an overall majority.

Plaid Cymru has 11 seats so far, the Conservatives nine, UKIP six and the Liberal Democrats one.

Labour's main hope is to take back the office of London mayor after eight years of Conservative rule, although the result of this will not be known until Friday evening.

The party can also take comfort from two parliamentary by-election wins.

 

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