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Nicola Sturgeon
First Minister of Scotland and leader of the SNP Nicola Sturgeon greets a voter while at the polling station to vote on May 7, 2015 Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

The results are flooding in across Scotland and they are already painting an astonishing picture. Nicola Sturgeon's SNP party will win well over 50 seats after knocking out big-names from the Liberal Democrats and Labour, among them Jo Swinson, Jim Murphy, Douglas Alexander and Charles Kennedy.

After the exhiliration of the Scottish referendum, tonight is proving once again that Scotland's political scene has been transformed by the SNP -- and this transformation may alter the UK forever.

Here are the headlines so far:

  • 20-year-old Maihri Black becomes Britain's youngest MP since 1832, unseating senior Labour strategist Douglas Alexander.
  • Labour leader Jim Murphy unseated in East Renfrewshire, losing to the SNP with a swing of 24%.
  • Gordon Brown's old seat of Kircaldy and Cowdenbeath has fallen to the SNP with a record-breaking swing of 35%.
  • Alex Salmond wins Gordon and is back in Westminster

IBT also has a comprehensive UK-wide election blog, which you can follow here.

We'll wrap up now -- Danny Alexander, the Lib Dem chief secretary to the Treasury, has just lost his seat to the SNP's Drew Hendry. As it stands, with one more seat in Scotland to declare, the SNP are on 55; Labour 1; Conservatives 1; Liberal Democrats 1. This has been the SNP's night, as most expected it to be -- a total landslide for Nicola Sturgeon. And she wasn't even standing. Thanks for reading.

Charles Kennedy, the former Lib Dem leader is now a former Lib Dem MP too. He just lost the Ross, Skye and Lochaber seat to... the SNP, of course. Ian Blackford is the new MP.

The SNP take Edinburgh West from the Lib Dems. Yet another gain. The Scottish lion keeps on roaring.

A quick update as it stands in Scotland. SNP: 50. Labour: 1. Liberal Democrat: 1. Conservative: 1. Five more seats to come.

The only Tory in the village...

The SNP candidate Richard Arkless has taken Dumfries & Galloway from Labour. Another one down.

It's not a Labour wipeout in Scotland! Ian Murray, the Labour candidate, was elected with 39% of the vote in Edinburgh South. The SNP's Neil Hay got 34% in second place.

SNP
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 08: Leader of the SNP Nicola Sturgeon celebrates during the Glasgow declarations on May 8, 2015 in Glasgow, Scotland. The United Kingdom has gone to the polls to vote for a new government in one of the most closely fought General Elections in recent history. With the result too close to call it is anticipated that there will be no overall clear majority winner and a coalition government will have to be formed once again. Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

So far, the SNP has won 41 seats in Scotland the Liberal Democrats one. Labour? None. But there are still seats to be called. It might not be a total wipeout yet.

Alex Salmond has won his seat, Gordon. The former SNP leader is back in Westminster. He may well lead the SNP's Westminster operation in lieu of Nicola Sturgeon, the party leader -- she's not standing to be an MP.

Ming Campbell, the former Lib Dem leader, stood down at this election. His old seat, North East Fife, stayed yellow. But a different type of yellow -- the SNP candidate, Stephen Gethins, took it.

A rare good news story for the Lib Dems -- the Scottish secretary Alistair Carmichael has held on to his Orkney and Shetland seat.

Orkney and Shetland
Orkney and Shetland results. Google

Tom Clarke ousted as three more fall

As predicted (and feared by those of a red tinge) Tom Clarke has lost his seat in Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill, ending his 33 years as an MP.

Clarke's is one of three more seats to fall to the SNP in the last few minutes. That makes it 33-0 in their head-to-head with Labour. And they're on course to become the first party to win over 50% of the vote across Scotland since the Conservatives in 1955.

Not everyone is happy about tonight's events...

So far, so SNP...

Alex Salmond

So far the SNP have won 30 seats. The SNP have won 0.

The SNP get Simpson-ed

McGarry takes Glasgow East

And now Glasgow East has gone yellow. Natalie McGarry has cleaned up, continuing the SNP rout, ousting the Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland Margaret Curran.

This is getting cruel now.

Swinging all over the place

Anyone who wants to know the swing in East Renfrewshire, well it was 24%. Nothing to write home about really.

Murphy speaks

Murphy is putting up a noble and courageous front here, congratulating Kirsten Oswald on her victory and thanking his Labour team. He's showing himself to be a genuinely nice guy - maybe that was his downfall?

Now Murphy's gone

Jim Murphy
Jim Murphy MP stood down from Ed Miliband's shadow cabinet to concentrate on his leadership campaign Reuters

And I thought Mhairi Black was big... now Jim Murphy, leader of Scottish Labour, has lost his own seat in East Renfrewshire.

Murphy lost out to Kirsten Oswald, who is described as a HR professional and is making her first foray into politics.

The landslide continues

The SNP has just won Inverclyde by a majority of 11,000, and frankly that doesn't seem that impressive now. Not after what we've seen.

Sturgeon plays down referendum talk

Nicola Sturgeon is trying desperately to remain cool and calculated, despite all the celebrations going on around her.

The seats keep tumbling to the SNP

Results are now flooding in, and they're all coming up SNP. Even Kircaldy and Cowdenbeath, the former seat of Gordon Brown, has fallen - and that with a record-breaking swing of 35%. This is simply unbelievable; they have more closely-contested elections in North Korea.

Mhairi Black: the factfile

Mhairi Black
Twitter/mhairi1921

Mhairi Black has made history tonight by becoming Britain's youngest MP since 1832, ousting Labour front-bencher Douglas Alexander in the process.

Here are some facts about the marvel who has won the seat of Paisley.

  • She is studying politics at the University of the West of Scotland, and has a year to go on her degree.
  • She is a self-confessed 'political geek' and also loves football, supporting Partick Thistle. She proudly claims she was one of the first girls to play for her school football team.
  • She claims to have participated in political marches from a young age, including a demonstration against the Iraq war (which began when she was eight).
  • She has volunteered for Oxfam, and travelled around Scotland with The Margo Mobile campaign, visiting deprived areas.
  • She has courted controversy due to her remarks on Twitter about Celtic Football Club, righting in October 2013 "I've only just realised - I really f***** hate Celtic" and "Celtic, yer a joke!#scum".

20-year-old Maihri Black beats Douglas Alexander

This is massive. 20-year-old university student Maihri Black has ousted Labour's Douglas Alexander, the co-ordinator of the party's nationwide strategy, and becomes Britain's youngest MP since 1832. It's a new Portillo moment.

Another seismic SNP triumph

Another crushing victory for the SNP in Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Angus MacNeil holding his seat in style. Those exit polls looking more realistic by the minute.

SNP wins in Kilmarnock

The results are in in Kilmarnock, and it's a crushing win for the SNP. Alan Brown was elected with 30,000 votes, with a record-breaking 26% swing.

Brown was magnanimous in victory, praising the character of the women he ousted, Labour's Cathy Jamieson.

'There'll be a Scottish lion roaring tonight'

Alex Salmond interview: General election TV debates, Rupert Murdoch and the media

Alex Salmond has spoken to the BBC about his party's incredible progress, saying "there'll be a Scottish lion roaring tonight".

Salmond also said that "no-one in Westminster will be able to ignore" his Scottish lion. Which seems pretty reasonable - if you or I saw a lion, Scottish or otherwise, we'd find it hard to ignore as well.

Sturgeon speaks

Nicola Sturgeon
Getty

Nicola Sturgeon has spoken to reporters on what is shaping up to be an amazing night for her party.

She told reporters the indications suggest "it's going to be a very very good night for the SNP" and defended her party against claims their success is playing into the Conservatives' hands, saying "Labour's inability to beat the Tories in England" is responsible for the bleak forecasts facing Ed Miliband's party.

Sturgeon also said: "I still want to see how the results shape up across the UK. If there's an anti-Tory majority, I want to work with Labour to lock the Tories out."

Labour strongholds crumbling

It seems even Labour's strongest bastions are falling before our eyes. Is there any stopping Saint Nicola?

Candidates arriving in droves

The crucial stage of election night is about to begin, with scores of results ready to be announced. The candidates are duly flocking in across Scotland, ready to take their place and hear their fate.

'Ok, maybe the exit polls are right after all'

Nicola Sturgeon
Getty

With the SNP juggernaut crushing everything in its path, even ardent Labour campaigners seem to be revising their opinion on the earlier exit polls, which many dismissed out of hand.

Here's Duncan Hothersall of Labour Hame, reporting from Edinburgh South:

Let me revise my previous statement. There are now people here, on all sides, who believe the BBC exit poll could be entirely accurate.

Farage 'has lost South Thanet', say sources

Nigel Farage
Nigel Farage casts his vote in South Thanet Getty

According to Spectator journalist Isabel Hardman, sources are claiming Nigel Farage HAS lost South Thanet. This photo now seems rather unfortunate.

Bad news goes on for Miliband

Ed Miliband
Labour leader Ed Miliband shares some common ground with the SNP Getty

Elsewhere in Britain, the bad news goes on for Miliband. Labour have lost in Battersea, a crucial bellwether which had been a major target for the party.

Galloway in trouble

The night doesn't appear to be going well for Gorgeous George...

Salmond set to win Gordon

First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond
Former First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond led the 'Yes' campaign in the September 2014 Scottish independence referendum Reuters

Sir Malcolm Bruce has admitted that Alex Salmond is on course to win Gordon. Parliament is likely to lose a number of big personalities tonight, but they're sure to gain one in the form of Wee Eck.

Another win likely for SNP in East Kilbride

Senior Labour figures reportedly throwing in the towel in East Kilbride, with the result due about 2am.

Tom Clarke 'heading for defeat'

Veteran MP Tom Clarke, a former government minister, is reportedly close to losing his Coatbridge, Chryston and Belshill seat.

The Beeb are describing Clarke's likely defeat as an "insurrection" and suggesting those exit polls aren't so outlandish after all.

'Not even the SNP believe they will take 58 seats'

Duncan Hothersall, of Labour Hame, clearly holds little truck with the early exit polls suggesting the SNP has basically massacred Labour in Scotland.

No question the SNP have had a good night, and some excellent MPs have lost their seats. But nobody here believes the exit poll that put the SNP on 58 seats. Not even the SNP!

Labour 'admits Paisley and Ren North seat has fallen'

Labour officials are reportedly admitting Jim Sheridan has lost his Paisley and Renfrewshire North seat to the SNP. Perhaps that BBC exit poll is going to prove accurate.

#BallsOut hashtage gathering pace

Predictably, a #ballsout hashtag is gathering pace on Twitter after news that Ed Balls is on the brink of being unseated in Morley and Oatwood.

Here are some rivulets from the flood of Twitter schadenfraude which has poured forth since the rumours began.

Harris concedes

Labour's Tom Harris has reportedly conceded defeat in Glasgow South. The SNP bandwagon rolls on.

Tories hold Swindon North

Dahn sarf (as a cockney geezer would say), the Tories have held Swindon North. All four seats have gone as predicated so far - three wins for Labour, one for Conservatives.

Murphy's job not under threat - Stihler

Labour MEP Catherine Stihler telling the Beeb that Jim Murphy's position isn't under threat. She claims that, despite the projected wipe-out of Labour in Scotland, Murphy is "doing a great job" and has led a "dynamic" campaign.

To all SNP supporters out there, a penny for your thoughts...

'Ed Balls is speaking complete drivel - again'

James Kelly, of SCOTLAND goes POP!, has this to say in response to Ed Ball's comments about the SNP earlier.

Ed Balls is, not for the first time in his life, speaking complete drivel. If the exit poll is right, there would be a Conservative minority government even if Labour had won EVERY SINGLE SEAT in Scotland.

If David Cameron remains Prime Minister, it will be because of how England has voted and no other reason. The same old story of Scotland within the UK - our democratic voice counts for nothing.

SNP supporters bite back at critics

With critics claiming the SNP has played a key role in pushing David Cameron back into office (if, indeed, he does win a second term as PM), Sturgeonites have unsurprisingly been quick to bite back.

Danny Alexander 'accepts he is out'

Danny Alexander
Liberal Democrat Danny Alexander posed outside of the Treasury with a yellow box. No-one cared. Getty

It is being reported that Danny Alexander has accepted he has lost his seat. Senior Lib Dem sources being cited.

A bad start to the night for the Lib Dems, and a sign of more shocks ahead?

'Future of fightback' for Scottish Labour - Kinnock

Neil Kinnock has told the BBC that Scottish Labour faces a "future of fightback" and said that preserving the union is vital for Britain.

Kinnock was cut off in mid-stream - SNP voters might say it happened not a moment too soon.

Paisley and Renfrewshire North reports huge turnout

Turnout making things slow?

Some have asked why the counting process is taking so long. They reckon we should have more results by now.

Perhaps the answer is that turnout is far higher than it has been in previous years? If so, that can only be a good thing, and indicative of a surge in interest in British politics. Whatever your views on Alex Salmond, Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP, it's hard to deny they've had a crucial role in this.

Glasgow East result 'to be announced at 1.30'

Some are claiming Glasgow East will be declared at 1.30. No confirmation as yet though.

William Hill 'devastated'

Interesting stuff from our UK-wide election blog, which you can read here.

William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe has told ITV News that the firm's odds have been "devastated" by the exit polls.

"Our previously favourite option for the next government, a Labour minority with odds of 7/4, has suddenly become five times bigger with odds of 10/1 - and there is a brand new favourite," he said.

"All three options involve the Conservatives which now means David Cameron is now 10/1 likely to become prime minister, so his odds have absolutely been annihilated. It's like buying money now to back him to be prime minister," he added.

The odds of Ed Miliband resigning before midnight tomorrow are now just 6/4.

Danny Alexander to go?

BBC reporting that another senior figure in Westminster, the Lib Dems' Danny Alexander, is likely to lose his seat. Perhaps we're in for the sort of shocks which made 1997 such a memorable election.

Glasgow turning yellow (well, maybe a bit orange)

Apparently it's all looking good for the SNP in Glasgow.

Balls blames SNP

Ed Balls, looking rather flustered, has blamed Labour's poor forecast in the BBC exit polls on the SNP, and promised that Nicola Sturgeon's party will suffer if they propel David Cameron back to office.

If he ends up losing his Morley and Oatwood seat (as some have suggested), perhaps that will be Sturgeon's fault as well.

Not surprisingly, Balls' blast has already brought a stern rebuke on social media.

Fraud in Glasgow East

Apparently all is not what it should be in Glasgow East.

'Looking bleak for Labour'

According to the BBC, it's not looking good for Labour in Linlithgow and East Falkirk. Sign of things to come tonight?

Tories mutter about tactical voting

While some on the Scottish left fume at the SNP, others on the right mutter about tactical voting.

The backlash begins

After the BBC's shock exit poll, the backlash has already begun north of the border - even though we've only had two results so far.

Unsurprisingly, Labour supporters have the SNP firmly in their sights.

Mail declares Cameron the winner

The Daily Mail clearly feels it's all over. Here's the front page of their Scottish edition for tomorrow:

Mail front page

Labour claims second Sunderland seat

Labour has claimed its second seat, in Sunderland Central. Again, not an enormous surprise.

Alistair Campbell's kilt lives!

Alistair Campbell's kilt now has its own twitter page, and it's following me (seriously though, thanks for the follow - I'll take followers wherever I can get 'em)

Campbell could be unkilted

Campbell
Alastair Campbell speaks at the Leveson Inquiry (BBC) Reuters

Another former political star has put an item of clothing on the line after hearing about the SNP's projected gains - and this time it's far less appealing than Paddy Ashdown's hat pledge.

Alistair Campbell has pledged to eat his own kilt if Sturgeon's crew pick up 58 seats, as forecast by the BBC.

Eating an entire kilt would be some feat, but given the size of Campbell's mouth one wouldn't put it past him.

Balls out?

Ed Balls
Getty

Apologies for the slightly schoolboyish headline, but listen up... BBC rumours suggest Ed Balls might be about to lose his seat. Balls has a majority of just 1101 and his seat is apparently under threat from Tory Andrea Jenkyns. Would be a massive scalp for Cameron if true.

Interesting question about the BBC poll

Labour claim first victory

Labour have claimed victory in the first confirmed result of the night, winning Sunderland South - which, in reality, was about as surprising as Celtic winning the Scottish league.

Still, Ukip got more votes than the Tories..

'Cameron re-election would bring dismay - which may be perfect for indie movement'

James Kelly, of SCOTLAND goes POP!, has reacted to the BBC poll by saying:

If the exit poll is right, which I don't really believe, it would give the SNP a degree of influence within a hung parliament, but without the responsibility of being part of a governing deal. There would be huge dismay in Scotland that voters south of the border have elected another Tory government, and frankly that may be the ideal context to move towards independence in the medium-term rather than long-term.

It would be near enough certain that an in/out referendum on EU membership would take place by 2017 - if England votes to leave and Scotland votes to stay, the union will be finished.

YouGov has NOT done an exit poll

A few minutes ago Twitter lit up with news that YouGov had published an exit poll which contrasted sharply with the results forecast by the BBC.

However YouGov has revealed it has not done an exit poll; it simply saw no reason to change yesterday's figures.

Sturgeon: Treat exit polls with extreme caution

After exit polls forecast her party would claim 58 seats, Nicola Sturgeon has attempted to play down the speculation that the SNP will all-but-wipe out Labour in Scotland.

UK election 2015
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Sturgeon, seen here doing her best blue steel impression with a rather over-familiar fan, said the early exit poll results should be treated with "extreme caution", adding "I think 58 seats is unlikely."

Tatchell lends weight to electoral reform

Peter Tatchell, the godfather of Britain's human rights campaigners, has joined the clamour for electoral reform.

YouGov poll shows sharp contrast

YouGov has just released its own exit poll which contrasts sharply with the one trumpeted by the BBC.

According to YouGov, the gap between the Tories and Labour will be far narrower. David Cameron's party will claim 284 seats while Ed Miliband and his red army will claim 263.

The SNP's projected haul is also down sharply. According to YouGov, it will pick up 48 seats - 10 fewer than the number forecast by the BBC.

Ashdown set to eat hat

If the results do follow the exit polls, one positive result could be some unexpected hat consumption by Paddy Ashdown.

Cameron to stay on in minority government?

BBC claiming exit poll shows Cameron will stay on as leader of minority government.

Better news for SNP fans is that Sturgeon is forecast to win 58 seats, turning Scotland almost entirely yellow.

Lib Dems will fall to a paltry 10 seats, and Ukip will win two.

But let's see what happens, the drama is only just beginning...

Davidson raises a smile

Her reports of burly men intimidating voters in Annan may have backfired earlier today, but Ruth Davidson seems in buoyant mood, judging by this selfie she has taken in the BBC studios.

Perhaps she hasn't seen all those #disturbingreports tweets yet...

Salmond speaks to IBT

Alex Salmond interview: General election TV debates, Rupert Murdoch and the media

Before the polls close and we get down to the nitty-gritty, a chance to remind you of the interview we did with Alex Salmond back in January. Link here.

Great read for SNP fans (and for those Labour and Tory supporters who love a spot of teeth-grinding).

Cupcakes

Just wanted to share a snap we took at one of the shops near our London office. Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband represented in cupcake form.

Election cupcakes
The general election cupcakes seemed to be missing a leader... IBTimesUK

But where is Cameron you ask? Was he eaten? And where is Farage? (Some might suggest a fruitcake would be more appropriate than a cupcake for Ukip, but there you go...)

The end of majority government?

Someone just made a very interesting point. Unless either of the two main parties wins an overall majority tonight (and frankly the chances of either Labour or the Tories achieving that feat looks about as likely as Sir Alex Ferguson receiving the freedom of Liverpool), it'll be 28 years since the Tories did so, and 40 years since Labour managed it under anyone but Tony Blair.

Are we seeing the end of majority government forever? And, with the electorate so fragmented, is it time for some electoral reform?

Many influential thinkers have already said yes to the latter question. One of them, swingometer legend Peter Snow, gave his views to IBTimes earlier today. You can read his interview here.

Perth buzzing with excitement

Apparently the excitement is reaching fever pitch in Perth. Looks like the passions aroused by the referendum have led to another huge turnout. Great stuff.

Maverick vicar in booze promotion shocker

Wings over Scotland, run by the very reverend Stuart Campbell, has retweeted this:

Mr Campbell, as a man of God, should you be encouraging the consumption of alcohol in such copious quantities? I'm not sure you're a real Reverend...

Murphy set to hang on

Jim Murphy may not be everyone's cup of tea this side of the border, and his campaign may have been overshadowed by the success of Nicola Sturgeon, but it now looks like he will hang on to his seat.

Ladbrokes say Murphy is now the outright favourite to hold Renfrewshire East, contradicting earlier speculation that he was likely to be unseated.

Whether Murphy hangs on to the leadership of his party, in light of the SNP's projected gains, remains to be seen.

Jim Murphy
Getty

Police in Scotland have warned polling stations across the country of "threatening behaviour" from radical nationalists they fear could enforce all votes are properly counted.

After claims of vote rigging at last September's independence referendum, Yes voters from last year want the electorate to take photos of their ballot paper to prove it was not tampered with.

Newsweek reported Police Scotland urged officers to be on the lookout for any signs that could lead to disruptive behaviour, including snaking queues outside polling stations.

It follows two arrests in Glasgow on Monday when Scottish Labour leader and party supporter Eddie Izzard were shouted down at an event.

Thomas Piketty
Thomas Piketty believes Labour would fight to keep Britain in the EU Getty

Labour's economic policies are better for Britain than the Conservatives', according to award-winning economist Thomas Piketty.

The author of best selling book Capital in the 21st Century told Newsweek Europe that Ed Miliband was better placed than David Cameron to "promote growth, equitable growth and more investment in education and public services and keep Britain in the EU."

Touted as one of the most influential economists of his generation, the Frenchman said inequality had risen in Britain under the Tories and that plans for a referndum on EU membership were "populist and very dangerous

With a number of political beasts either retiring or facing a challenge to keep their job, here is IBTimes UK's moments to look out for.

The ball will get rolling in Houghton & Sunderland South, where a winner is expected to be declared at 11pm, and finally St Ives should wrap things up at 1pm on Friday, by which point the political landscape will be clear.

Can Labour fight back?

Our resident Labour campaigner, Duncan Hothersall of Labour Hame, has been banging an optimistic drum today. But can they really make any inroads?

Just to recap, this is how the approval ratings stood in Scotland at the end of last month:

SNP approval rating

All Smiles for Sturgeon

Seems Nicola Sturgeon has had a near-perfect day so far, greeted with smiles and congratulation wherever she goes.

For some the race is run...

Vandalism in Glasgow

And here's the violence at Natalie McGarry's office in Glasgow:

The tweet that went round the world (well, Scotland)

Just a recap on the tweet from Ruth Davidson which has sparked so much anger and hilarity today.

Miliband lays out final call to arms

Today could be a very good day for Ed Miliband - and the Labour leader is determined to ensure he wrings every last drop of support out of the British public.

Here's his final call to arms:

Useful advice

From Midlothian council...

Galloway spotted!

One of Britain's rarest and most exotic species of cat has just been spotted in Bradford. Majestic headwear as ever.

Isis election leaflets handed out in east London

Not strictly relevant to Scotland, but disturbing nonetheless. Leaflets apparently bearing the Isis insignia have been handed out in east London, imploring Muslims not to vote.

Read IBT's full story here.

General election 'Isis leaflet'
A man has been questioned by police after handing out a leaflet carrying a suspected Isis flag Elsa Buchanan

Record's strange tune raises anger

James Kelly has this to say about this morning's Daily Record, specifically its exhortation to English voters to eject David Cameron:

Eighteen hours on, many of us are still coming to terms with our bemusement at today's Daily Record front cover, which urges voters in England to kick David Cameron out, but makes no recommendation to voters in Scotland. This is a rather odd approach for a Scottish newspaper to take, and was obviously brought about by the impossible dilemma of being a Labour-supporting publication that probably has a majority of SNP voters among its readership.

The most creative (and probably ironic) interpretation I've heard so far is that the advice to England was intended to underline the fact that it doesn't really matter how Scotland votes - we get the government chosen for us anyway. Almost certainly not what the Record editorial team had in mind, but that's one of the messages conveyed anyway.

The curious case of Jim Murphy

This post by Wings of Scotland may make one or two people chuckle.

REMEMBER: Katie Hopkins will move to Greece if Miliband wins the election

If you didn't already have sufficient motivation to vote Labour or the SNP, read this.

And it continues...

#Disturbingreports going viral

There's nothing like reports of violence and intimidation to make Twitter light up in mirth and merriment.

Earlier today the Scottish Conservatives tweeted about 'disturbing reports' of violence in Annan. The claims were strongly refuted by the local council, although that didn't stop BBC Scotland going on to publish news of these claims hours later.

Now the internet is having a good old kick at the Tories. Not a great look for Ruth Davidson and her blue army.

Confirmed disorder outside Primary School - and it's Labour voter at fault

After all the speculation about voter intimidation in Annan, we have confirmation of an incident in Dundee - and the culprit is reportedly a Labour supporter.

The Sunday Herald's Neil Mackay has published on Twitter a cutting from the Evening Telegraph which reports that there was a "shouting match" outside a local primary school, serving as a polling station today.

Here's the clipping:

Dundee fight

To the Murraymobile!

Duncan Hothersall of Labour Hame brings us this passionate account from Edinburgh, which has also given us the wonderful image of Ian Murray dressed as a naff 60s superhero.

There's no question it's going to be a day of mixed fortunes for Labour, with a strong showing across England and Wales likely while we struggle against the odds in Scotland.

But within Scotland too there are some notes of optimism. I'm hearing positivity from one or two constituencies that the polls have previously written off. Some terrific campaigns have been fought and some of those teams will bring home first prize tonight.

Others will not be successful, and it's worth bearing in mind that when an MP loses their seat, all their staff also lose their jobs. It's a brutal, winner-takes-all system, and while we will all be cheering our respective teams this evening, it would be good to remember those for whom tonight will mean redundancy and a search for new employment.

And so to the doors once more. To the Murraymobile!

Ian Murray car

'Let's sh*ft the Unionist parties'

Telegraph reporter Ben Riley-Smith writes of a cab ride with an SNP-supporting taxi driver.

"They promised us the earth" the driver said, "and yet we got nothing. So let's sh*ft them."

William Wallace, Rabbie Burns, Sir Walter Scott... they'd surely all applaud this sentiment (although maybe not the cabbie's language).

Labour campaigner hits back at Sturgeon's 'seen and not heard' claim

James Kelly on Labour 'propaganda'

Our resident fire-breathing nationalist brings us the following:

I see that "Labour insiders" are telling the Guardian that they expect to hold four Glasgow seats, which would include a couple of very implausible wins. This has coincided with what looks to me like a concerted propaganda campaign on social media and in blog comments to convince us that Scottish Labour are doing better than expected.

Well, maybe, but I would just remind people that at this stage of referendum day, Better Together were telling journalists they had won by 58-42, and the Yes campaign still thought they were on course for victory if they could get their vote out. The truth was somewhere in between. We're deep into the "fog of war" stage of proceedings, and I'll be treating claims from all sides with the scepticism they deserve. At least until the polls close - perhaps at that point we'll start to get a few honest predictions.

Intimidation allegations continue

More claims of intimidation, this time laid squarely at the door of the SNP (although methinks the tweeter may have a slight agenda here).

SNP blighted by rubbish selfie in North East Fife

The SNP's candidate for North East Fife, Stephen Gethins, has published this selfie of him and his team.

SNP selfie

I think we can all agree that, as selfies go, this one's pretty pants. I mean come on, the first rule of group selfies is to get in tight and keep it that way, to minimise the chances of someone being left with half a head.

Clearly no-one told the guy on the left (or maybe he wasn't supposed to be in the photo at all. We'll probably never know for sure.)

SNP 'militants' out in force in Edinburgh

Well, according to a French news network.

Does 'militantes' translate directly to 'militants' in English? I really hope so.

Farage in 'fags' row

Ukip have been accused of various slurs since rising to prominence a year or so ago. But the latest could be the most damaging.

As Britain goes to the polls, Nigel Farage has been accused of homophobia after referring to gay people as "fags" during a wedding speech.

According to the Independent, Farage told guests at his brother's wedding: "The good news for us who are smokers is that we are far better off here than if we had been at Michael Barrymore's house.

"Because there they removed all the ashtrays on the basis that now they chuck all the fags in the pool."

We've interviewed Farage and he can be a very charming man in the flesh, but this 'gag' seems particularly poorly judged.

Support for Natalie McGarry after vandalism

SNP supporters have rallied round Natalie McGarry after her offices were allegedly vandalised earlier.

Hopefully everyone will agree with the first sentence of this tweet, even if opinions differ on the second.

Farage in cheesy grin photo shock

Yet another political leader has posed for the cameras outside the polling station. This time it's Ukip leader Nigel Farage.

Nigel Farage
Nigel Farage casts his vote in South Thanet Getty

The local Labour party has claimed Ukip supporters have been intimidating people in South Thanet, chanting "scum" and "traitor" at non-believers and following local Labour councillors in a van. It is even claimed a punch was thrown yesterday.

Ukip vigorously deny the claims. A spokesman described Labour's allegations as an "outright lie", adding that "all our tellers are either old ladies or old men. In St Mark's Church in Ramsgate, we've got a blind guy and his dog."

Ukip also claim that they themselves have been attacked, with punches thrown and property vandalised. All very murky down there.

Annan intimidation claim rubbished

SNP MSP Mark McDonald has rubbished the claims of voter intimidation in Annan, which were made by the Scottish Conservatives earlier.

McDonald mischievously asked whether "this was a case of 'leader of Scottish Conservatives wastes police time' perhaps?"

Mistake in Survation poll?

Yes, according to James Kelly, who writes:

A couple of the statistical experts who regularly leave comments on my blog have noticed there's a big mistake in the datasets for the Survation poll that was published last night - it's as if all the figures for the most affluent voters (so-called "ABs") have been divided by 10.

It isn't clear whether this has affected the overall voting intention figures, but if so it will have led to the SNP vote being underestimated. It's possible that Nicola Sturgeon's party should have been given a vote share of over 50% on the first of the two questions that were asked.

Odds are going against Murphy in East Renfrewshire

Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy is defending a majority of 10,420 in East Renfrewshire from the 2010 General Election - it's a key target seat for the SNP.

Bookies odds are not in Murphy's favour at the moment but he could be saved by tactical voting.

odds on Murphy

On the ground with Duncan Hothersall, Labour Hame

Here's more from Duncan Hothersall on the ground. Remember you can follow him @dhothersall or @labourhame

Ian Murray's campaign office going great guns in Edinburgh South, team after team arriving back and heading out again. Lots of sandwiches and home baking on the go and endless tea and coffee.

I'm heading back to Edinburgh East now to catch up with the incredibly hard-working local MP Sheila Gilmore and do a stint on the doors there. She has a tough fight today but has been such a conscientious local representative I really hope people remember that when voting.

Turnout continues to look pretty high, and there are vast numbers of Labour canvassers out across the country knocking on doors. Tired feet but strong hearts. And on we go!

Great graphic on voting patterns

With so much energy and conversation devoted to the largely pointless race for No.10, we often forget what's really important during the election campaign - the chance to try out new and rather fabulous graphics to illustrate voting patterns.

Here's a cracker from the Evening Times:

Continuing the wonderful 'leaders outside polling booths' montage, here's Nick Clegg and his wife Miriam, looking like a pair of Sky Sports News presenters on Transfer Deadline Day with their yellow colour scheme.

Nick Clegg
Nick Clegg and his wife Miriam Gonzalez Durantez pose smile after voting at Hall Park centre polling station in Sheffield Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images

On the ground with James Kelly

Prolific blogger James Kelly, author of the blog SCOT goes POP!, reports from Edinburgh:

I've just taken part in an unusual election day show at the Traverse Theatre. The idea was that two guests put forward a "two minute manifesto" of something they would do if they became Prime Minister.

Juliet Swann of the Electoral Reform Society wanted a randomly selected Citizens' Chamber to replace the House of Lords, and the playwright Linda McLean suggested that all adults should be required to spend one day per year in a care home.

Both proposals received majority support from the audience, although there was some concern over the impact on the prison system if day-visits to care homes are made compulsory!

Annan update

Journo Chris Green claims officers are at polling station in Annan where Ruth Davidson reported intimidation. However spokeperson says there "doesn't seem to be anything in" the reports.

Thatcher's children

In a secret meeting William Hague has reportedly said he, Cameron and Osborne are 'children of Thatcher.' That's according to WikiLeaks. Here's the tweet:

Murky picture in Annan

Meanwhile, turning to alleged intimidation closer to home, it seems no-one is able to confirm or deny reports of pressure being put on voters in Annan at present.

Just spoken to Nigel Farage's right-hand man re: alleged intimidation by Ukip supporters in South Thanet

He said: "I have visited nearly every polling station with Nigel this morning, in many of them we are the only party with tellers. All of our tellers are either old ladies or old men. In St Mark's church in Ramsgate, we've got a blind guy and his dog.

"They tried this yesterday, it turned out the claimant was a Hope Not Hate activist. It's utter bollocks and if you look at the evidence it's our guys who are being intimidated.

"We've had our people punched, stickers put on them, garages vandalised. One of our high-profile supporters had his window smashed with a flower pot and Ukip shop was smashed two weeks ago."

"It [the reports of intimidation] are just the Labour party playing their same old nasty politics. I've been to nearly all of [the stations] today and I can tell you with other confidence this is an outright lie."

Just spoken to the spokesperson for South Thanet Labour. He told me:

"We basically had three or four polling stations where we had groups of Ukip people gathering outside and verbally abusing people, telling them who to vote for. It's something that's been alerted to the police, and they've have got a particular team working on this.

"Of the four polling stations, three of them was just a handful of people, one of them was a larger group of around 10 people. i think they were telling people to vote Ukip, I've had reports of more unpleasant things [being said] but we're checking with our people at the polling stations on that."

Ukip intimidation in Thanet?

In Thanet, it's being claimed that Ukip supporters are intimidating voters outside polling booths. We'll bring you more on this in a few minutes...

Too close to call

Just to remind you how squeaky-bum-tastic all this is, here's the final poll of polls for the English parties, showing Labour and the Tories neck-and-neck. The final polls suggest Cameron won't have enough seats to cling to power, great news for the SNP of course.

Looks like the rise of Ukip has really hurt Cameron, and could ultimately cost him power. Given that Miliband has suggested an EU referendum is unlikely under Labour, Farage and his followers may end up getting exactly the opposite of what they originally wished for.

Poll of polls
Google drive/IBTimes UK

Peter Snow speaks to IBTimes UK

As the action begins to heat up, election night legend Peter Snow has spoken to IBTimes UK about his memories of the famous swingometer, and his take on this year's campaign. You may or may not be surprised to reveal that he doesn't like Ukip very much.

Read the piece here.

Annan update

Ruth Davidson says "we are contacting the relevant personnel" re: the alleged intimidation of voters in Annan.

We'll post more info as and when we have it.

Thugs 'intimidating voters' in Annan

Disturbing news from Annan. Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson says a group of thugs are outside the polling station and trying to intimidate people into voting a certain way.

SNP centurion in Glasgow North East

SNP candidate for Glasgow North West, Carol Monaghan, has published this picture of a 100-year-old supporter she met on the campaign trail.

SNP 100 years old
Twitter

#IVOTEDSNP causing a stir

#IVOTEDSNP IS TRENDING! (Apologies if the all-caps hurts your eyes, I thought I might as well carry on the entire sentence in block capitals for no real reason).

Whatever happened to keeping one's political allegiance a secret? Is nothing sacred anymore?

Tory pravda reaching out its tentacles

With a macabre sense of irony, it seems England's conservative puppet-masters, presumably while swivelling in their chairs and stroking their cats, have decided to deploy their very own Pravda to see off Red Ed.

The Telegraph, a paper much loved by Alex Salmond and his SNP chums of course, has left a few people rather cheesed off south of the border this morning. (We apologise for the rather crude language in this tweet, but we are sure you appreciate the sentiment).

SNP adverts

Some of you may have seen the SNP adverts in today's papers. But, if you haven't, here's one of them.

Live from the front line

Blogger Duncan Hothersall, of Labour Hame, sends us this update from the canvassing trail:

Another session of door knocking completed, this time in Edinburgh South. Today it's all about GOTV - Get Out The Vote - where the folk who have promised to vote Labour during the campaign get a final reminder, and those who have requested lifts get taken to vote. We will be out all day and all evening!

Miliband casts his vote

And we continue with our series of 'party leaders voting' pictures. Here's Ed Miliband leaving the polling station having done his business in Sutton. From the look on his face, it wasn't an entirely pleasant experience (and btw the tie is too long for the jacket. Come on Ed, that's breaking suit-wearing rule 101 right there).

Ed Miliband
Labour Party leader Ed Miliband leaves the polling station at Sutton Village Hall in Sutton after casting his vote in the 2015 general election Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

And the most influential Scottish politician on social media is...

No it's not Jim or Nicola. It's not George K or Mhairi. It's the Blair-hating trilby-wearing cat-human George Galloway.

Well, at least that's according to a list of the MPs with the most impactful social media presence. The list is here.

The most influential MP in either the SNP or Scottish Labour is Jim Murphy, in 17th place. Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond will surely change that if/when they are elected.

Anti-semitic leaflet left in car outside Stirling booth

After the Nathalie McGarry vandalism, more distinctly unsavoury scenes. According to reporter Chris Deerin, a letter bearing an anti-semitic statement has been left in a car outside the Stirling polling booth.

Hopefully these mindless idiots have spoiled their ballot. That way they won't actually influence the result of the election.

Amazing tweet

This won't be the most influential tweet sent today, or even the most informative, but it'll take some beating for comedy value.

'Vote SNP get sexy' hashtag taking Twitter by storm

Well that's probably an over-exaggeration, but it has been retweeted a few times.

Having seen Alex Salmond up close, I'm not sure the 'get sexy' bit is a surefire guarantee.

Cameron clashes with Muppet

Meanwhile, down south, the big beasts are emerging from their lairs and smearing their mighty paws all over their ballot papers.

Here's David Cameron casting his vote in Witney. We presume he's voting for himself, but couldn't guarantee it.

Below Cameron you will see a giant Sesame Street character. Insert your own 'which one is the Muppet?' type banter here.

David Cameron
Getty

For more news, views and people wearing costumes of children's TV characters, following our national election blog here.

The smell of nae Cam

#Bantz #Skillz #punz #etc

Have Labour really given up Stirling?

The answer is yes, according to local Tory candidate Stephen Kerr (well to quote a rather famous British showgirl, he would say that, wouldn't he?)

'If Sturgeon really wanted to break the union, you'd know about it'

IBT columnist James Kelly wrote a terrific piece for us yesterday, refuting the idea that Nicola Sturgeon is solely focused on independence.

James Kelly

'It can probably be taken as read that if Nicola Sturgeon ever wants to talk about independence, she won't be shy about doing so. Conversely, if you catch her talking about the overseas aid budget instead, you can safely conclude she doesn't have independence on her mind at that precise moment.'

Read James's full article here.

Duncan Hothersall reports from Edinburgh

Prolific blogger Duncan Hothersall (of Labour Hame) will be sending on-the-ground updates from Edinburgh East throughout the day. Here's his first post:

Voting brisk this morning. Feels a bit more like referendum day than a normal election. Big turnout could mean anything though. Weather is dry and sunny so a pretty decent turnout should be anticipated.

You can also stay in touch with Duncan by following his personal Twitter page, or the page of Labour Hame.

The tomfoolery begins

Scotland's jesters haven't taken long to start their dirty work. Unconfirmed reports from Fallin suggest a campaign board might have been moved. We'll bring updates as soon as we have them.

Sturgeon backs McGarry

Nathalie McGarry may have had her offices vandalised (see the post below) but she's also received the support of the most influential woman in Scottish politics.

SNP candidate's office vandalised

Shocking

#SNPout hashtag gaining traction on Twitter

Plenty of people using the #SNPout hashtag this morning, suggest there is plenty of resentment towards Sturgeon and her merry band - and grounds for optimism for Labour and the rest.

Murray rallying his troops

Most of the coverage around Scottish Labour has been pretty grim so far, but the party are going to pull out all the stops today to ensure the SNP's gains are kept to a minimum.

Here's Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray giving his campaign troops a final team-talk before they go into battle (well metaphorically anyway - no-one wants a repeat of the Eddie Izzard-SNP clash on Saturday).

Ian Murray troops
Tiwtter/Kezia Dugdale

Tactical voting in Edinburgh?

According to Mandy Rhodes, of current affairs mag Holyrood, plans are afoot in Edinburgh to keep out the SNP with tactical votes. Will this work?

Labour turns the back the clock

Labour have gone all retro and harked back to the party's past in an attempt to win crucial votes today.

12 the magic number for Labour

According to one of the UK's leading political journalists, 12 seats is Labour's target. Can they make it?

Freakishly large hand boost SNP's hopes

Jon Snow on Scotland

No matter your political stripe, I'm sure you'll agree on this.

When IBT met Alex Salmond

If you've got a spare few minutes, why not take a look at the interview we did with Alex Salmond back in January?

Here's the video we did in London. Salmond was candid and forthright, as ever.

Izzard attack mob kicked out of SNP

Quite rightly, the ringleaders of the mob who confronted Jim Murphy and Eddie Izzard over the weekend have been suspended by the SNP.

Mike Small, editor of Bella Caledonia, has sent us this short piece on the 'legitimacy' question which has been levelled in recent days. Definitely worth a read (btw you can keep up-to-date with Mike's views throughout the day by following Bella Caledonia on Twitter).

Nicola Sturgeon speaks after she was formally announced as the new Scottish National Party (SNP) leader at the party conference in Perth, Scotland November 14, 2014

'It's a tale of two countries, one apparently racked with indecision, divided and downcast, the other strangely euphoric and uniting under one banner in totemic strategy. The contrast is stark. As Gerry Hassan has noted: "While Westminster commentators have regularly stated that this is the 'most boring' and 'risk free' election they can ever remember, north of the border nothing like this has ever been seen before." But if results are as the (seemingly constant) polling suggests, then Britain faces a crisis of selfhood.

Yesterday Simon Jenkins wrote in the Guardian: "Scotland can be simply disposed. The Scots appear fed up with the English, and the English with the Scots. No amount of subsidy, economic scaremongering or fake emotion can overcome this message from north of the border."

Such negativity and hostility is rife. But the idea of describing the SNP as effectively a proscribed party has dangerous ramifications. These are elected MPs from a country that the entire apparatus of the British state begged to remain only a few months ago. Now they are somehow 'illegitimate'?

The question of legitimacy is an odd one. No-one bothered to think that Westminister rule was 'illegitimate' when Scotland voted overwhelmingly for Labour and got a Tory government over the past thirty years. Labour returned 56 out of 72 seats for Labour in 2001. The SNP are poised to take those kind of numbers today. It's a historic turnaround with a massive 22% swing predicted.

The Tories may - if they return to sub-Panda politics again - be ready to lose Scotland entirely. That would be madness for anyone truly believing in the union. In other words, the easiest way to maintain the status quo is to cherish and absorb the SNP cohort.'

Pic: Reuters

Salmond mobbed by screaming girls (well, perhaps not screaming)

Anything Ed Miliband can do, the SNP can match it seems. After Ed was mobbed by a hen do in Chester, Alex Salmond has been given what looks suspiciously like a makeover in Bucksburn while attending a pamper party (apparently that's a thing these days).

We've had #Milifandom - what to call this? #Samcrush? #Eck-tivism? And does this make the girls Salmonders? (Sorry, it's early, we promise to up our game as the blog progresses).

'Scotland, Russia should strengthen ties in Arctic'

As Sturgeon casts her vote, one of her predecessors as leader of the SNP has suggested Scotland should seek closer ties with Russia, particularly surrounding trade in the Arctic region.

Gordon Wilson was quoted by Sputnik News as saying "Scotland has always had strong cultural ties with Russia. There are certain political impediments at the moment to developing closer relationships. One priority beneficial to both will be the expansion of trade as and when conditions allow."

Nicola Sturgeon has cast her vote. The SNP leader and her husband Peter Murrell exercised their democratic right at Broomhouse Community Hall in Glasgow.

Sturgeon will be hoping millions more Scots follow their lead and put a tick next to her party's name in the polling booth.

Sturgeon voting
Getty

The SNP will pick up 52 seats if the latest polls are to be believed: