VOTERS went to the polls yesterday to cast their votes in the European Election that will see six Scottish MEPs returned to the European Parliament.
The results will not begin to come in until votes are counted late on Sunday night.
Yesterday the parties were making last-ditch attempts to get their voters out in an election which traditionally attracts a poor turn-out. Fewer than one in three members of the electorate voted in the last poll five years ago.
After casting his vote in his Gordon constituency, Alex Salmond repeated his calls for voters to reject Nigel Farage’s Ukip.
The run-up to the European election has been dominated by speculation that Ukip may win its first seat in Scotland. Polls have suggested that Ukip’s candidate David Coburn is on the verge of making it to Strasbourg – a result that could deny the SNP its ambition of increasing its representation from two to three seats.
The SNP hopes that Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, the third candidate on the party’s list, will join Ian Hudgton and Alyn Smith as SNP MEPs.
Yesterday Mr Salmond said: “All the polling evidence has shown that this election is a contest between the SNP’s Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh and Nigel Farage’s Ukip. Throughout the campaign, we have urged the people of Scotland to reject the intolerant agenda of Ukip.”
Mr Coburn hit back at the SNP, pointing out that Ms Ahmed-Sheikh was previously a member of the Tories.
According to the polls, the Lib Dems will struggle to return George Lyon, the former MSP who moved to the European Parliament five years ago.
Labour is expected to return its two candidates, long-serving MEP David Martin and Catherine Stihler. Dr Ian Duncan is hoping to take over from Struan Stevenson for the Tories.