Local elections 2022: When do polls close? When will we get results? What voting system does Scotland use

The polls are open in Scotland for the local elections with voters to have their say on who represents them at council chambers across the country.

Here’s everything you need to know about the local elections, how a winner is decided and when we can expect results.

What times do polls close?

Polls are open from 7am until 10pm this evening.

A look at Scotland's voting system, how to vote and when polls close.A look at Scotland's voting system, how to vote and when polls close.
A look at Scotland's voting system, how to vote and when polls close.

How does voting in Scotland work? And how do I vote?

Unlike in general elections, or in the voting system for council elections in England, Scotland uses a system that is based on proportional representation.

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As a result decisions often take longer, but less votes are wasted.

In Scotland, there are 32 local councils, or authorities, with each split into smaller areas know as wards.

Voters then place their preferred councillor for each ward in order of preference with three or four elected per ward.

These wards combined make up the political landscape of the authority.

The electoral system used in Scotland is the Single Transferable Vote (STV), so voters must rank the eligible candidates in order of preference, with 1 being the highest.

Instead of voters placing an X in the box for their favoured candidate they are asked to rank them in order of their choice using 1, 2, 3. There is no limit on the number of preferences that can be added, so long as the ballot paper is not spoiled.

Councillors are elected when successful candidates achieve the most transferred votes – and as a result, it is common to see more than one party representative on a ballot sheet.

When a candidate with the lowest number of votes drops out of the running, votes are reallocated to other candidates, meaning your vote is not wasted.

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The process continues until all of a ward's councillors are elected.

Does STV system result in majorities?

STV has been in place in Scotland since 2007 and as a voting, it is built to be more proportional.

As a result it is uncommon for the system to have a majority.

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The count works on a quota basis and is designed to reduce wasted votes. A candidate who has more number ones than the quota is elected to serve, rather than ignoring the extra votes a candidate received after they win these move to each voter's second favourite.

If no one reaches the quota then candidates are eliminated one by one.

When will Council Election results be announced in Scotland?

As the voting system is more complex than one of First Past The Post as used in general elections, the results will take longer than some parts of the UK.

It is hard to predict the exact time of declarations, however, counting is set to begin from around 8am tomorrow across most of Scotland.

You can also take a look at the previous declaration times and when we can expect results in Scotland.