LIVE: General Election 2015
Have you ticked your box, folded your ballot paper, and had your voice heard? Then you may want to know what happens tonight, when your votes are counted.
Scottish Borders Council have prepared a short video to tell you all about it.
2.52pm: What do you make of the polling so far? Would you rather have voted in the early days of British democracy? Of course, the fate of the area was at that time still under the sway of the major landowners, as this article from Parliamentary History shows:
“Two major interests contended for control of the county: the Homes, earls of Home, and the Humes, earls of Marchmont, branches of a family which had separated in the fifteenth century, and were at bitter odds with each other. Hugh, 3rd Earl of Marchmont, was an able, rich, and arrogant politician, violently jealous of Argyll’s power as ‘viceroy’ of Scotland. William, 8th Earl of Home, whose father had been imprisoned on suspicion of Jacobitism, was an impoverished army officer who had the consistent support and affection of Argyll.
“From 1734 Marchmont’s twin brother Alexander Hume Campbell had represented the county, and in 1754 he was returned unopposed. Newcastle, anxious to secure his support against Pitt, appointed him lord clerk register in 1755, and acceded to almost every request from Marchmont on Berwickshire patronage.1 At the by-election Hume Campbell was again returned unopposed, and the Marchmont interest was for a time completely in the ascendant. But when Hume Campbell failed to stand up to Pitt in the Commons the family’s stock fell, and in April 1757 Argyll obtained for Home the appointment of lord lieutenant of Berwickshire, ‘at which’, wrote John Calcraft, ‘the Marchmont Humes were deadly angry’.2 When Newcastle returned to office with Pitt the Marchmonts demanded Home’s removal from the lord lieutenancy as the price of their support. Lord Dupplin wrote to Newcastle on 8 Oct. 1757:3
“If they could be assured there would not be an opposition ... they might not be so anxious about the lieutenancy, for their chief apprehension is of a defeat (and what they will think a disgrace) in the county election, and to guard against that they push the point of dispossessing Lord Home of the lieutenancy.
“The attempt failed, but throughout 1758 and 1759 Marchmont and Home competed for patronage; and Marchmont attributed every disappointment to the ‘unrelenting resentment’ of Argyll.4 But John Calcraft wrote to Home, who was governor of Gibraltar, on 22 Dec. 1758:5 ‘The Duke of Argyll ... expressed great desire to serve you, but says the Duke of Newcastle won’t let him for fear of disobliging Lord Marchmont.’”
2pm: And it’s not just candidates or party members outside polling stations vying for the attention of voters: people in Eyemouth have been reminded while they wait to tick the box that on May 15 the town joins in the Festival of Museums: http://www.eyemouthmuseum.org/festivals-of-museums-event-
1.12pm: Nice moment in Eyemouth this morning, outside the polling station, when volunteers and campaigners from different parties helped put an opponent’s sandwich board back up after the breeze blew it over in their absence. Nice to see.
12.40pm: Another warning from Scottish Borders Council against taking selfies at the ballot box, as it may be a breach of electoral law.
11.39am: Eyemouth has seen plenty of voting action this morning, with people going into the polling station at the Community Centre with babies in their arms, pulling up on mobility scooters - there’s even the odd married couple making their vote count (or cancel each other out!) together.
10.10amVoting has been brisk this morning at the 94 polling stations where voters can cast their vote for the Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk constituency.
9.45am: The first three voters to cast their votes at Coldstream polling station went to the usual venue - the Rodger Hall - to find themselves locked out and being redirected to Coldstream Parish Church Hall.
It has been a pattern repeated by a steady stream of Coldstream electors throughout the morning who either hadn’t realised or through force of habit headed to the Rodger Hall to cast their vote.
One lady even managed to battle her way through the roadworks barriers outside the Rodger Hall, past the sign on the side of the wall telling voters that the polling station is in the parish church hall, only to be faced with a locked door.
Scottish Borders Council mothballed the Rodger Hall, the town’s polling station for several decades (apart from one election where voting took place at the school), at the beginning of this year and this is the first time Coldstream Parish Church Hall has been used as a polling station.
7am: The polls have opened and voting is underway across the Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk constituency.
Voting closes at 10pm tonight, with an estimated declaration expected at around 4.30am.