Polling stations open in Argyll and Bute

The Moat Community Centre and Rothesay Library is Bute's largest polling station.
The Moat Community Centre and Rothesay Library is Bute's largest polling station.

The polls have opened in Rothesay, Kingarth and Port Bannatyne as Argyll and Bute begins to cast its votes in the UK general election.

Five candidates are hoping to become the next MP for the area - Alastair Redman (Conservative), Mary Galbraith (Labour), Alan Reid (Liberal Democrat), Brendan O’Hara (SNP) and Caroline Santos (UKIP).

Polling stations - which, on Bute, are located at the Moat Centre and the Pavilion in Rothesay, at the Kingarth Hotel and at Port Bannatyne’s village hall - are open until 10pm on Thursday, after which the island’s votes will be taken to the mainland and counted at Lochgilphead Joint Campus.

However, you probably shouldn’t stay up all night if Argyll and Bute is the only result you’re interested in: the large geographical spread of the constituency, stretching from Cardross in the east to Coll and Tiree in the west, and from Appin in the north to the Mull of Kintyre in the south, plus all the islands and out-of-the-way nooks and crannies in between, has historically made it one of the last in Scotland, if not the whole of the UK, to declare a result.

Last time round, in 2010, the outcome was not announced until 1.20pm on the Friday, while the Scottish Parliament result the following year was even later, coming in at 2pm - even though the Holyrood constituency is slightly smaller than the Westminster one.

Election day facts:

If you haven’t registered to vote (including by post or proxy - except an emergency proxy, see below), it’s too late.

You should have received a polling card with your details, polling number and your polling station location - but you don’t need the polling card when you go to vote. Staff will ask for your name and address to check you are registered.

If you can’t find your polling card and aren’t sure which polling station to go to, click here and type in your postcode.

You can take your pet with you when you go to vote - and polling station staff cannot refuse a voter if they are drunk or under the influence of drugs.

You cannot discuss politics inside the polling station, or wear a party rosette - unless you are a candidate.

You can apply to vote by emergency proxy up until 5pm on election day for medical reasons, or if your job or service means that you cannot make it to your polling station in person. More details by clicking here.

Remember too that it is against the law to reveal how someone else has voted, so be careful about what you post on social media. And keep an eye on this very website for the latest news on an Argyll and Bute declaration on Friday.