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Nicola Sturgeon promises to lead Scotland’s pandemic recovery as her party celebrates early wins

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon promised today to lead Scotland’s pandemic recovery as her party celebrated early wins while counting continues in the Holyrood elections. 

The tallying of votes from Thursday’s elections began today morning, with Labour hoping voters would boost its numbers to overtake the Tories into second place. 

Early indications suggested that Labour was on course to retain its MSP numbers when all votes are counted tonight, although the party lost its key East Lothian marginal seat to the SNP. 

The Star understands that Labour hopes that it could perform well on the regional list, which will also be announced tonight.

The Scottish Greens were quietly optimistic about their own chances. 

Co-leader Patrick Harvie told the Star that regardless of the result, Scotland had a choice between “two paths,” calling for a recovery which makes Scotland a “fairer, more egalitarian country.”

He said: “However many seats we win, we’ve got to knuckle down and work for the future Scotland needs.”

After her re-election to Holyrood, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon thanked her opponent Anas Sarwar, pledging to go back to work immediately and lead Scotland’s recovery from Covid-19. 

She said: “We are in the very, very early stages of a marathon counting operation, that will run until tomorrow evening. 

“At this stage I am extremely happy that the SNP seems to be on course for a fourth consecutive election victory.”

In Wales, First Minister Mark Drakeford said early indications that Labour was performing well across the country reflected the “real enthusiasm” he had encountered on doorsteps, despite polling earlier during the election campaign suggesting the party faced its worst ever performance.

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