He has told supporters a “wind of change” is blowing through Scotland. But it remains unclear whether Alex Salmond’s nationalists have made the major breakthrough many predicted in elections for the Scottish parliament. If they do become the main party it would be damaging for Gordon Brown of Britain’s ruling Labour Party. A Scot himself, he is poised to replace Tony Blair who is stepping down as Prime Minister.
Voting has also been underway for the Welsh assembly and municipal authorities in England. Early results suggest Labour may not have suffered the heavy losses that had been forecast.
In Scotland, the nationalist SNP has pledged to hold a referendum on independence, if it wins. Labour defends the union with England and had hoped to defuse independence calls by setting up the Scottish parliament.