Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish National party (SNP) has emerged victorious in Scottish Parliament elections – but without enough seats to form a majority in the devolved government in Edinburgh.
It came as across the UK, local council elections saw Britain’s opposition Labour Party lose ground.
“The SNP has won a third consecutive Scottish Parliament election. That has never been done before in the history of the Scottish Parliament,” SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon told supporters.
“What we are seeing tonight is the SNP replacing Labour,” she added.
In Scotland, a Conservative revival pushed Labour into third place. The Tories are in power at Westminster but have been in the wilderness north of the border for decades.
It was a good night for the anti-EU UK Independence Party (UKIP), which won seats in England and in Wales.
As results came in, Labour remained on course to be the largest party in the Welsh Assembly, but without an overall majority. Results in Northern Ireland are due on Saturday.
Across the country the results have put more pressure on Labour under its left wing leader Jeremy Corbyn.
One silver lining on the cloud for Labour would be victory for its candidate Sadiq Khan in the London Mayoral election. The hot favourite to win, he will make history as the first Muslim in the job if he can beat the Conservatives Zac Goldsmith after a bitterly-fought campaign.
Filling the shoes of flamboyant Conservative mayor Boris Johnson won’t be easy for anyone.
The results in the capital are not expected until later on Friday.