Police on standby as Scots go to the polls in European election

As voters go to the polls to elect Scotland’s new MEPs, police will deploy extra officers in case of any disturbances.

Police Scotland confirmed four units comprising about 100 public order officers would be “strategically placed” to deal with any incident.

This is in addition to usual policing

Six Scottish MEPs
(Left to right) David Coburn, of Ukip, Alyn Smith and Ian Hudghton (SNP), Conservative Ian Duncan and Labour’s Catherine Stihler and David Martin were elected as Scotland’s six MEPs in 2014 (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Speaking about the move, Deputy Chief Constable Will Kerr said: “We would never normally need that sort of support, particularly for European elections.

“We do now. The tone is just fundamentally different.”

Scotland will send six MEPs to the European Parliament following the election, although Brexit means it is unclear for how long they will have their jobs.

Two of the parties’ lead candidates have already served in Brussels and Strasbourg, with the SNP’s Alyn Smith and David Martin of Labour both putting themselves forward again.

Baroness Nosheena Mobarik is also hoping to return as a Conservative MEP for Scotland after taking on the job when her Tory predecessor Ian Duncan went to the House of Lords.

At the last European election in 2014, Scotland returned two SNP MEPs along with two Labour representatives, one Tory and one Ukip MEP.

Mr Coburn, who was Scotland’s first elected Ukip politician, announced he would not be standing again.

With the polls showing a slump in support for both the Conservatives and Labour compared to five years ago, both the Scottish Greens and Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party are hoping to see their candidates elections.

Polling is taking place from 7am to 10pm, although ballots will not be counted until Sunday May 26 in most areas.

In the Western Isles, counting takes place on Monday morning, with the full Scottish results to be announced after that,

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