Election 2017: Result expected very soon in Leigh

A ballot box
A ballot box
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The result of the Leigh election is expected to be announced very soon.

Fast counting at Leigh Leisure Centre means the constituency was on course to declare its next MP shortly after 1am.

The turnout has been announced as 61.6 per cent, a two per cent rise on the number of people who cast a ballot in the last election two years ago.

The ballot counting is also well under way and a result could be in as early as 1.30am.

Labour's Jo Platt is the odds-on favourite to succeed Andy Burnham for the seat but three other candidates are hoping to produce a surprise victory.

James Grundy, who like Ms Platt is an elected representative at Wigan Council, is contesting Leigh for the Conservatives and local activist Mark Bradley is the Ukip candidate.

Rounding out the field is Richard Kilpatrick for the Liberal Democrats.

Nationally the exit poll has already thrown up the evening's first surprise by predicting a hung parliament, meaning the Conservatives are thought unlikely to get a bigger majority.

However, it is unlikely that the shock results will make it to the borough.

Labour has held Leigh since 1922 and at the most recent election in 2015 Mr Burnham, now Greater Manchester's elected mayor, polled 24,312 votes for a 53.9 per cent share.

The turnout two years ago in the constituency was 59.6 per cent.

The count takes place at the Leigh Leisure Centre next to the Leigh Sports Village (LSV) and a result is expected to be declared in the early hours of the morning.

Residents in Atherton and surrounding areas have also been at the polls today to elect the MP for Bolton West, where a close race between Conservative Chris Green and Labour candidate Julie Hilling could be in prospect.

The other candidates in the running there are Rebecca Forrest for the Liberal Democrats and Martin Tighe for Ukip.

Updates can be found here as the night unfolds.