On Air Early Breakfast Chris Williams | 5:00am - 7:30am

The Isle of Man goes to the polls

After months of campaigning, debate, decision making and analysis, the 2011 general election is finally upon us.

From 8am today (Thursday) the 60,000-plus eligible voters who have registered will choose the 24 MHKs who will represent them in the House of Keys for the next five years.

There are 64 candidates vying for those positions, nine more than in 2006, with contests taking place in all 15 of the Island's constituencies for the first time in at least quarter of a century.

Polling stations remain open until 8pm.

Over 8,000 more people have registered to vote than at the last general election, in 2006.

Almost 1,300 of the registered voters are 16 and 17-year-olds, well up on the 724 when the age group was first given the vote, five years ago.

This is the first Manx general election to be held in September, a move agreed over five years ago by Tynwald in the hope there would be better weather on polling day.

And that seems to have paid off, with decent conditions forecast for the day ahead.

Whatever happens today, there will be at least two new faces in the new House, following the retirement of Tony Brown and David Cannan as MHKs for Castletown and Michael respectively.

You can keep up to date with the results as they come in this evening on Manx Radio's election special from 6.15pm, and at Manx Radio's election micro-site, accessible via manxradio.com

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