Election winner expected to be announced by 6pm - Labour's Andy Burnham favourite
Voting to elect Manchester's first ever metropolitan mayor ended at 10pm on Thursday in the ten boroughs of the region: Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan.
Turnout results - though low in comparison to the likes of Brexit and the last General Election - were not as low as first rumoured, with 28.93% of the 1.98 million Greater Manchester electorate casting their votes.
In comparison, just 13.59% turned out to vote in the Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner election of 2012, while the first London Mayoral election in 2000 had a turnout of 34.43%. Salford's Mayoral election of 2016 had a 30% turnout.
Of the ten boroughs of Greater Manchester, Trafford had the highest turnout of 38.35%, whilst Salford (which, as mentioned, elected a mayor last year) was lowest with 25.11%. Rochdale and Oldham weren't far behind, with 25.24% and 25.78% turnout respectively.
From 8 May 2017, the Interim Mayor Tony Lloyd will be replaced by a directly-elected Mayor, with favourite, former Labour cabinet minster Andy Burnham, expected to be announced as the winner on Friday afternoon.
The mayor will have powers over police and fire services, buses, trams and £300m of housing budget, plus a significant role in developing the spatial framework (the region's long-term development plan) within the remit of the Combined Authority of Greater Manchester.
With health and social care the Mayor will be part of a 40-strong regional health board controlling a £6bn budget devolved from Westminster last year.
The count will begin at Manchester Central at 12 noon. If no second count is required, it is anticipated that the result will be declared between 4pm and 6pm. If no candidate gains more than 50 per cent of first preference votes and a second count is required, it is anticipated that the final declaration will be between 6pm and 8pm.
Confidential will be reporting live from the count.
10 things the new mayor must do...
1) Promote manufacturing and boost Greater Manchester as a producer - we need more jobs and better jobs.
2) Promote vocational skills in young people to underpin point 1.
3) Trigger a revival of the other town centres, making sure it's not all about Manchester city centre.
4) Keep the conurbation moving by regional investment and the promotion of HS3.
5) Knock heads together over homelessness/begging so we really see change.
6) Stand up for Greater Manchester boldly and with vigour in the face of indecent cuts.
7) Underline again and again that we are a multicultural region open to immigration.
8) Promote identity and a sense of place amongst the population from Primary School upwards through active involvement.
9) Use the £300m housing loan fund to promote development away from Central Manchester.
10) Improve the regional centre's tourist appeal by knocking heads together over green space, litter, way-finding.