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Archive for May 23rd, 2014

The ballot boxes at The Troxy in Limehouse have now been opened. Council officials will now start sifting through the ballot papers, rejecting any that are spoilt or invalid for other reasons.

They will announce the final turnout (with the number of postal votes added) soon after 11am.

Shortly after that, the count for the mayor begins. Council officials expect the result at about 3pm.

They’ll then have the task of counting for the councillor elections.

On turnout, Labour sources believe it’s much higher than the 25 per cent in October 2010. On that basis, they were hopeful last night. They don’t see how Lutfur Rahman can vastly increase the 23,300 votes he polled last time (which was 51 per cent of the turnout and meant he won on the first round).

If Lutfur fails to win on the first round today, then it’s difficult to see where he would pick up second preferences. His tally would then remain stable, and if he were in the lead, he would be relying on Tory and Ukip voters not giving John Biggs their second preferences.

Only a few hours until the speculation ends. I’ll update this thread as and when I can, but I may be doing more reporting on Twitter, so follow me there @tedjeory.

1245pm—still verifying ballot papers. Turnout seems high. Labour think in mid-40 per cent territory. Apparently in white middle class areas of Spitalfields, turnout at 60 per cent. That’s very encouraging for Biggs.

Seems count will now start after 2pm, result about 6pm.

A couple of pics of John Biggs at count and Lutfur’s favourite curry king Shiraj Haque.

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UPDATE 1.24pm

Change in mood in Labour camp. More despondent. They think Lutfur could win on first preferences, that his votes piling up in traditional Labour heartlands.

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