I’ve never liveblogged before in my life, but hey, we have to try new things don’t we? I’ve currently got BBC London 94.9 on audio, and ITV London Tonight on video, with a variety of election web sources on refresh.
Paddick on BBC London 94.9 has just confirmed his second preference went to the Left List. A surprise, and an ultimately pointless gesture, but interesting all the same.
Bit of a news catch-up:
Again on BBC London 94.9, Peter Kellner, head honcho of YouGov, has also called the election for Boris, and will resign if he’s wrong. He’s predicted a 55/45 split between Boris and Ken after 2nd preferences.
The BNP are reported to be doing well in the ExCeL count, taking fourth place ahead of the Greens in the assembly list vote in three of the constituencies being counted there. Barnbrook is also doing well in the mayoral ballot there. Of course the BNP are never happy, and are currently claiming the ballots were tampered with and that if they don’t hit 5% in the list vote they will take legal action, going to the High Court if necessary.
Boris is currently leading on first preferences in 8 constituencies; Ken in 6. This is a marginal improvement on the earlier 9 to 5, but nothing to get excited about. Boris-preferring constituencies do seem to have higher turnouts as well.
The time estimated for the announcement of the result has been bouncing about all day. The latest I’ve heard is now midnight, apparently from Nick Robinson of the BBC. Who has heard insiders at both Labour and Conservative HQ saying they’re sure Boris will win. Did I mention it’s not looking too good?
It’s all gone a bit quiet. Apparently some constituencies are nearly finished (e.g. City and East is past 90%) so we might get some assembly results soon.
The Evening Standard has called the election for Boris. However they’ve said that his rivals have conceded, which isn’t true just yet - Brian said it looked like Boris was ahead last I heard (and certainly didn’t think that he had a chance any more), while Ken’s been pretty quiet all day to my knowledge, with official Labour spokespeople waiting for the result before saying any more. No idea what’s going on behind the scenes of course.
As I mentioned earlier, a couple of constituencies are nearly ready to announce their assembly seat results: City and East, and Enfield and Haringey. Labour won these last time. We can’t get the mayoral result or the list assembly members result until every single vote is counted of course. Apparently Barnet and Camden had some computer problems this morning, so they’re currently holding everything else up.
Sian Berry, Green mayoral candidate is being interviewed on BBC London 94.9 as I type. She is confident they’ve held on to their two assembly seats but there’s no longer any mention of gaining seats, and is also unsure whether or not the BNP will get seats. Kellner of YouGov thinks it’s touch and go whether the Greens keep seats or not, but it sounds like this is speculation as the list calculations are ‘fiendishly complicated’ (Berry). She hopes the assembly will scrutinise the mayor more now and encourage take-up of green policies. She doesn’t think she’d work with Boris in his administration as she knows too many environmentalists who’ve had their ‘fingers burned’ by Conservatives asking their advice then quietly chucking it out. They could at least recycle it…
Just received the following from a Boris-stopper about what happened when they went to vote yesterday:
The polling station should’ve been at Lewisham station, but was relocated overnight to the Lewisham Centre and no signs were there to tell people where to vote! No-one could find the new venue…
First I’ve heard of this. I doubt any of this will make a difference to the overall result, but there seem to have been far more administrative cock-ups than usual in this election, with BBC London (TV) reporting that some people had found polling clerks writing their ID numbers on their ballot papers and therefore voiding their votes. All very worrying.
Speaking of election irregularities… A Labour party member has just reported on BBC London 94.9 that she’s seen over 200 Lambeth votes spoiled because the polling clerk has written voters’ ID numbers on the ballots. She says votes for all parties were affected and that she’s never seen spoiled votes on such a scale. Again I’m certainly not saying these votes would’ve made a difference overall but it is deeply worrying that there appears to have been widespread misinterpretation of the voting procedures.
The Conservative party has taken Bexley and Bromley’s assembly seat - not a surprise as it was Tory before as well, so it doesn’t tell us much. Boris v Ken numbers for them should be available soon.
Labour has narrowly taken Brent and Harrow. This was Conservative before.
Full Bexley and Bromley results from London Elects.
Bit of light relief from the Guardian liveblog:
“Are you saying that a performing monkey in a Conservative rosette could have won this race?” asks the Beeb [when interviewing Steve Norris]? Are you saying one hasn’t?
They’re coming thick and fast now. Apparently Labour has comfortably held the North East constituency (a doubling of majority according to the winning candidate but I doubt that takes increased turnout into account). It was Labour by a fair bit last time too. Dunno what’s happened to City and East which has been 99% ready for about an hour!
City and East has remained Labour. Not sure what the Beeb is up to - no results at all on their site, unless I’m looking in the wrong place.
Havering and Redbridge has stayed Conservative with an increased majority, apparently mainly with votes previously given to smaller parties. If this is repeated in the Mayoral vote, Boris will romp home. And we know he’s good at romping. (sorry, cheap joke, I’m getting tired).
Enfield and Haringey held by Labour, but with a fairly small majority over the Conservatives.
Doug (in comments): thanks for confirming it’s not just me who can’t see any updates on the BBC site. London Elects seems to still only have the Bexley and Bromley result to boot.
Will: I feel your pain.
1st pref mayoral votes are finally coming in: Bexley and Bromley has gone for Boris; City and East and North East have gone for Ken. No surprises there really. Sorry, I didn’t type quickly enough to get the numbers down!
Brent and Harrow has gone slightly for Ken too - not surprising given the assembly result.
Current numbers from the Guardian liveblog:
Boris Johnson: 378,239 votes
Ken Livingstone: 343,770 votes.
And the majority of constituencies so far have been pro-Ken, I think. Oh dear.
London Elects has finally put some more results online, and the BBC had one last time I looked.
Aha! guardian.co.uk is posting assembly results as they get them, and seem to be quicker at data entry than both London Elects and the Beeb.
Dave Hill points out that if the Conservatives only get 8 Assembly Members (it looks more likely they’ll have 9, but 8 is possible), Boris will have to get co-operation with another party to get his budget through. Who would that be? Lib Dems seem most likely, he concludes.
What on earth’s happening on the London Elects site? Some results that were up a minute ago seem to have gone again. I’m assuming this is due to a technical cockup rather than inaccuracy in figures. Sorry, this is rather boring, I’ll try and stop complaining about the display of results on other websites!
James (in comments): We’re not completely certain Boris has won; it’s just extremely likely. We don’t know anything about second preferences yet, but the consensus seems to be that the gap on first prefs will be too large to be crossed using second prefs, especially considering the BNP are polling relatively well on first prefs and we all know where their second ones are likely to go…
More results: BBC London TV news says Labour’s held Lewisham and Greenwich, and the Conservatives have held West Central. I assume results will soon appear on one or all of the sites linked above.
Latest numbers nabbed from Guardian liveblog (and I think they’re just nabbing them off rolling news channels!):
7 of 14 constituencies declared.
FIRST PREFERENCE VOTES:
Boris Johnson: 46%
Ken Livingstone: 40%
Brian Paddick: 9%
Doug’s asked about how the BNP is polling. I don’t think we have list votes available yet, but here’s the mayoral 1st prefs I could find:
Bexley and Bromley: 8,950 4.41%
City and East: 10,214 5.45%
North East: 3,776 1.90%
There’s been more mayoral results coming in on the radio but again I can’t find them in print anywhere and can’t type fast enough to catch the figures accurately.
BBC London 94.9 and Sky say 10 of 14 constituencies are done. I’m getting seriously fed up of having no reliable written source of results or figures - anyone got any ideas? The latest figures are 43% Boris, 39% Ken, 10% Brian on 1st prefs, but I have no idea what that means because I don’t know which constituencies are covered and so whether we have more Conservative or Labour ones yet to declare.
Ah, here we go, the radio says that the 4 left to declare are expected to all be Boris, so looks like we are doomed. Good news is that slowpoke Barnet and Camden has finished counting and is just going through verification, so we should be put out of our misery fairly soon. I’m suffering a bit of brain fatigue (cue Boris supporters saying I always have, I just didn’t know it before) so have forgotten the other bit of news I was going to pass on here. I’m sure it’ll come back as soon as I publish this update.
Ealing and Haringey has stayed Conservative, as has Croydon and Sutton, as has Merton and Wandsworth. I *think* this means all the constituencies are in, so a mayoral result should come very soon. Current assembly list calculations being done on the hoof by Kellner of YouGov and announced on BBC radio look like the Conservatives will pick up top-up seats so Boris won’t need a coalition, and it’s looking very possible that the BNP will pick up a seat too. Looks very likely that One London is out.
The mayoral results are now being aggregated to find out if Boris has won on first prefs. If he has, expect a result extremely soon. If not, expect one fairly soon.
Whatever happens, at least we can soon get some sleep.
Doug: sorry for not being clear - it looks like One London is out and won’t be replaced by UKIPs either, which leaves room for other top-ups.
The constituency assembly seats have been confirmed as 8 Conservative, 6 Labour.
Kellner of YouGov is repeating his prediction: Boris leading but not with over 50%. Roughly half of minority 2nd prefs wasted, the rest splitting fairly evenly between Boris and Ken, so not enough to close the gap. YouGov were right last time, and it looks like we were wrong to pooh-pooh their polling this time. Time will tell of course, but that’s rapidly running out!
Tessa Jowell: “Everyone in the Labour team is preparing themselves for the worst.” (on BBC London 94.9) Result should come in approx 5 minutes. She sounds dreadful.
After 2nd prefs, Boris wins with 1168738 votes vs 1028966 for Ken - majority of 139772.
Thanks for trying, Boris-stoppers.
Bet you thought I’d gone, didn’t you? Well, I’m still here, not-so-patiently waiting for the list results. Couldn’t help but update here to say that Boris just said in a BBC News interview that we were welcome to ‘kick him out with gusto’ in four years. What a kind offer!