As it happened: Sutton election count 2014
This live event has finished
- Liberal Democrats won seats from Conservatives to hold majority
- Liberal Democrats have 45 seats and the Conservatives have nine
- 42 per cent turnout
- Lembit Opik at the count and threatened to have Nick Clegg removed as leader of the Lib Dems
- Vote verification took longer than expected and first counts started at around 2am.
- 'Mislaid' European election ballot box contributed to two hour delays
- Results arrived thick and fast from 6.15am
Ok, that's it from us. It's been a rollercoaster. From Lembit Opik to a "historic victory" via all the coffee and moments of utter despair.
We hope you've enjoyed it, now who's got me a bacon sarnie?
Council leader Ruth Dombey has just thanked the people of Sutton for voting the Liberal Democrats in for a "historic eighth term"
So - now the Liberal Democrats have 45 seats on the council and the Conservatives have nine.
That's it! All the results are in!
Carshalton South and Clockhouse - Tim Crowley (Cons) Moira Butt (Cons) Amy Haldane - (LD) - same as 2010
Agents to the stage once more - the final result is mere minutes away....
We should have pointed out that the Liberal Democrats have retained control of the council a while ago.
They look sure to increase their majority.
ONE TO GO! BEDTIME SOON!
Cheam - Mary Burstow (LD), Holly Ramsey (Cons), Graham Whitham (Cons) - that's the same result as last time.
Not any more - Cheam's on the way
There's a litttle pause in proceedings now.
Just two wards to go - Cheam and Carshalton South & Clockhouse. The latter could be very interesting.
Wallington North - Sunita Gordon, Joyce Mellican, Marion Radford - all Lib Dem, Lib Dem hold
So, for those just waking up - the results are almost all in. So far, the Liberal Democrats have taken three Conservative seats.
Worcester Park - Arthur Hookway, Richard Marston, Paul Wingfield - all Lib Dems but that was a close ward - Conservatiives have lost another seat there.
That's three held seats for the Tories
Belmont - David Hicks, Patrich McManus, Jane Pascoe - CONS clean sweep
Beddington north - Pat Ali, Nick Mattey, Nighat Piracha - all Lib Dem
Six wards to go!
Eric Allen and Jonathan Pritchard are the Conservatives who have lost their seats. We've spoken to them and they say they're disappointed.
So, so far the Liberal Democrats have gained two seats.
Two held seats for the Tories in those last three results. Tony Shields kept his seat by the narrowest of margins
Sutton South - Richard Clifton (LD), Trish Fivey(LD), Tony Shields (Cons)
Wallington South - Colin Hall, Jayne McCoy, Muhammed Sadiq - all Lib Dem
Beddington South - Edward Joyce (LD), Neil Garrat (CONS), Manuel Abellan (LD)
Whew. That was a bit frantic. Alll Lib Dem so far. Tories have lost two seats. Some big votes for UKIP too.
42.2 per cent turnout - down from 70 per cent in 2010, but there was a general election then
Stonecot - Adrian Davey, Nick Emerson, Miguel Javelot - Lib Dem clean sweep
Tories lost a seat there
Sutton West - Kevin Burke - Wendy mmathys, Siimon Wales - Lib Dem clean sweep
Loser there in Nonsuch is Tory Eric Allen who lost his seat. That's the first lost seat of the evening. Morning. Whatever.
Nonsuch - Samantha Ball, Richard Broadbent, Daniel Sangster - all Lib Dem
Carshalton Central - Hamish Pollock, Alan Salter, Jill Whitehead - Lib Dem cleann sweep
UKIP managed to get fourth place in St Helier with 843 votes - more than any of the Labour candidates.
One person who has lost out is John Keys. He was voted in for Beddington North last time out as a Lib Dem but he defected to Labour. he stood in St Helier this time but lost out.
That was a bit of a flurry of activity. Let's try to analyse - all the wards announced were Lib Dem clean sweeps, just as they were in 2010, although some of them are different Lib Dems due to councillors standiing down.
St Helier - Lib Dem Clean sweep again - Jean Crossby, Martin Gonzalez, Doug Hunt
The Wrythe - Lib Dem clean sweep again - Callum Morton, Nali Patel, Colin Stears
So, first three wards are a Lib Dem clean sweep.
Wandle Valley - Margaret Court, Jason Reynolds, Hanna Zuchowska - all Lib Dem
*Sp - David Bartolucci
Sutton Central now - David Bartolluci, Vincent Galligan, Ali Mirhashaem - all Lib Dem
Elected - Ruth Dombey, Marlene Heron, Stephen Penneck - all Lib Dem
Sutton North coming up...
RESULTS OF 1ST THREE WARDS
The agents, by the way, are not as exciting as they sound. Nothing like the Matrix, or Men in Black. They're just people.
THINGS ARE HAPPENING. Agents are going to the stage.
My regular morning alarm went off. That's pretty upsetting even when I've had a full night's sleep. Now it's absolutely devastating.
It's not only Sutton where the count is taking forever - the whole of south west London is in a similar situation. Lots of split votes could be the reason.
I split my vote. Feeling a bit bad about it now.
Lib Dems reckon they've held Beddington North in spite of incinerator controversy
Massive victory for Labour in St Helier— Louisa Clarence (@LouisaWimbledon) May 23, 2014
News coming up from Merton's bit of St Helier from one of our Wimbledon reporters...
No news on Sutton's bit, of course.
UPDATE: There is no update.
If you hear any rumours that a Sutton Guardian reporter fell asleep and had to be woken up by the council's chief executive, don't believe them.
Sutton Council Chief Executive Niall Bolger has revealed the counting is being drawn out because many people have voted for more than one party.
Some voters have opted for three different parties, meaning one ballot has to be counted three times.
The first past the post system allows voters to chose three representatives in each ward. Some choose three from the same party, some do not.
So for now we remain on the edge of our seats...
It looks like things are going to be very tight in a lot of wards here. No-one I've spoken to has been willing to show any sort of optimism. Tories are particularly pessimistic. Lots of people are predicting UKIP gains but a chap I was just speaking to seemed resigned to just having had an impact on results, rather than getting any seats themselves.
BREAKING NEWS: It's getting light outside.
Still no results here, just in case you're wondering.
@suttonguardian "we're nearly there". The suspense is killing me.— VideoGameNerdMan (@Mangerive) May 23, 2014
Possibly getting close to a result in St helier.... At last..!!!!— tim crowley (@Timmo_Crowley) May 23, 2014
Just heard someone say "we're nearly there". Exciting times.
Counting ballots appears to have the same effect as counting sheep.
The count is taking its toll on some people. A moment after this pic was taken he suddenly jolted awake and then tried to style it out. He failed.
Meanwhile I've moved on from coffee to some sort of chemical-based energy drink that tastes a little like petrol. It contains an ingredient called 'colour (brilliant blue)'. Mmmmm - blue.
All the votes are validated and everyone's counting now. Papers going into trays everywhere here.
Although not all the counting staff are upset by the delays - they're on £25 an hour so at the moment they're on for an extra £50 each.
Apparently someone 'mislaid' one of the European election ballot boxes. It's been found now but it has contributed to the delays here.
They were being told that the last postal votes are on their way to the counting hall. They had far more late postal votes than they expected.
Apparently we're two hours behind schedule now.
Agents have just been asked to come up to the stage.....
One observer has just said they think the trays are showing UKIP wins in St Helier and Wandle Valley. Reading the trays all sounds a bit Mystic Meg, but it is interesting.
ON MY THIRD COFFEE OF THE NIGHT BUT I DON'T THINK IT'S AFFECTING ME.
Just had a quick glance at the trays and it looks like Labour are doing well in St Helier and Wandle Valley. They didn't win a seat last time out - will they this time around?
Gradually verification is finishing and counts are starting on the Wandle Vallley and St Helier desks. This seems to involve putting papers in trays.
Now this is happening on the stage. You might ask what it means but I'm afraid we don't know.
The latest person to have a chat with us is Sutton and Cheam's Liberal Democrat MP Paul Burstow. He said: "For me it's about the size of the majority, not losing control.
"The thing that has been striking about the campaign has been the collapse of the Conservatives' infrastructure in terms of getting their voters to come out.
"They have a loyal following who have turned out to vote but that's in spite of their campaigning rather than because of it."
Strong words from Mr Burstow there - but, like everyone else we've spoken to, he didn't fancy making any predictions
In other news, it's really hot here. I'm not sure if its to add to the tension or just to send us all to sleep. Either way, it's a little uncomfortable annd there are some funny smells knocking around.
While we're all having fun here, spare a thought for our collleagues over on the Croydon Guardian. The count there doesn't start until half two and might not end until gone 7am!
We've also had a chat with a senior Tory councillor who reckons they will go from 11 seats on the council to four, according to his predictions. That''s based on the size of the bundles on the counting floor, though - so not too scientific.
We've just had a chat with council leader Ruth Dombey - and she's giving nothing away.
Coun Dombey said: "I'm feeling that I'm looking forward to the results.
"It's an unusual election - there's more parties, more candidates. There will be more split votes and nothing will be taken for granted.
"It certainly won't be a walkover."
Ok, the agents were being told that the count is likely to take longer than expected because the Euro election ballot papers are so long that it's taking the counters extra time to unfold them. Looks like the result could come later than 4am.
We've got something happening here - an announcement has just gone out calling all election agents to the stage. Not sure what it all means, but we'll keep you posted.
Sutton Guardian bringing the big exclusives on election night!
Here's our interview with Mr Opik - http://www.suttonguardian.co.uk/news/11231964.Lembit_Opik_comes_to_Sutton_Election_count_and_threatens_to_have_Deputy_Prime_Minister_Nick_Clegg_removed/?ref=var_0
EXCLUSIVE: The rumours are true! Lembit Opik is here and he's dropped a bit of a bombshell - he has pledged to initiate the party procedures to remove Nick Clegg as leader of the Liberal Democrats if they get six or fewer European Parliament seats tonight. They currently have 11 but he's predicting a big loss iinfluenced by UKIP. On the flip side, he's also said he'll back Clegg all the way if they get more than 10. Full story on the site soon.
Here's a strange one - rumour has it former MP and Have I Got News for You regular Lembit Opik is in the building. No idea why and we've not spotted him ourselves but if we see him we'll grab a cheeky (geddit?) chat with him
Just had a quick chat with Carshalton and Wallington's Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake. He said: "We've been doing box counts and wards like the Wrythe, which is one of our strongest wards, and we're coming up subbstantially ahead.
"But box counts aren't scientific, you're just looking at the ballot papers as they come out.
"It's a guesstimate but it's enough to know it looks good.
"Carshalton South and Clockhouse looks closer and Carshalton Central is going to be very hard fought."
Just ran into Sutton South councillor Tony Shields - he says he's feeling nervous and has already dispensed with the jacket
We're on the coffees already here - courtesy of the lovely Kerry and Jo in the Westcroft cafe
Don't forget, you can join us and even talk to us on Twitter via @suttonguardian - if you're lucky we might even include your tweets on here.
@suttonguardian been and voted slightly confused having read articles that the ballot paper should not have been folded when given to me!— Michelle Hepburn (@MichelleHepbur2) May 22, 2014
Here's the counting hall - ballots are just arriving, first one at 10.17pm. It's a hive of activity now.
Welcome to our live blog of the election count. We are Mike Murphy-Pyle and Tom Gillespie and we'll bring you everything that happens, as it happens.
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