« Mixed news from Scotland | Main | How many council seats will the Conservatives win tonight? »


Yes, good luck to all Conservative local council candidates today.

Tory local councils are certainly dedicated to delivering good old-fashioned vfm even if the national leadership has bought into the new labour big-spend approach.

Ok I've voted.

My first choice was the Christian Alliance candidate. I know he won't win but I have to make a stand for christianity,

But don't worry i put Ken down as the 2nd choice to make sure he only comes in second place.

A lot of my friends have done the same.

"YouGov and the London Evening Standard will want a Boris win almost as much as Boris himself. Both will have their standing enhanced if Livingstone is ousted."

Tim, the Sun will want that outcome as well. Don't forget, they have their reputation for predicting polls accurately to lose ;)

Boris has the pledges so lets all make a big effort to get out the vote today.

Remember a vote for Ken is a vote for Brown. Good luck to Boris and all Conservative candidates in todays elections

Also Good Luck to Boffo and all the other candidates, I am driving up after work to help out with getting the vote out in my former homeland.

Working in a busy Constituency Office in North London. Early telling results coming in:

Meltdown in the Labour vote so far up here! All our supporters are turning out. Busy polling stations.

Not only did I get out to vote early, I had the added bonus of a chance to give a woman from the 'Respect' party some instruction in Anglo-Saxon.

Last night I was in a gay pub in the East End. At a very early stage a quick ask-round returned a 5 out of 5 canvas return for Boris, which is encouraging to say the least!

I'm down at uni in Exeter and trying my best to locate my polling station. The leftie council seems to have been trying to sabotage my vote by not delivering me a polling card so I'm not even sure if I've been registered. On top of all that, the City Council website gives no indication of where the polling stations are so it looks as though I'm on my own. I hate not exercising my right to vote but it looks as though I may be doing so by default today...

Still, I have at least been able to vote by post in my home town in Essex.

As much as I dislike the Conservative Party and what is now stands for, anything beats the Socialists and the Lib Dems. Best of luck to all the candidates.

Ill be watching the election coverage tonight and hoping for Tory gains. First election night for a while given there wasnt one last night because counting was delayed to the next day, as I understand London and Wales will be this year. If counting has to be delayed till the next day, then the system is already far too complicated.

I don't think we'll necessarily be losing Coventry...

To the post above... you can only vote in one district anyway can't you? so what is the fuss about not being able to vote in Exeter aswell? I sent my postal vote for Boris off a week ago, sadly my family will all vote for Ken.

I'll be on the GOTV trail in Finchley tonight. The association there seem to be doing a great job- Labour haven't put anyone on polling stations.

Good luck to my friends running for re-election in NE Lincs too. Let's hope we can overtake the Liberals and become the largest party!

BexleyTory, as far as I understand it, you are entitled to vote in any area where you have a house. As I rent a house in Exeter, I am also entitled to vote here and did last year.

On another note, Labour's election literature seemed to be largely based on telling us how the council is getting a raw deal from government funding. They're not exactly the sharpest tools in the box, these Labour councillors!

I mean there wasnt one last *year*. It doesnt feel like a year ago. Scary how time goes by.

Here in a target ward in Salford turnout is broadly similar to last year when we gained the seat comfortably. Weather has turned out okay despite an abysmal forecast. Sun is out now but would expect some rain later on. I'll be posting regular updates from Salford on www.iainlindley.co.uk but don't expect anything too exciting until the count. :)

Sadly I have to work today and won't get home until quite late this evening so won't be able to help tday.The very best of luck o all Conservtive candidates.

Will be watching the results closely here from the USA. Sadly, Redbridge Council messed up my postal vote so I can't contribute depite being a London Council Tax payer, but c'est la vie. Good luck to ALL Tory candidates - especially Boris. London has suffered for too long under the socialist yoke of Rred Ken!!!! To all activists - GET THE VOTE OUT!!!! C'mon you blues!

Christopher Blore
It seems to be a common misconception among students that they are entitled to vote twice, once at "home" and again in their university town. This cannot be legal - it undermines the principle of "one person one vote". I've often thought that we should be pressing the Electoral Commission for this to be corrected. How many seats are going to the Lib -Dems, in particular, because of this illicit double voting?

Martin Wright - I think that LEGALLY you are correct. However, I put the ethical question like this - if you are paying Council Tax in two (or more) places, why should you not be allowed to have a say in how that money is spent in EACH of those places? We are voting here for local representation, funded (at least in part) by revenues generated from those who own property in that locality.
Now of course, this applies to few students. However, in principal, I feel that in this situation it should not be 'OMOV' but rather a vote per property on which you fund the respective council.

Editor: I think you are right about Boris winning and (sadly) the BNP winning.

No, guys, look - you can vote once in one election. Each local authority holds separate elections to other local authorities. You can't vote more than once in a specific local authority election. You can however vote once in local authority election A and vote as well once in local authority election B.

At a general election there is only one election going on - to the Commons. At a European election there is only one election going on - the the European Parliament. But at local elections - note the plural - there is more than one election going on. You can vote in as many elections as you are registered in areas which are holding them.

The law regarding student voting is that you can vote twice so long as it is not for the same assembly i.e. you cannot vote in two constituencies at a general election, but you can vote in two different wards as long as they are for two different councils. Obviously, most students need to sort out a postal vote to be able to vote twice.

Interesting suggestion - or should that read implication (Jon White) That only those who own the property and pay council tax should have a vote. Now that would concentrate the mind wouldn't it... The problem we have in local elections is that there is no connect between people's vote and their pockets. If there was the outcomes would be very different.

After all the Americans fought on the ground of no taxation without representation. Surely the quid pro quo should be no representation without taxation.... HeHeHe

Good Luck to Boris and all the assembly candidates. Voting seems to be brisk in my part of outer London.

Given all the stories about electoral fraud etc, I am very concerned about the flimsy cardboard ballot boxes -very easily tampered with, no seals etc. And then there is the long delay before counting begins.

What are the security arrangements? I'm probably being paranoid but I wouldn't trust Livingstone as far as I can throw him.

Stewart Geddes - well it would concentrate the mind wouldn't it! Why shouldn't you vote for high spending councils if you as the voter don't have to fund that spending? "I'll vote for Ken because it ain't ME whose paying for his ludicrous schemes, but the other poor bugger!" It's similar to the almost universal view that those who earn more should pay more - but naturally NEARLY everyone feels that it's those who earn more than THEY do!

At least Lady T's hated Poll Tax did ensure that everyone who benefited from local governement had to pay towards it. Sadly, it was sold pitifully to the public and hence the revolt against it. Much as I hate to endorse a Lib Dem idea, the notion of local income tax - so that everyone still pays, but relative to their income, always struck me as fairer than just property owners paying.

The Community Charge had a lot of positive points going for it. As you say (Jon White) it was sold pitifully (Wasn't that Michael Portillo???). If the system had properly recognised (i.e. exempted) those unable to pay due to unemployment or studies, we could well have still had it. That allied to the perception that We Scots were being used as Guinea Pigs dealt the idea a fatal blow.

My concern about double voting was more addressed to General Elections. Slightly off topic today but a thought for the future. Very often I've heard students boasting that they help the Lib Dems win some University town while voting at home as well.

Stewart Geddes - the Community Charge did have some provision to help those not able to pay, but not nearly enough. Nor were these provisions highlighted nearly enough to the general public. (I think that it was Portillo who sold it so badly, but I'm not sure). It wasn't a perfect answer, but it did at least create a link between who you vote for and how much electing that person will cost you.

I feel that the Scottish issue is a red herring! The whole country had the charge, and it wasn't until it went country wide that we saw the riots.

I honestly don't know what the answer is, but I repeat that the current system - which is really just the old 'rates' that the Community Charge replaced - is markedly unfair. The general principle in the UK (though there are some exceptions) that we pay tax relative to our income levels, not our assetts. (and on spending of course). Council Tax differs from this principle. My mother, for example, has very low income but owns a property. She has to pay tax on that PROPERTY, not her income. This seems patently unjust to me, and it's a situation that many pensioners find themselves in.

Likewise, one can have a high income, but live in a small (and presumably less valuable) property. Thus, realtive to your income in that situation, you gain in terms of what you have to pay for your local services.

I can't think of a fairer system than local income tax.

Tim & Sam: Are the powers that be placing restrictions on you tonight when you blog from inside CCHQ?

It may be a coincidence but the amount raised in VAT is broadly the same as the total Local Authority expenditure. Why not scrap the council tax and vat and allow local authorities to set their own local sales tax (or any other tax they care to set). Thus you would have local acountability and responsibility. Set the tax too high and everyone gets in their cars to the neighbouring authority. Set it too low and you don't raise enough or you get overwhelmed by people coming into your area.

Locals then get a direct link between their vote and their council expenditure. If a local authority then wants to levy a property tax, so be it. Or a hotel Tax (Blackpool) go ahead, but you have to live with the consequences.

On a completely different issue, IF the BNP does win a seat tonight I will be very sad. I have no time for any racists. Not only is racism immoral, is also patently dumb.

However, if they do, it may focus the minds of the major parties, and also the Lib Dems, on why horrible people like this are gaining votes, and go about addressing those issues.

Perhaps some positives could come from what would no doubt be a horrible stain on London.

The YouGov figures for the minor parties in the Assembly seem incredible e.g Greens only 2%.Many people understand that a vote for the two major parties in the London-wide party ballot probably will not result in any extra seats for their own party. Therefore they often use it as a way of tweaking their message to the Mayor by voting for a minor party.

Stewart Geddes - an interesting idea, but sales tax is by definition regressive. Yes, I agree that it gives freedom of choice - I choose to smoke and therefore elect to pay the duty on my cigarettes to the Exchequer. But, because I am reasonably paid that choice for me is less onerous than someone who earns minimum wage.

Local income tax means that those who earn most pay most.

greetings from chingford in NE London. Trying not to get too excited. The canvass we're working off is an under estimate of Tory support. We've knocked up seven streets this afternoon and have met only two "against". More importNtly the determination of Tories to vote is stronger than I've ever seen. Good luck everyone- big shout ( as the kids say ) to the Harlow crew!

Just checked my hotmail email account and was pointed towards an interesting analysis of web searches on msn for each candidate over the past thirty days. Boris got 54% of all London mayoral searches, Ken 32%, Paddick 12% and Berry 2%.

It doesn't technically mean anything but interesting nevertheless.

Good luck to all our Tory candidates.

Blue Chip?

Its Merlin :p

A story in The Times is saying that turnout could go as high as 50% if early voting patterns are representative.

That would be awesome, Charles. If we can get a high turnout on a pro-Conservative vote it would make any gains even sweeter.

@Jon White
Income tax is taken before you've eaten. It has no idea if the 'tax' portion of your income was disposable income, or eating money. 'Allowances', attempt to guesstimate what is, and is not disposable income, but it's a guess.

A sales or consumption tax doesn't have that problem. Using VAT as an example, vegetables and commodity foodstuffs are zero rated, as are children's clothes, books no doubt other items too. (personally I think electricity/water/gas should also be exempt).

The idea is, you're allowed to keep body and soul together BEFORE the state takes their share.

The Lib Dems in Kingston (one of their key areas) abandoned telling and knocking up and have moved all their forces to Richmond!

If it's a turnout like that, Livingstone will win.

Voted in Liverpool Central ward earlier today. Beautiful day, but the polling station was absolutely deserted. Hardly surprising really- turnout here was 11.8% at the last election. The lowest in the country.

Our candidate here obviously can't win- it's Liverpool and he came fourth behind the greens last time. But I voted out of principle anyway.

Just back from voting in Putney.

First preference for Sian Berry, out of principle, as I know she can't win, so to be safe my second preference went to Ken.

It's a good feeling.

Hey! My brother tells me that Boris is polling OK- in Hackney!

If a load of ballot papers have been accidentally voided in Lambeth then surely that will help Boris?

All hell will break loose if there's a narrow Boris victory and a stack of spoilt Livingstone votes

But it would be very, very funny

Serious worries on PB.com from rumours that Ken is doing amazingly well and might do it. Betting money going on him fast right now. Also rumour of a leak from ITN that Boris is in serious trouble. Possibly all **** but anxious-making nevertheless. It's going to be a nervous night in our house.

I don't believe that Prodicus.

You've heard of push polling?

I reckon some push blogging may be taking place.

Mike Smithson confirmed someone had impersonated him and other posters - no exit poll information, no panic

Are we having a live chatroom-blog thing this evening like we did during that Channel 4 programme?

From the Grauniad's election blog:

"A commenter on Comment is free, who wrote yesterday evening that this time he's really had enough of Ken, has just let me know that when he finally got the stub of pencil in his hand he relented: Paddick first, Ken second as the lesser of two evils. Is this a trend or a coincidence?"

Looks like 1992 in reverse. They may not like Ken and think Boris is an amiable chap, but when the hand hovers over the ballot paper they can't bring themselves to do it.

Mark, for what it's worth unless you know better than me I'm pretty sure they were using Bluechip! Not everyone has Merlin

Does anyone know if East Staffordshire district council is voting today? The issues may not be of national importance but Burton-upon-Trent is gonna be a key swing marginal in the next general election.

No, Comstock, E Staffs had its all-out election last year

Thank you, Paul D. Isn't it odd that some places go a third at a time and some all-out.

Anyway, given that fact I shall be watching Tamworth from up the road. Of course most eyes will be on London, but Tamworth is more typical of the sort of place that will decide the next election- not very rich but not very poor, not a massive metropolis but not out in the sticks.

Cornstock, I seem to recall Tamworth has been solidly Conservative for at least the law few years. You think it's somewhere where we might see a Labour fightback?

We shall see, David, I really don't know about that.

What I do know is it is a typical swing marginal, and hence worth keeping an eye on to see if it stays blue/gets more or less blue....

Ahh, I get you, Cornstock.

I personally live in the Tunbridge Wells area, so it's not a particularly thrilling local election. The council is 41 & 7 to the Tories and LDs respectively - Labour were wiped out in 2007. So not much fun going on here.

Not long to go. If this is not the success we pray for, God only help our Country and our people.

This headline popped up on the NewsNow feed a little while ago, but the link was dead...

"Johnson and Livingstone neck and neck in race to become London Mayor" The Daily Mail - News 20:09

"Johnson and Livingstone neck and neck in race to become London Mayor"

That is the Evening Standard article - the Daily Mail often prints articles from its sister paper

I suppose at the moment they ARE neck-and-neck, no votes each on published figures

Very unscientific exit poll here:

Most voters live in South London, Kent and Surrey.

Labour: 21%
Conservative: 35%
Chose not to vote: 11%
Liberal Democrat: 9%
BNP: 8%

Sample size so far - 170.


In Wakefield we have been working very hard in a record number of wards. Even just two years ago I was given all manner of unpleasant hand signals when I went out with the loudspeaker. Today a lot of thumbs up and smiling people.

I predict that Wakefield will make further gains at tomorrow's count. The turnout was very sluggish up until around 5.30 when it went into overdrive as people came back from work to vote.

This tells me that the Labour vote in the early afternoon didn't come out, and the Tory late afternoon surge did.

Very unscientific, but it is a good indication of how things could be going.

Antony, how do you think we'll do in Outwood East? We've been doing well in Wrenthorpe & Outwood West, but Stanley & Outwood East is still quite stubbornly Labour (although it's a marginal). If we begin making serious inroads there then So What could start to squirm a bit uncomfortably if things pick up for us in Morley as well

I've just finished at Ealing. Long long day, but worth it!! Turnout was very good amongst conservatives - just hope it was correspondingly low in Labour heartlands.
One point that came up a few times when knocking-up, was that a good few were against Boris because he was 'FOR a 3rd Runway', had to put them all right there. One wee mistake was that all but one leaflet failed to mention the opposition to the 3rd runway. Anyway, think it will bew VERY close. Fingers crossed.

(ps - everyone worked their socks off in Ealing today, so heartening)

Paul; well I think Stanley and Outwood East ward will be close, but I'm not sure Labour have quite hit the floor there just yet.

I'm a natural pessimist, but we may just miss out there.

As for Morley, well that is one area where we have the greatest potential. It will be interesting to see that result. Wrenthorpe (my old ward) should be a comfortable win.


EXCLUSIVE PERSPECTIVE ON MAJOR NEWS STORY FOR YOU Re the 14 "invalid" voting papers at Kennington, one of your regular posters was there telling for the Conservatives when it all happened (me). (I am posting under my real first name and surname initial although usually post here under a handle but, from email address etc, you can verify I am a regular.)

I arrived to take over my telling slot at about 8.10am and very shortly thereafter an irate gentleman came out complaining about the officers writing the polling numbers on the ballot papers, asking me and the one other teller present to confirm that what they were doing was wrong. We did so and the other teller, who was the Lib Dem peer Lord Oakshott (being a Tory naturally I deferred to rank), went in and spoke to the very inexperienced officers administering the polling station and they agreed that they must have been mistaken in doing what they had been. They said that their instructions told them to write the polling number "alongside" the ballot paper number and they had thought that meant on the ballot paper. Oakshott explained it meant on the separate list.

The irate voter then went off and said he was going to call the BBC etc. I must admit that I thought they wouldn't be interested, but clearly they were. I also think it is fairly outrageous if the 14 votes are rendered invalid when it was not the voters who had made the "distinguishing mark".

Now here is my only real scoop from having been there: I am fairly sure that the vote of Lord (Matthew) Oakshott himself was one of the 14 votes supposedly to be rendered invalid! I know this because once the irate other voter had complained he remembered that they had put the number on his own voting paper when he had voted a short time before but had not thought about it at the time. I do not think we will have lost even a second preference from him but early voters in a place like Kennington (these were in the first hour and a quarter) tend to be disproportionately Tory City folk etc who get to work early. The polling station concerned is probably a fairly even three way split between the main parties (Lib Dem held the Ward until two years ago (Princes), then it went Labour, but we have been working it hard as we have been a very good third in a constituency where mostly we are a poor third).

On the more generally point, turnout appeared to be fairly high in inner London Lambeth. So to my mind we need firm evidence of a GREATER increase in turnout in Tory outer London than in Labour inner London before we can get too euphoric.

I still think Boris will sneak it, but just a little cautious about the margin...

Good news eh Comstock - one Con gain from Lab in Tamworth

I'm sure they wrote a number on my ballot for the last general election. I thought it was odd as it could mean they could identify me from my ballot but assumed they knew what they were doing and it was to counteract fraud or something.

They didn't today though.

Conservatives are gaining, we are taking LibDem seats faster than Labour seats, which is especially gratifying to those activists who have had to endure the duplicity and viciousness of the LibDems.... NOW WE HAVE HARLOW! - HOLD SWINDON & SOUTHEND ON SEA.

Get ready to celebrate, things are looking up.

The comments to this entry are closed.



ConHome on Twitter

    follow me on Twitter

    Conservative blogs

    Today's public spending saving

    New on other blogs

    • Receive our daily email
      Enter your details below:

    • Tracker 2
    • Extreme Tracker