The mayoral result did not come out until near enough midnight and some of the constituency results weren’t confirmed until almost 1am. Considering the count started at about 8.30am this is a pretty poor performance on the part of London Elects – which is effectively a combination of GLA staff and various borough election people.
I was at one of the the three counts at Olympia in the afternoon, the photo above shows the Ealing and Hillingdon part of the count. Officially I was a counting agent but in practice there was not much to do except stand around and chat to people. Angie Bray was on good form and looking forward to going on holiday after working hard to get out the vote in her future Central Ealing and Acton constituency. She has stood down from the assembly and her West Central seat has been won by senior Westminster councillor Kit Malthouse. By the time I got to the count at 2.30pm Richard Barnes was already pretty confident of his seat and that Boris would win the mayoralty.
At Olympia they were counting six constituencies. By 4pm they had only got about half the voting papers through the scanners. All the computers were working fine but a combination of a high turnout and problems keeping the scanners online meant that there were just not enough scanners to do the job. Next time London Elects need to make sure that they do the job properly. As soon as Johnson was confirmed as the candidate for the Tories it wasn’t a big leap of imagination to think that turnout might go up. Doh! It was a bit humiliating to have London’s result fully 24 hours after many local election results and to miss even the 10pm news the next day. Someone voting early on Thursday and going to bed at a reasonable time on Friday would not have known the result of their action for two days. Ridiculous.