Tower Hamlets elections. Ballots cast – what happens now?

An interesting if dull election day. But dull is often good and today was very important.

So important that the entire Love Wapping team and the entire Whats in Wapping team were out scouring bits of Tower Hamlets for anything interesting.

We failed. Whats in Wapping did spot a pigeon having a bath in a bird path. And Love Wapping took some photos of a cat. But that was it.

Around seven Polling Stations were visited from the John Orwell Centre to Brick Lane but it was all very calm, possibly because there were around 100 Metropolitan Police officers on duty.

No. Let’s not kid ourselves. Only because there were 100 Metropolitan Police officers on duty.

Who will you wake up with tomorrow?

Seems a lot of people are expecting to wake up with the new Mayor of Tower Hamlets.

I mean wake up to the news of who the new Mayor of Tower Hamlets is. Well sleep in late people ‘cos there is no counting tonight. Instead maybe just dream of Lutfur Rahman or John Biggs instead.

A Polling Station sign outside a Polling Station.
A Polling Station sign outside a Polling Station.

And no one will know the result of the Mayoral election until mid to late afternoon tomorrow at the earliest.

Here’s what happens tomorrow. All information is taken – in most places copied and pasted as it is late and the Love Wapping Political Editor is tired – from the official Tower Hamlets media pack.

The count takes place at The Troxy – don’t bother turning up as it is closed to the public. And it will probably be duller than today.

Things may get a little lively if the result of the first ballot is close and it may well be.

Overview of the count.

All timings for the count are approximate. Verification process (see below) will start at 8am. The count is expected to last until approximately 10pm on Friday, 23 May.

8am – lunchtime approx Verification of the votes

2pm – 5pm approx Mayoral Election Count followed by declaration

5pm – 10pm approx Local Elections ward counts in alphabetical order and declarations (which means Wapping will be late tomorrow night).

How many voters are there in Tower Hamlets?

Tower Hamlets has 183,400 people eligible to vote. Of these, just under 30,000 have opted to vote by post.

What happens during the Electoral Count

There are 125 polling stations in Tower Hamlets, supervised by 500 polling staff in teams of 4 per polling station. There are about 600 staff in all working in the field on the day, when you include Visiting Officers, THEOs, facilities staff and other members.

After the polls close on Thursday night, 375 sealed ballot boxes (one for each of the 3 elections taking place at each polling station) are securely stored, along with the 38 boxes of postal votes, before being brought to the Count at the Troxy early on Friday morning.

At the Troxy, 184 count staff then start the verification process at 8am.

A cat having a wash outside a Polling Station. It was that sort of a day.
A cat having a wash outside a Polling Station. It was that sort of a day.

Who verifies the verifiers?

Verification is when the ballot papers are checked so that the number of ballot papers issued at the polling station is the same as the number in the ballot box. They are checked to ensure ballot papers have not been placed into the wrong ballot boxes.

Once the verification process is completed, the count for the Mayoral elections starts immediately. The result is expected in the mid to late afternoon.

This will be followed by the count for the Local Elections, counting each ward in alphabetical order. These results are then announced starting in the late afternoon and concluding late the same night.

In some wards abandoned mattresses queued to vote.
In some wards abandoned mattresses queued to vote.

Statistics from October 2010 Mayoral election (not this one)

Turnout of 25.65% from an electorate of 182,482. The winning candidate had over 50% of the vote, so second choices were not taken into account.

The result of the 2010 Mayoral election was:

  • Lutfur Rahman (Independent) 23,283 (51.76% of the vote) ELECTED
  • Helal Uddin Abbas (Labour) 11,254 votes
  • Neil Anthony King (Conservative) 5,348 votes
  • John David MacLeod Griffiths (Lib Dem) 2,800 votes
  • Alan Duffell (Green) 2,300 votes

More tomorrow.

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