9:30am Friday 23rd May 2014
By Charlie Peat
It was a great night for some but a galling night for others.
The Enfield Independent was at the Enfield Borough Council election every step of the way from 10pm on Thursday night until 7am this morning and can now deliver the key facts from the evening.
Labour came into the election with a ten-seat majority over the Conservatives and has increased its lead to 19 seats. The party now has 41 seats to the Conservatives' 22.
Where was it won and lost?
The complexion of the borough is very much east vs west with Labour dominating the east and Conservatives holding the west.
Although maintaining its majority in the east would have been enough for Labour to secure a second term, it has now extended its lead.
Labour crucially took seats off Conservatives in Bush Hill Park, Chase, Winchmore Hill and Southgate Green, all had been previously considered Conservative safe zones.
Where all three were Conservative previously, Labour candidates in Bush Hill Park, Winchmore Hill and Chase ward stole one seat with two Labour candidates taking seats in Southgate Green.
As expected, the turnout percentage for this year’s election was significantly lower. In 2010 the turnout was 64.5 per cent due to the general election, whereas yesterday’s turnout was 37.79 per cent.
The highest turnout came in Town ward at 43.88 per cent, with the lowest in Enfield Highway at 33.97 per cent.
Did someone say recount?
Recounts are a feature of any election. Eagle-eyed candidates watch every count made by volunteers to ensure they have ticked all the right boxes.
However, recounts and delays were a common theme at this year’s election, with Chase ward recounted three times and Southgate Green as many as four.
A different tallying system at the Southgate Green polling area caused a mix-up, with votes having to be recounted several times.
Chase ward saw a 150-vote swing from the first count to the first recount, which led to more recounts and the result being announced at 6am.
It was a sprint, then a marathon, then a sprint:
There was eager anticipation of a result as early as 1.30am or 2am. But this was quickly rebuffed as there was not a sniff of a declaration until 4.30am.
Previous advice had been to expect two or three wards to be declared in a row, which would then be followed by a break.
However, due to the lateness of ballots being counted, a whopping 14 wards were declared one after the other just after 4am.
For ward-by-ward breakdown of votes, click here.
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