Election: Tension mounting over Tower Hamlets mayoral vote

By Rob Virtue on May 23, 2014 5:10 PM |

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Tower Hamlets mayoral candidates were enduring a nervous wait while count staff verified ballot papers late into Friday afternoon.

Labour's John Biggs and Tower Hamlets First candidate, and current mayor, Lutfur Rahman were both present at the Troxy venue on Commercial Road as scores gathered outside.

Early confidence of a victory for Mr Biggs from his party's head office was being played down by Labour activists during the afternoon.

It was expected to be a closely fought battle between Mr Biggs and former Labour man Mr Rahman.

However, Labour were buoyed by reports of a good turnout, which was likely to favour them, with over 40% of Tower Hamlets residents expected to have voted.

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But by 5pm there was still no announcement on the turnout as count staff continued the task of verifying ballot papers.

The talk among neutrals was that Mr Rahman was the current favourite. However, Labour were clinging to the hope the vote would go to second preference votes, where they were expected to fare well.

UPDATE: 6.30pm - The turnout was announced as 47.5% for the mayoral vote. The count started shortly after with a first vote result due by around 8.30pm.

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