Labour have held Leyton and Wanstead, John Cryer has won.

He got 17,511 results. Closest rival was Lib Dem Farooq Qureshi with 11,095 - so not that close at all.

The result came much earlier than we thought here in the public gallery judging by the way things were going.

Although before tonight's counting got underway the prediction was a result at 4am.


Sonika Bhatti (Christian Party) - 342 votes.

Jim CLift (BNP) - 561 votes

John Cryer (Labour) - 17,511 votes

Ashley Gunstock (Green Party) - 562 votes

Martin Levin (Independents Federation UK) - 80

Ed Northover (Conservatives) - 8,928

Farooq Qureshi (Lib Dems) - 11,095

Graham Wood (UKIP) - 1,080


As predicted, the results for Leyton and Wanstead are going to be the last to be announced here at Waltham Forest Town Hall.

A rumour sweeping the room is that this one is going to be very close between Labour and the Lib Dems.

The hall is rapidly becoming emptier as everyone leaves, but staff are still counting away on the Leyton and Wanstead tables.

But even when they finish we will have to go through the process of the candidates examining the spoilt ballot papers. In the other counts this has taken quite some time.

A result probably won't come before 8.30am at the earliest.


The results in vast majority of seats in the country have been announced. So why are the results so very late here? Well, it's easy to blame the higher than expected turnout, but everyone in the press here reckons there just aren't enough members of staff counting the ballot papers.


Still no sign of a result anytime soon. Although we've just had the results for Chingford and Woodford Green announced (Iain Duncan Smith won), so surely the end can't be too far in sight?

Looks like we're on course for a result sometime after 8.30am, although many think it will be later than that.


Some people are now predicting a result at around 9am. That's 11 hours since polls closed. I hope those predictions are wrong.

Conservative candidate Ed Northover tells me he's been awake for 27 hours now. He looks absolutely shattered. Just like the rest of us survivors.


At this rate I think we'll be lucky if we get a result before 8am - that certainly seems to be the view of everyone here in the public gallery.

For those that missed it earlier, the turnout here was 40,150, which translates as 63.1 per cent of the electorate.

Most party supporters and hangers-on have given up and gone home. The bar is empty. Only the candidates themselves and a handful of party officials remain - and us reporters.


Due to technical problems all my posts from the last three hours have been deleted. Not that much has happened in that time. We still have no result and we're not expecting one until at least 7am. But counting has at last begun.


We're being told we may not be finished until 7am. Yes. 7am. Big delays. They still haven't started counting the votes yet.

Meanwhile, I've spotted three people who are asleep in their chairs.


Finally managed to get a chat with the Lib Dem's Farook Qureshi - and he doesn't sound that confident.

"Leyton and Wanstead is supposed to be one of the safest Labour seats in the country so it will be good if we come second" he tells me.

A bit of a contrast to the Lib Dems earlier who were hinting that they felt they might win this seat.

Everyone here is getting very tired. How will he stay awake?

"I remember the last council elections in 2006 when we were here until nearly five o'clock, so we are prepared for a long night."


The official reason for the press being banned from the counting floor is that we might distract the people counting the votes, to such an extent that we could delay the whole process by as much as two hours - according to a Waltham Forest Council press officer.

We're very sceptical of such a claim here. In any case, each party has groups of representatives huddled over the counting staff observing their every move. How could we be more distracting than that?


One official here says they were expecting a turnout figure about half an hour ago. So we're clearly running later than predicted.


There's whispers here that the number of staff counting ballot papers is far less than at the last general election, and that the result may not come in until 6am or even later.


The Lib Dem's Farook Qureshi has been here for quite some time now, but frustratingly I can't get anywhere near him for an interview - the press are banned from the floor of the count. Meanwhile there's a few bored and tired collection of supporters watching the election on TV.

The actual vote tally is yet to get going. At the moment staff are just verfiying voting slips, so they're counting the number of voters, not the actual votes for parties. We haven't got a turnout figure or anything like that yet.

Quite a few people look like they're struggling to stay awake. Myself included. I think I might go and have a swim in the fountain in the town hall grounds outside.


Prime Minister Gordon Brown increases his majority by nearly 5,000 votes as he is returned in his seat of Kirkaldy and Cowdenbeath. First Conservative gain of the night in London as they win Battersea.


It's been more than three hours since polls closed and most of the candidates for this seat still aren't here. The Lib Dem's Farook Qureshi hasn't shown up yet and it seems to be the same with the smaller parties too.

Cllr Hugh Cleaver, who is the leader of the Lib Dems in Redbridge, tells me a lot of candidates are not expecting a result for many more hours so do not feel the need to turn up until much later.

Looks like we're in for a very late one. The counting is continuing.


First London result of the night in Putney where Conservative Justine Greening has retained the seat with a swing of 9.9 per cent from Labour.


First Conservative gain of the night from Kingswood in Gloucestershire, taken with a 9.4 per cent swing – enough to give David Cameron an overall majority. Rumours also emerging that the Tories have taken the bellweather seat of Basildon from Labour.


Officials here are saying there have been no problems with any of the polling stations in Leyton and Wanstead, unlike some other parts of the country. Some weren't able to vote before the deadline of 10pm in places such as Manchester because of long queues. I'm sure Returning Officer Andrew Kilburn is a very relieved man.


Labour candidate John Cryer has just arrived, surrounded by a large entourage. So is he nervous?

"I don't get nervous," he tells me.

So will Labour win?

"You can't take anything for granted but I'm quite confident."

But will Labour's share of the vote be harmed by Harry Cohen and his expenses?

"Ask me in two hours and I'll tell you."

I think he's being quite optimistic about it being wrapped up by 2.30am.

I have a horrible feeling that of the three counts in Waltham Forest Town Hall this one is going to take the longest. The pile of ballot boxes by the Leyton and Wanstead side of the room seems to be much bigger than for the other counts.


A lot of the candidates still haven't arrived. However Conservative nominee Ed Northover has just entered the building within the last ten minutes.

I managed to have a quick chat with him. He said he's very tired - sounds like he's been doing Cameron-esque non-stop campaigning.

So what's the result going to be tonight? He's confident about picking up a lot of votes in Wanstead but says: "The massive turnout means what will happen is quite uncertain.

"I think strange things are going to happen tonight across the country".

So there you go.


There's talk of polling stations closing around the country, leaving queues of people unable to vote. Waiting to hear if things went smoothly locally. Were you unable to vote? Leave a comment below.


The count is continuing furiously, but ballot boxes are arriving all the time and are beginning to pile up in the corner of the hall.

The first actual result to be declared is in Sunderland South where Labour has retained the seat but with a swing to the Tories of 8.4 per cent.

A similar swing in Leyton and Wanstead would see the majority of Labour’s John Cryer reduced to 4,763.


The first indication of how the results are going to pan out has been revealed with the publication of the nationwide BBC/ITV/Sky News exit poll. It is predicting a 5.5 per cent swing from Labour to the Conservatives overall which if repeated in Leyton and Wanstead would see Labour’s John Cryer returned with a majority down from the 7,841 achieved by his predecessor Harry Cohen in 2005 to 5,670, assuming the same turnout.

In 2005 the exit polls correctly predicted a reduced Labour majority, but in 1992 they wrongly predicted a hung Parliament when in fact John Major’s Conservatives were returned with an overall majority of 21.

Meanwhile, excitement here is building as taxpayer-funded sandwiches, tea and coffee are arriving for observers, officials and hungry journalists.

10.20PM: Ballot boxes are arriving all the time and the hall is filled with the sound of voting slips being furiously flipped.

So, when can we expect a result for this seat? Waltham Forest Council are predicting it to come in some time between 4am and 5am.

The Press Association are saying 5am.

Whatever the exact time, we can be certain we won't get a result for a good while yet.

In comparison most of the country's results are expected to be in by about 4am, so we may well know the result of the election as a whole before we find out the situation locally.


Hello! Reporter Daniel Binns here at Waltham Forest Town Hall in Walthamstow, live at the count for the election of Wanstead and Leyton's new MP.

This count promises to be arguably one of the most exciting in north east London. While the seat is traditionally a Labour stronghold, the Conservatives and Lib Dems are both hoping for an upset here tonight following the scandal surrounding current Labour MP Harry Cohen and his expenses.

The key question here is whether Mr Cohen's enthusiastic use of taxpayers' money to furnish his home will damage the local Labour party enough for them to lose their large majority.

What will happen? The count has just got underway so only a few hours until we find out...