VOTERS went to the polls yesterday to decide who will be London’s next mayor. JIM PALMER will be at the count throughout the night to bring you live updates on all of the action as it happens.
1.10am So there we are. Boris won by three per cent. Labour's London-wide vote was up 14.3 per cent while the Tories dropped 4.7 per cent.
And that's all folks. If there's anyone out there reading, thanks. It has been a pleasure. (That's what you're suppose to say, isn't it)
Jenny Jones hailed her third place finish as a breakthrough for her party
She thanked her campaign team and opponents and ever.
She said: "This is a breakthrough. This is a wonderful day for Green politics."
Siobhan Benitasaid: "I am so delighted with the result. For an unknown candidate to come so close to third and fourth place...is a massive, massive result.
"It does show the time is right for a new kind of politician to come forward."
Ken Livingstone retired from politics and got a few last shots off in his speech
He said: "I don't know if the Prime Minister is still watching, but I hope the closeness of the result didn't give him indigestion over dinner.
"Because the real story tonight is that under Labour, under Ed Milliband, we have won in every part of the country.
"I want to congratulate Boris on his personal victory, whilst Cameron and Osborne were dragging the Tory party down to defeat in the rest of Britain.
"Not only have you won another term but I suspect this result has settled the question of the next Tory leadership election."
He also congratulated the Green Party's Jenny Jones for coming third, which he described as "a huge breakthrough for the party".
He blamed Nick Clegg for Brian Paddick's performance.
He said if you look beyond the "personality contest", Labour had the largest party and its Assembly Members would lead the fight for Londoners.
Announcing his retirement 41 years after winning his first election, he said: "The one I most regret losing is this.
"These are the worst times for 80 years and Londoners needed a Mayor to help them get through."
Here's what the Mayor of London Boris Johnson had to say about his three per cent win.
After outlining what his plans and achievements in the city, Boris pledged to "continue to fight for a good deal for Londoners, a good deal from the Government that will help us to deliver prosperity for everybody in this city."
Boris said: "This has been a long and gruelling campaign."
He said he was sorry for the losses of his fellow Tories, including his deputy mayor Richard Barnes.
He thanked "all the contestants", especially Ken, who he praised as "amongst the most creative and the most original" left wing politician he could think of.
He said: "I much look forward to having that non-taxpayer funded drink that we have so far not managed to fit into our diaries."
He thanked his campaign team, his family and the people of London.
He said: "Tonight we will celebrate...with a non-taxpayer funded libation.
12.02am Boris has won. He claimed 971,931 first preference votes to Ken's 889,918.
Boris claimed 82,880 second preference votes to take his total to 1,054,811.
Ken took 102,355 second preference to lift his total to 992,263.
Siobhan Benita, Independent 83,914
Carlos Cortiglia, BNP 28,751
Jenny Jones, Green Party 98,913
Brian Paddick, Lib Dem 91,774
Lawrence Webb, UKIP 43,274
11.42pm Still a few minutes away. The candidates have just been called into a room. This means progress, I believe.
To keep all of us reporters waiting in the chamber pacified, someone has put Greensleeves on over the PA. Or perhaps they are trying to send us to sleep. It is past my bed time.
11.30pmWe're entering the chamber. Awaiting the result. Hopefully it's imminent.
11pm A statement from London Elects, issued at 10.30pm, said two batches of ballot papers from Brent and Harrow were put into storage without some ballot papers being manually entered.
Apparently manual entry is required when papers cannot be automatically scanned, like when the paper is damaged.
London Elects said there was no problem with the scanners.
The papers are now being processed. An estimate for completion was 90 mins, and that was made 30 mins ago. I wouldn't hold your breath.
Let's forget I mentioned the recount and keep our fingers crossed it was a bad rumour.
10.25pm I've been around the building and not been able to find Mr Livingstone. Mind you, his solitary sighting is once more than I've seen Boris tonight. Perhaps I've always just been in the wrong place at the wrong time.
10.10pm It has been reported, again by LGiU, that Ken could be seeking a recount. I'm heading off round city hall to track him down to substantiate this. The last time I saw him he was happily eating Korma several hours ago, I have no idea where he is now.
10.02pm Thinktank LGiU reporting that extra uncounted ballot boxes found in Brent and Harrow, and that the counting machines have now broken.
It could be a while yet.
9.44pm As we sit waiting for the final few votes, I can't help but feel the Monster Raving Loony Party would have spiced things up a bit.
There used to be a Loony at a parish council I reported on. He gave out free bananas and wrote with a giant pencil. This made him my favourite.
A loony may have even got some votes.
9.02pm So here is the flaw in my sums. My counting of the second preference vote does not take into account the voters who would have voted for Boris first, then Ken second and vice versa.
Only the second preferences from eliminated opponents will count if it gets to that stage.
So, let's stick to the first preference for a second. I work it out that Ken's trailing by around 110,000
8.48pm More dodgy maths now. Taking the latest figures for North East into account, Ken has made up some ground.
He won claiming 102,934 first preference votes compared to Boris' 54,302.
Second preference is 35,323 for Ken and 19,083 for Boris.
By my reckoning that means Ken is now around 33,000 behind if you take into account second preference votes.
And that is with Brent and Harrow and Enfield and Haringey constituencies to declare.
It is looking close to me.
8.26pm My crude calculations of the votes already in puts Boris about 150,000 ahead on first preference.
And that narrows to just under 100,000 when you take second preference into account. But then, I do still suffer flashbacks to my hideous maths A-level.
There are still three sets of results still to come, so a couple of big Ken wins could make it very close.
7.58pm Bexley and Bromley Assembly member James Cleverly just told me he's not even thinking about the prospect of becoming deputy mayor yet.
He said all the focus is on getting Boris in and making sure there are enough Assembly Members to protect his budget. It is closer than the Tories imagined I think.
7.15pm As it stands, we're looking at the same scenario. On first preference votes counted so far Boris Johnson (Conservative) is leading narrowly over Ken Livingstone (Labour). Jenny Jones (Green) is third, Brian Paddick (Lib Dem) fourth, Siobhan Benita fifth), then Lawrence Webb (UKIP) and Carlos Cortiglia (BNP). Still four constituencies to declare. This will be close.
7.05pm Green candidate Jenny Jones is unexpectedly riding high in third. She told Jim: "I am really excited. It is quite unexpected. We knew from feedback on doorsteps and on the street that there were a lot of people who were going to vote for us.
"I think there are two reasons: we ran a really good campaign. We had a good manifesto and good policies. "The second is the Lib Dems being hit.
She said she expects a lot of the Green votes probably will opt for Ken second.
"Whether or not it will be enough to make a difference, I don't know," she added. "Probably not."
She said: "It could be a breakthrough, you never know. The fact we have had two such big beasts means this other candidates have been squeezed.
"Next time there will be new faces and it will mean more competition."
6.35pmThere is talk here that Boris could choose Bexley and Bromley Assembly Member James Cleverly as his next deputy, if he keeps his place as Mayor. This follows his current deputy Richard Barnes' loss at the hands at the Labour candidate earlier.
6.28pmKen Livingstone's looking relaxed as he tucks into a korma in the basement at City Hall. Food is pricey here, by the way. Unlikely its being subsidised by the tax payer.
5.43pmBoris still ahead of Ken. Just. Greens in 3rd. Will Greens' second preferences go for Ken?
5.35pm Lots of talk about second preference votes about now in the Mayoral race. It is going to be a close one.
5.30pm Labour says its share of the vote in Bexley and Bromley is up 9.2 per cent. Tory Assembly Member James Cleverly's proportion was roughly the same.
4:42pm Len Duvall that Labour assembly members would work with the mayor but promised to "hold him to account" #mayor2012
4:37pm Retaining his seat, Len Duvall told News Shopper: "It is a very good result...by and large it was fought on pollicy" #mayor2012
Roberta Woods (BNP) 3,551 and Tess Colnane (NF) 1,816 #Mayor2012
John Russell (ld) 9,393, Barbara Raymond (People before profit) 6,873, Paul Oakley (Ukip) 4,997 #mayor2012
Greenwich and Lewisham: @len_duvall (l) 65,366 , Alex Wilson(c) 27,329, Roger Sedgley(g)12,427 #mayor2012
Candidates and agents called over for Greenwich and Lewisham. Looks like a big @len_duvall labour victory #mayor2012
3:51pm - Jim speaks to James Cleverly:
“I’m really excited, it’s a job I really really enjoy I’m really really pleased I have been asked by the people of Bexley and Bromley to do it for another four years. This is a really exciting time.”
He added: “I quite like to campaign, I like meeting people, I enjoy being questioned about what I’m going to do and what I have done.”
Speaking about Boris Johnson’s chances of winning, Mr Cleverly said: “I always knew this was going to be a tight election we have been saying this over and over.
“It’s not just electioneering Boris is ahead. I think people realise the hard work that he has put in on behalf of London in incredibly difficult economic circumstances.”
..."I am really, really pleased I have been asked by the people of Bexley and Bromley to do it for another 4 yrs." @jamescleverly #mayor2012
Following his win, @jamescleverly told News Shopper: "I am really excited. It is a job I really, really enjoy....#mayor2012
Thanks all round from @jamescleverly, incl to 'wonderful, beautiful, supportive wife'. Will 'continue to work incredibly hard' #mayor2012
2240 ballots unmarked, uncertain or otherwise rejected #mayor2012
David Coburn (Ukip) 10,771, Jonathan Rooks (G) 9,209, Donna Treanor (BNP) 7,563 #mayor2012
Bexley and Bromley result: @Jamescleverly (c) 88,482, Josie Channer (l) 40,714, Sam Webber (ld) 11,396 #mayor2012<
Candidates and agents being called over for Bromley and Bexley. Looks like announcement is imminent #mayor2012
A few checks need to be done before @jamescleverly is, er, crowned(?) apparently. Waiting by the podium. #mayor2012
Just waiting for @Jamescleverly (c) to be announced as winner in Bexley\Bromley. 100 per cent of votes verified. #mayor2012
Greenwich and Lewisham @Len_Duvall waaaay ahead with 87 per cent of votes verified #mayor2012
At the ExCel count. @jamescleverly well ahead in Bex\Brom with 99 per cent of votes verified #mayor2012
Boris still leading Ken in the main race. @GreenJennyJones, @brianpaddick, @Siobhan4Mayor fighting it out for 3rd #mayor2012
Greenwich and Lewisham, @Len_Duvall (lab) looking a cert to keep his spot after 64% of votes certified #mayor2012
Bromley and Bexley @JamesCleverly (cons) set to retain seat. Well ahead and 75% of votes verified #mayor2012