Adam Boulton
Election Day: The Passion Of Politics


By Alistair Bunkall, Sky News reporter

Election counts – be they general, local or mayoral – are fascinating events to cover as a journalist.

For many, many hours, the count floor is a flurry of furious action and yet there is relatively little for us to report on.

Then when the final results are tallied up and verified - its action stations!

The Mayoral count was unusual in so much that it started at 8.30 on the morning following polling day; normally counts take place over night, almost as soon as the polls shut.

Many people believe the delayed count detracts from the immediacy of an election - others regard the timing as being far more civilised!

Whilst the counting is going on, I spend my time speaking to party activists, trying to get a feel for the mood in the various camps. They can have a tendency for talking a good game, all convinced their guys will win - but this year was different.

Labour party members were pretty deflated and glum after a torrid night around the country. The Tories tails were up and wagging hard.

At Alexandra Palace we got the first declarations around 9pm, the last ones came in just before midnight (who says this electronic counting system is quicker?!).

For the hacks it’s a long and at times frustrating day, but for those with a vested interest it must be even more so.

It’s a great reminder to us, just how much passion and dedication there is in local politics.

Written by Sky News, 03/05/2008


Did you see any evidence of open ballot boxes on the morning of the count as evidenced elsewhere? You fail to mention this so [perhaps it was wrongly reported. I must admit when I voted that day in Enfield I express great concern to the staff officiating. I feel any damage was probably to the cardboard boxes used as ballot boxes not being up to the handling rather than any interference.

Indeed, having presided over many a project whereby customer returns provide a similar atmosphere, the buzz once everything gets underway is out of this world [Tiny Tim]. I remember the [Laughing Policeman] when we did activity for many a charitable organisation, but nothing I'm sure brings a smile to our faces than a local election ,Mr Mayor!

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