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The election count - As It Happened

10pm - Polling stations close across Solihull - the turn-out is well-up on last year.

10pm - Polling stations close across Solihull - the turn-out is well-up on last year. Queueing was reported in some areas.

Work gets underway at North Solihull Sports Centre, as an army of staff in green t-shirts begin to sort the postal votes.

11pm - Returning officer Mark Rogers tells the gaggle of journalists that the result is expected at 3-3.30pm.

12 midnight - Smaller parties say that their vote has been squeezed, particularly in Solihull - where people seem to have made a straight-choice between the Tories and Lib Dems.

1.30am - Caroline Spelman arrives at the count. In response to some surprise results nationally, she says that Labour have “lost the right to govern”.

2am - A strong turn-out and trouble with postal votes has slowed down the process. One huddle of councillors suggest that it’ll be light before we get a result.

3.30am - Maggie Throup, the Conservative’s candidate in Solihull, says that it’s going to be incredibly close.

4.30am - Things are starting to slow down, the staff have stopped counting on many of the tables.

5.15am - With dawn approaching, Lib Dem Lorely Burt finally arrives - receiving a round of applause from supporters.

5.20am - Candidates from Solihull and Meriden are called together by returning officer Mark Rogers.

It becomes apparent that the Meriden result will be declared, but Solihull will go to a recount.

Neither Mrs Burt or Ms Throup are giving anything away.

5.35am - Caroline Spelman wins Meriden - her majority has more than doubled to 16,000.

5.45am - There’s a fresh rustle of ballot papers, as the recount gets underway.

6.20am - An audible groan as Mark Rogers announces a third and final recount. Campaigners begin to bunch to the far corner of the sport halls.

7.15am - It’s taken all night, but the result for Solihull is finally declared. Lorely Burt has held onto her seat.

7.20am - Hall begins to empty, but the team will be back at midday to start the local count.



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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