Good evening, welcome to live coverage of the Richmond borough counts.

We will be here through the night to bring you live coverage of the results and the thoughts of those fighting for the seats.

Polls close in five minutes and the ballot boxes will start arriving soon after.

Follow our regularly-updated text below for the results as they happen.

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Liberal Democrats Geoff Acton and Ben Khosa retain their seats in St Margarets and North Twickenham.

Tory candidate Chris Harrison took the third seat in the ward, which had been held by the Lib Dems.

The Tories now hold 24 seats and the Lib Dems 18.

Results in the four wards where there will be recounts will not be known until this evening.

Recounts in Hampton North, Kew, North Richmond and Ham, Petersham and Richmond Riverside are due to start at 4pm.

We will be covering the recounts at York House and will be bringing you the results as they come in.


As the results unfolded Councillor Nick True, leader of Richmond Conservatives, said it was still too early to predict the overall outcome.

He said: “On paper we have won but with four recounts going on I am not claiming victory. That notional majority could disappear.

“We have made a huge advance. The Twickenham Riverside project is dead.

“It has been a fantastic night.”


The Liberal Democrats have come out on top in the highly-contested Fulwell and Hampton Hill ward.

Only one more ward - St Margarets and North Twickenham - is expected to be called this morning.

There will be recounts in the four remaining wards - Hampton North, Kew, North Richmond and Ham, Petersham and Richmond Riverside.

The recounts are due to start at York House at 4pm.

Liberal Democrat leader Serge Lourie and long-serving councillors David Williams and Geoffrey Samuel are standing in the wards that will be recounted.


The results in 12 out of Richmond Council’s 18 wards have been announced and the Tories now have a sizeable lead having won control of Twickenham Riverside and Mortlake and Barnes Common.

The Conservatives currently have 23 seats, while the Lib Dems have 13.

Hampton, West Twickenham and Teddington all remain Lib Dem strongholds.

In Whitton, Councillor Liz Jaeger held her seat and will represent the ward with fellow Lib Dem Arnie Gibbons. Gareth Elliott clinched the third ward seat for the Conservatives.

Councillor Nick True, leader of Richmond Conservatives, was re-elected in East Sheen alongside Virginia Morris and Nicola Urquhart.

The Tories also regained all three seats in Hampton Wick and South Richmond.


The Conservatives have caused an upset by taking all three seats in the Twickenham Riverside ward.

Scott Naylor, Susan Chappell and Sam Salvoni knocked out the incumbent Lib Dems - including cabinet members David Trigg and Denise Carr.


Nine ward results have just been declared at the council count.

It brings the running tally to 11 out of the 18 wards but the overall result is unlikely to be known until tonight.

Reports of a high number of split votes in some of the remaining wards mean there could be a number of recounts.


The Conservatives have taken a seat from the Lib Dems in Heathfield ward.

Alan Butler won the third seat in the ward, which had been held by the Liberal Democrats.

Lib Dem councillors Bill Treble and John Coombs were re-elected.

Mr Butler, who served on the council between 1998 and 2006, said: "I’m delighted to win again. I’m delighted to be able to represent the Conservatives in Heathfield where we haven’t held the seat for the last 30 years.

"It’s very interesting to have met residents and hear their concerns.

"I’d also like to pay tribute to John and Bill - I thought they worked very hard.”

Bob King, who had represented the ward for the Lib Dems, did not stand for re-election.

The Labour candidates in Heathfield secured an increased share of the vote, beating the threat posed by the BNP candidate.


At the council count the first results have been declared. The Conservatives have held all three seats in the Barnes ward.


Nick Clegg keeps his Sheffield Hallam seat with an increased majority of 15,284.


Parliamentary results declared - Vince Cable holds Twickenham, Zac Goldsmith takes Richmond Park.


As dawn breaks, Vince Cable arrives at the count and is met by a media frenzy.

Questions on whether he will become the next chancellor are met with laughter by the Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Twickenham.

When asked what was so funny, he said: “I know the country’s position isn’t funny.”

He also replied to question about Nick Clegg’s position in the election by saying he wanted to know his own results first.

Asked about the Nick Clegg appeal, he said: “There’s quite a lot of it around I think.”

In the scrum a cameraman tripped over Jemima Khan who is sitting on the floor outside the count with her mother.


Labour candidate Eleanor Tunnicliffe was starting to feel tired as word spread that it could be another hour before a result is called.

“It’s quite tiring but also quite exciting. What’s going to happen here and nationally – no one can really tell," she said.

“You get to the point where you can’t really remember what day it is and it’s all beginning to blur into one really.

“It’s difficult as you kind of expect you will get squeezed as they both (the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives) have high profile, well funded campaigns and there’s more pressure to vote tactically.”


The skies are starting to lighten over Richmond College as counting continues.

In the parliamentary count disputed ballots have been checked but it is believed the results are still at least an hour away.

Counts are also progressing in the council marquee and senior Tories have expressed confidence they will gain some seats, but also concern they may lose others.

Every candidate still says they believe the result will be very close.


Further family support has arrived for Zac Goldsmith.

His sister Jemima Khan arrived at the count to join her mother and brother Ben in supporting Zac.

Dressed in a black blazer and towering heels, she said: "We're hoping for Zac. I'm just praying for him."

Zac said he was glad of the support from his family.

He added: "I'm hoping they will be a bit of extra support."


One of the counters makes a gaffe in front of Zac Goldsmith's brother Ben by putting two of his votes on opponent Susan Kramer's pile.

The error is quickly pointed out by eagle-eyed Ben and the counter apologises before correcting his error.


Zac Goldsmith’s mother, Lady Annabel, has arrived at the count to show support for her son.

Lady Annabel Goldsmith, who was ranked at 178 in the 2009 Sunday Times Rich List, hit the streets of Kew last Saturday, with her daughter Jemima Khan, to rally up support for her Tory son.

She said she hoped her son would win, and added: “I’ve been involved all the way. It’s been non-stop.”


Indications from the floor at the council count are suggesting an increase in the Labour vote.

The Conservative and Liberal Democrats polled more than 90 per cent of the vote between them in 2006 but it appears Labour supporters have turned out and voted red.

Labour polled just 4.9 per cent in 2006 but that looks set to rise.

Senior Liberal Democrats have privately indicated this may be bad news for them but are still describing the counts as "too close to call".


Zac Goldsmith has been up and campaigning since 6am yesterday. He thinks it is going to be a long night.

“I’ve never been to one of these things so I can’t read it," he said.

“It’s impossible to read – I looked at one pile and they were wildly enthusiastic but then look at another and it was a different story.

“It’s out of our control – we’ve done a really good campaign, honest and positive and tried to reach everybody in the community.

“It’s been the weirdest election. I think it’s going to be right down to the wire.”


Councillor Nick True, leader of Richmond Conservatives, has arrived at the count and is confident his party will improve its position on Richmond Council.

He said: "Some of my people seem very confident.

"I think we will pick up seats and see where we get.

"Those that have been at the verification on both sides say a number of wards look to be close."

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Confident: Councillor Nick True
Councillor Nick True


Zac Goldsmith arrives at the count, greeted by a posse of photographers and a volley of flashbulbs that looked more Leicester Square than Richmond College.

He may have a long wait, we can confirm no counting has started yet - all ballot papers checked to date has just been for verification purposes.

Postal votes are still being checked and it is possible counting will not begin until 3am.

Stick with us, it'll be a late one.


Things are tense in the council election counting hall as anxious supporters try to work out who is in the lead.

Fatima Amjad, who has been watching the counting at the Heathfield and Whitton end of the hall said it was looking like a tough race.

She said: “It’s a pretty tough decision between the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives.

“It’s pretty close between the two of them.”

But Liberal Democrat supporter Peter Calvert thought it looked like his party had the advantage.

He said: “It’s looking good for us at the moment.”


Councillor Geoff Acton, a Liberal Democrat in the St Margarets and North Twickenham ward, said the result was “very difficult to predict”.

Coun Acton said he had been out canvassing all day and found Twickenham MP Vince Cable was very popular but many people had still not decided how they would vote.

He said: “Some of the swings nationally are not expected, they are not consistent, and that may happen in Richmond.

“Lots of people have been engaging, particularly younger voters.

“Turnout in our ward seems to be very high, we have had queues at polling stations, which we have never seen before.

“It will be very tight all round.”


Steve Smith, Green party candidate for the South Twickenham ward, said he was hopeful the party would do well in the St Margarets and North Twickenham ward, but admitted he was not “particularly confident” the party would do well overall in the borough.

He said: “It would be nice to see some fresh faces and ideas in the council.

“We will keep working away and hopefully get some councillors elected.”


RESULT - Gordon Brown is safely back as an MP after holding onto his Kircaldy seat with an increased majority of nearly 5,000 votes.


All the ballot boxes are now in and counting is continuing in ernest.

Latest suggestions are that results are now expected at 6am for the parliamentary counts, later for the council counts.

Lots of nervous looking people - particularly Liberal Democrats from the Richmond side of the river.

No sign yet of Susan Kramer or Zac Goldsmith.


Peter Dul, UKIP candidate for Richmond Park, said he thought his party would poll more votes this year.

He said: “I think we’ll improve on last year – we’ve had very positive vibes from people.

“I suppose that people will vote tactically but I always say vote out of conviction or you won’t get what you want.”


Brian Tomlinson, Labour parliamentary candidate for Twickenham, said he was hopeful the party would secure a win in the Heathfield ward.

He said Labour had been working extremely hard in the ward, listing the party's invovement in the 110 bus petition and its work in highlighting the importance of the children's centre in Powder Mill Lane as examples of their efforts.

He also stressed the work Labour had been doing to deter BNP support in the ward.

He said: "If we can stop the BNP that's a win for Labour."


Greg Monk, 19, who has been part of Zac Goldsmith's campaign, said they were feeling good despite having been up since 6am this morning.

He said: "I'm quietly confident.

"Today we've got out on the doorstep, out everywhere in every single area, and people have been coming up and saying they never voted Conservative before but will this time."


Deborah Thomas, Conservative candidate for Twickenham, said she had heard residents had been flocking to the polling stations.

She said: "In Northcote Road there were still queues there at 9pm. I don't know if everyone got to vote.

"I heard at 5pm turnout was 50 per cent for St Margarets and Riverside."

She revealed response to the Conservatives had been positive in Twickenham.

She said: "I feel like we've had a good reception at the door and at the station.

"There's a big fear of a hung parliament."

However she admitted there was still all to play for.

She said: "I joined the party in 1997 and until the result is called anything can happen."


RESULT - Sunderland Central - Labour win.

Email from Fiona Barry:

If Zac Goldsmith gets in this will be a great surprise and Deborah Thomas may not take Vince Cable’s seat, but in the council elections it could be a strong advantage to Conservatives.

Vince Cable is highly regarded, but his decision not to support the electorate’s issues with the Riverside saga could mean it is a close call.

Many more voters, young in particular, have shown an interest in voting this time round.

Keep us posted of the Twickenham and Richmond Park results.


Ballot boxes continue to arrive at Richmond College, still queues of cars waiting to drop of their loads.

No official word on the turnout but indications are that it is very high with queues reported at polling stations.


RESULT - Washington and Sunderland West - Labour win.


The BBC/Sky/ITV News exit poll has been revised.

The outcome remains the same - hung parliament, Tories the largest party - but the figures are now: Conservatives 305, Labour 255, Lib Dems 61 and others 29.


Ballot boxes are still arriving, cars are lined up dropping off resident's voting papers.

The verification of the votes is currently taking place in both counts, the number of papers given out is being checked against the number in the ballot boxes.

Word on the floor is that it will take at least another 30 minutes, perhaps longer, and no counting can begin until it is done.


RESULT: Houghton and Sunderland South - Labour win.


Councillor Serge Lourie, current leader of Richmond Council, has arrived, he said he is looking forward to an "interesting evening".

He said: "It has been a tight fight [in Richmond Park, where incumbent Liberal Democrat Susan Kramer is up against Tory Zac Goldsmith].

"There has been an enormous number of people voting.

"It's impossible to tell who has won in Richmond Park but we are optimistic.

"I think we have done very well in Twickenham, the key battleground [for the Richmond Council result] is Richmond.

"This is an unusual election, turnout is 10-15 per cent higher than the last local elections."

Richmond and Twickenham Times: ELECTION LIVE: Richmond Park, Twickenham and Richmond Council
Councillor Serge Lourie


There is a quiet hubbub in the counting halls where lines of counters are sitting, waiting to be presented with their ballot papers.

There are dozens of very nervous looking people standing around, far more Liberal Democrats than Conservatives at present.


Twickenham MP and Lib Dem Treasury spokesman Vince Cable tells the BBC that the exit poll result is "very strange". But he says such polls have been "horribly wrong" in the past. In 1992 a Labour win was predicted but failed to materialise.

Ballot boxes are arriving at Richmond College, where the votes will be counted. Candidates are also starting to arrive at the count.


Exit polls for BBC, Sky and ITV News predict a hung parliament with the Conservatives the largest party.

The poll puts the Conservatives on 307 seats, Labour on 255, the Liberal Democrats on 59 and others on 29.


The polls are closed.