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Drama of the count still to come

With polling day having reached its end, counters are preparing for a big day at Newbury Racecourse today (Friday)

AS the clock ticks down on polling day, the focus now turns to events at the election count today (Friday).

The people of West Berkshire have now voted for their local representatives on the district council and seven town and parish councils, as well as in the national referendum on the Alternative Vote system for electing MPs, with West Berkshire's 96 polling stations having closed at 10pm last night(Thursday).

But the main drama still lies ahead, with all the suspense and emotional rollercoasters that surround the results still to come at Newbury Racecourse this morning in the election count, which starts at 9.30am.

West Berkshire Council's returning officer, David Holling, said yesterday that he and the team of about 135 people working at the count were ready after several months of planning, training and working for the big day.

He said: “We started working on this in October or November and we have to look that far ahead.”

However, Mr Holling explained that before the count could actually start, a rigorous verification process had to be undertaken for all the different polls, which he said has to be done before any counting and declarations of results can occur.

Despite the complexities of the process, Mr Holling said he hoped all the results for the district council and town and parish councils would be declared throughout the afternoon and possibly by about 4pm, before the count of the referendum vote can begin.

He added yesterday: “Everyone has been briefed quite extensively on the process and I am sure we are all ready.

“It is a very tiring day, not only for the counting staff, but for the supervisors as well, and I know it will be nice to get home tomorrow night.”

For live coverage of all the drama and those all important results, as they are announced, log on to Newburytoday.co.uk throughout the day today.

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