So it’s just after 10.30am on Friday and 12 of the 32 London borough results are in. What do these first counts tells us?
1. Labour are having another good election in London, following their great successes in 2010. They have won Redbridge outright, the first time ever they have controlled the taxi drivers’ borough. They also won back Croydon from the Tories and took full control of Merton. But most totemic they have won Hammersmith and Fulham after eight years of Conservative control. In addition they have strengthened their hold on Haringey, Brent and Enfield.
2. For the Conservatives an “ok” night nationally is becoming a tough morning in London. The bright spot was the win in Kingston where they trounced the Lib Dems and to a lesser extent holding Bexley and Richmond so comfortably will be seen as positive. These were not great surprises however and the losses of H&F and Croydon are undeniably key blows. Holding Wandsworth is obvious but even there Labour won six more seats.
3. For the Lib Dems the feared implosion is happening. Yes, they held Sutton and in fact won a few more seats, but after 12 boroughs declared they have already lost many seats across Kingston, Haringey, Richmond, Brent and Redbridge.
4. And UKIP? Well the key boroughs are to come. They have won only three in Bexley, lower than some feared.
5. And finally turnout has averaged around the 38% mark for the 12 boroughs declared so far. This is slightly above the overall average for previous London borough elections (with the exception of 2010 when the General Election was on the same day and dramatically increased local election turnout) and seems to be benefiting Labour.
So what of the early to mid-afternoon results? Well it will be interesting to see if Labour win a few seats in Westminster, will Labour strengthen in Hounslow, will the Lib Dems lose even more seats in Islington and Lambeth, and can UKIP win a sizeable number of seats in Barking & Dagenham and Havering?
And a bit later three key battles – Barnet, Harrow and Tower Hamlets. Will the Labour surge help them win all three? We will see. And if they do, London has moved even further to the left and the Conservatives will probably be down to running only eight boroughs. Not as bad as 1994 but pretty close.