Time to settle down with something strong to watch the BBC's election night coverage, to see what what might be in store for us tomorrow.
I shall be blogging directly from the count. There are strict (if arcane) rules concerning the secrecy of counts as they progress, so anything I blog will have been gleaned from comments from the parties, rather than my own observations. I hope that's clear.
I will be blogging principally on the following;
Predictions - anticipated results, based on intelligence from the candidates and parties. These may or may not prove to be correct!
Results - announced results.
Seats - a running total of the number of seats won by each party (or none in the case of the independents). A party needs to win 27 seats to form a majority in the Council Chamber. A few wards to look out for (in no particular order):
Haughton North. Labour/Tory marginal, currently held by Labour's Tom Nutt and Veronica Copeland.
Haughton East. Labour stronghold, but a strong (if typically fibbing) challenge from the LibDems. Held by Labour's Chris McEwan and Geoff Walker A real test for the LibDems.
Harrowgate Hill. Three-way marginal. Labour are standing John Vasey and Elizabeth Hart and new local candidate Mark Burton. The fate of the White Horse Hotel dominated local politics, which the Tories have tried to exploit.
North Road. Labour defending one seat, LibDems two. During the campaign, the LibDems senstaionally lost their leader after he signed the BNP's candidate's nomination papers. This may not have a major impact on his vote, however. Hopefully, the BNP won't benefit from the fuss.
Pierremont - formerly a three-way marginal, although the LibDems effectively threw in the towel by only fielding a single candidate. Currently held by Labour's Steve Harker, Patrick Heaney and Marian Swift, who is due to be next year's Mayor.
Cockerton East - once a swing Tory/Labour marginal, now held by three Labour councillors.
Hurworth - the only Tory/LibDem marginal. Loads of bad blood between the parties.
When I blog, the page layout will look odd, but I'll sort that out afterwards. See you at 9am!