The counting tables are arranged in two enormous squares, so the non-party people who do the actual counting and collating are on the inside of each square, while the candidates, election agents and general party bullies are on the outside. I walk over to the Highgate Ward table, and see the process is carried out slowly and carefully by two people. One reads out the votes on each slip, the other ticks a box on a big sheet.
While you’re waiting, you can sit in the surreal entrance lobby, with its fountains, palm trees (crawling with real ants), pyramids, Sphinxs and toy dispensing machines. Handy for chewing on a candy necklace while the Bounds Green result is coming in: