The announcing of the results is rather mysterious and confusing for newcomers like myself. There’s a ‘checking with candidates’ announcement around the ward table, then a proper announcement on a podium. The Haringey Greens’ election agent, Mr McAskie, is busy rushing around all the ward tables to ensure he’s at every single checking announcement. He hasn’t got time to look after me. I feel a bit alone, but it’s my own fault to some extent.
This first process seems very messy. First the election agents and candidates for each ward are asked to come to their respective counting table and listen to the Returning Officer, Dr. Ita O’Donovan, read out the figures. All very well, but this is done a bit vaguely. They don’t exactly make this request clear. I actually miss out on the Highgate candidate-checking process because I’m in the lobby taking a break. There is a PA system in the corner of the counting hall, where announcements are made. But it’s effectively inaudible, even in the same room. You just have to stay in the counting room and keep an eye on your table for any sudden rush of people to it. The scene rather resembles those old-fashioned 1980s stock exhange floors. Rushing, shouting, taking notes, hiding notes from rivals. Bedlam in suits.
At this initial checking stage, the results are read out to the candidates as they push and shove to get close to the table. The candidates are then asked by the Returning Officer if they’re happy with the results and to confirm no recount is needed. Well, I wasn’t there for my result. I didn’t hear the announcement due to getting a drink in the lobby. So it’s just as well I’m okay with it.
Then she goes to announce the results properly to press and cameras on a little stage in the entrance lobby. Unlike General Elections, there’s no gathering of candidates on the stage with her, sadly. I presume this is because it would take forever. Nineteen wards to get through, each with about a dozen candidates.
Dr O’Donovan’s stern, headmistress-like delivery and Anne Robinson-like appearance rather makes me think I’m on The Weakest Link. Which in a way, I am.