Harrogate election day 2015: As it happened

Your votes are being counted across the district
Your votes are being counted across the district

Relive our LIVE coverage as voters across the Harrogate district took to the polls to choose their MP and a government.

7am: Well folks, it’s high time I logged off. Thank you to everyone who has followed this blog and contributed, it’s been some night. We’ve had dogs, sheep, coffee, chai, monster munch.. Thanks for being part of it,

No shocks or upsets for our slice of North Yorkshire, but who knows what the next week will being nationally.

As ever keep up-to-date at this website, follow us on Twitter: @HarrogateHound and find us on Facebook. Cheers!

6.55am: We’ve collated all our coverage from the night here. Catch-up with every result

6.46am: Aha, the Conservatives have HELD Elmet and Rothwell. Alec Shelbrooke will remain as MP. So that’s CON HOLDS for: Harrogate and Knaresborough, Skipton and Ripon, Selby and Ainsty and Elmet and Rothwell.

Voters are heading to the polls across Harrogate

Voters are heading to the polls across Harrogate

6.35am: Conservatives hold Selby and Ainsty - Click for the full story

6.30am: Conservatives hold Skipton and Ripon - Click here for the full story

6.22am: I’m still awaiting the Elmet and Rothwell result.

6.20am: I need to say on behalf of the rest of the newsroom a massive thank you to our star reporters for their efforts through the night. Laura Hill, in Harrogate, James Metcalf in Tadcaster and Dan Windham in Skipton. Round of applause, and perhaps a swift half when they get home.

6.05am: Conservative candidate Nigel Adams storms to victory in Selby and Ainsty with 27,725 votes.

6.04am: WE HAVE THE RESULT FROM SELBY AND AINSTY!

6.03am: OK, our man in Tadcaster James Metcalf reckons we are getting very close to a Selby and Ainsty result. In the immortal words of Samuel L Jackson, hold on to your...

5.58am: Nearly at 6am. I can hear my housemate getting up for work. We are awaiting Selby and Ainsty as well as the Elmet and Rothwell results, two for the Wetherby News fans in the house.

5.50am: Nope, Skipton and Ripon was announced first! Dan wins. Conservative Julian Smith has HELD his Skipton and Ripon seat. Remember, this constituency contains Nidderdale and Pateley Bridge. Story online very soon.

5.47pm: We understand a result from Selby and Ainsty is imminent. Buckle up, everybody...

5.35am: AND, lucky for us, and even luckier for you, we get to do it all again tomorrow, as we expect the Harrogate Borough Council district results in the afternoon.

5.31am: Fingers crossed for these remaining results before 6am - James Metcalf is told “no promises,” though, at the Selnby and Ainsty count. Seems like last week that those results from Sunderland were announced. Reckon the candidates there have all been to bed? Not a chance. Everyone involved in this election, from the winners, to the candidates, to us on the newsdesk, will want to savour every moment until the very last vote is counted.

5am: So, we made it to 5am. Thank you to anyone who is still with me. We are awaiting results from Skipton and Ripon and Selby and Ainsty. Heroic reporters James Metcalf and Dan Windham are hanging on for these results.

4.25am: Laura Hill’s final say from Harrogate International Centre: “What a night! A shocking result for the Lib Dems but Helen Flynn was still smiling, and as kind as ever after the result. Congratulations Andrew Jones.”

4.15am: We are still going here at Harrogate Advertiser Series towers. Anyone else still up after that result? Get in touch!

4.05am: Dan Windham at Skipton for the Skipton and Ripon (Nidderdale) count: “CONFIRMED: #Skipton and #Ripon count will be no earlier than 5am.”

4am: James Metcalf in Tadcaster for the Selby and Ainsty count: “11,740 people in Selby and Ainsty voted by post (86.4 per cent), 1,000 postal votes delivered to polling stations on May 7.”

3.45am: Plenty congratulations coming in for Mr Jones via social media.

3.40am: Sorry folks, had to get that online before heading back to the live feed. So, we have our first result of the night, and it’s Andrew Jones, who will remain as MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough after a big win.

3.26am: CONSERVATIVES HOLD HARROGATE AND KNARESBOROUGH

3.25am: Harrogate and Knaresborough result is imminent. Hold on to your hats, folks..

3.25am: Harrogate and Knaresborough Lib Dem candidate Helen Flynn: Nick Clegg “cannot remain as leader”

3.05am: From reporter Dan Windham at the Skipton and Ripon count (Follow @DWindham10): “#LibDem candidate for #Ripon, Jacqui Bell, believes ‘tactical voting’ has cost the party dear on a national level tonight”

3am: Half an hour until declaration in Harrogate and Knaresborough.

2.57am: Laura Hill at the Harrogate and Knaresborough count: “Lib Dem candidate Helen Flynn says Clegg has got to go after an ‘appaling’ night for the Lib Dems #electionyorks #Harrogate”

2.54am: Ed White at the Harrogate and Knaresborough count: “Andrew Jones says the count is “looking encouraging” for the Conservatives”

2.50am: So, here is the current UK outlook - LAB 22, SNP 14, CON, 10, DUP 5, LD 1.

2.45am: We’ll do some digging to try and discover what work was being done at 2.44am.

2.44am: North Yorkshire Police Roads Policing Group Sgt Paul Cording on Twitter: “Reports of burglary in progress at a local pub, numerous units attend only to find it was workmen & the landlord forgot to tell manager. #doh”

2.43am: NON-ELECTION RELATED “NEWS” COMING UP!

2.40am: A certain news source on Twitter announced a Harrogate and Knaresborough result before any announcement was made. Not sure what’s going on there, but I can assure you, it has not been announced yet!

2.27am: Now, the latest from Dan Windham, in Skipton Town Hall for the Skipton and Ripon (Nidderdale) count: “Told it will be 4am AT LEAST for a result in #Ripon and #Skipton - they added the at least and it sounded ominous.” - VIDEO: Ripon and Skipton candidates at the count

2.23am: Before we catch up with Dan, more eye-catching news in Scotland, as Shadown Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander has been defeated by 20-year-old student Mhairi Black. From our sister title The Scotsman: “RESULT SNP gain Paisley and Renfrewshire South from Douglas Alexander #GE2015”

2.22am: Laura, in Harrogate: “Conservative Andrew Jones is hopeful he can keep his seat in Harrogate and Knaresborough.

He said: “It is looking encouraging. It was a very slim majority in 2010, I would like to build on that most certainly, it has been a real privilege to be the MP here for five years, I have worked hard and hope that will be recognised.

“The decline of Lib Dems may well have helped, but I think what we will see is varying different pictures, in some areas they have lost their deposits I have heard. I would expect some areas for the Lib Dems to hold up and some to fall away very badly, bit of a mixture.”

He added: “The exit polls have been better than I thought they might be to be honest, the opinion polls hardly moved during the course of the campaign. But at the same time the feedback I was getting on the doorstep was really very positive.” - Tension rising at Harrogate election count

2.21am: And now Laura Hill, who is at Harrogate International Centre for the Harrogate and Knaresborough count, and can be followed on Twitter at @LauraHillnews - another good handle!

2.20am: James Metcalf in Tadcaster: “Extremely high turnout at Selby and Ainsty count results in lengthy verification.” Click here to watch James’ interviews with the candidates

2.19am: Let’s catch up with reporters out and about, starting with..... James, who is at the Selby and Ainsty count at Tadcaster. You can follow James on Twitter, @JRMetcalf92

2.18am: From our sister paper The Yorkshire Post: “First of many #SNP gains in #Scotland as party takes #Kilmarnock with 26 per cent swing from #Labour - massive #electionyorks”

2.09am: Best fire up the espresso machine, or push 20 bags of chai into a mug, then.

2.07am: Having just said that, we are not expecting announcements from the Selby and Ainsty (Tadcaster) or Skipton and Ripon (Nidderdale) counts until 4am.

2am: So, we’ve reached the 2am mark. How’s everyone feeling? Stick with me, I am expecting some results to start flying in within the next 60 minutes.

1.50am: I haven’t forgotten about Elmet and Rothwell (Wetherby) - Reporter Richard Beecham is at Leeds Arena for the count tonight - you can follow him @ReporterRichB - an excellent Twitter handle, I’m sure you’ll agree.

1.45am: Conservative candidate Andrew Jones is at Harrogate International Centre. We are awaiting the arrival of Lib Dem candidate Helen Flynn to complete the set of candidates.

1.35am: Press Association on Twitter (@pressassoc): “Conservatives are confident of increasing their majority in Harrogate and Knaresborough, according to party sources. #pointers #GE2015”

1.32am: Simon Cotton on Twitter: (@SimonCotton69): “Just left the #Harrogate election count. Took my 14 son to see how it all works #nextgenerationofvoters. V confident looking”
1.31am: Dan Windham at the Skipton and Ripon count: “All boxes in at #Ripon and #Skipton, no turnout news but Acting Returning Officer says expected declaration around 2-30 to 3 #ElectionYorks”

1.30am: James Metcalf’s interviews with the Selby and Ainsty candidates have been updated with video here

1.18am: Conservative candidate Andrew Jones and Liberal Democrat candidate Helen Flynn are not yet at the count at Harrogate International Centre.

1.15am: Taking a break from the sportsdesk, Ed White, who has a degree in politics (from Loughborough University, no less...) offers his view on the evening so far: “If the exit polls are correct, it will represent a hammerblow to Ed Miliband’s leadership of the Labour party.
“Whilst the Conservatives are not expected to cement a majority, the number of seats would show David Cameron has branched out to the centre ground far better than his main rival.

“Surely, if the polls are to be believed, such a defeat would bring Ed’s position as leader of the opposition into question.”

1.07am: Laura Hill at Harrogate International Centre: UKIP candidate for Harrogate and Knaresborough David Simister said he wanted to make sure he got his £500 deposit back.

“Everybody who stands does want their deposit back. I am not nervous we have not had anything to lose and it is looking at the moment that we have done a lot more than five years ago. It is encouraging to see how many people are voting for us.

“The count is looking very close, I didn’t know what to expect, it has been hard to predict on a national level.”

Mr Simister is also standing for UKIP in the Bilton ward for the District Council which will be announced tomorrow.

He said: “I hope we will see two or more seats in the district council, we need to get some some fresh blood in that council.”

1.03am: Laura Hill at Harrogate International Centre: Harrogate Council leader Richard Cooper (Con, High Harrogate) who has worked on Conservative Andrew Jones campaign said:

“Think it is looking very positive. It has been a very tiring campaign though. One thing I have noticed is that Andrew is very well known in the area.

“Like Phil Willis before him he has become better known as a constituency champion more than a politician.”

He added: “It would be a lie to say that the national picture and local picture are totally separate from one another but Harrogate and Knaresborough has over the years really think about the vote on a local level.”

1am: Latest from our sister paper The Yorkshire Post: RECOUNT in George Galloway’s Bradford West seat

12.50am: James Metcalf has been talking to the Labour, UKIP and Green candidates at the Selby and Ainsty count. Read his interviews here

12.45am: Ed White and I keeping busy at Harrogate Advertiser Series HQ until results start coming between 2am and 3am. I’ll be honest, it’s not a full-on debate about politics a-la Dimbleby, but we’re doing our best. Anyone following our coverage anywhere exotic? I know for a fact the ‘Series has fans in places as varied as Singapore, Australia, er, Meanwood. Get in touch!

12.42pm: Latest from our sister paper, The Scotsman: Lib Dems Danny Alexander facing defeat

12.30am: Tensions rising at the Harrogate count - Laura Hill has sent this report

12.05am: Dan Windham has intervewed the candidates at the Skipton and Ripon count. Watch the video here - note Conservative candidate Julian Smith is not at the count, but when he arrives, Dan will be on the case and his interview will be added as soon as possible.

Midnight: Ed White has arrived at the Harrogate Advertiser Series HQ, and is making his way through a bucket of coffee.. Tweet @EdWhite2507

11.40pm: From Dan Windham at Skipton. “The count really hotting up in #Skipton...literally, temperature reaching triple digits in there” - Someone get Dan a cool, er, coffee!

11.35pm: From Laura Hill, in Harrogate. Shan Oakes, Green Party candidate said: “Today I have been appalled by the number of people doing tactical voting, it is so disheartening. No-one is voting for what they want, I have spoken to so many people saying I want to vote Green but I want the Tories out so I have to vote for someone else.

“We have to stop this system, we need proportional representation so that everyone knows their vote is being heard. If everyone who wanted to vote Green had I think we would have come second, easily.”

11.30pm: From Laura Hill, in Harrogate. Pat Marsh, Lib Dem campaigner said: “I wouldn’t want to be in Helen’s shoes that is for sure. Campaigning has gone very well and she has been well received on the door steps, but she started on the back foot because he [Andrew Jones} is already in so she has to knock him off his perch so to speak, which is always difficult.”

11.25pm: From Laura Hill, in Harrogate. Peter Flynn, agent for Lib Dem candidate, said the campaign had been a good one. He said: “In 2010 the Lib Dems were polling at 24 per cent, this time its looking like eight to nine per cent nationally. That’s a 15 per cent swing against us in the national picture, which means that if that happened here is would be very significant.

“We think we ran a really good campaign, we don’t think we’ll suffer as badly as the national picture here but it would be remarkable to over turn the head wind nationally to get a result here.”

He added: “We’re pleased with the campaign, we had a good candidate.”

11.20pm: Just a reminder that the Harrogate Borough Council and Parish Council elections count will begin at 2pm on Friday, May 8. Full coverage and results will be brought to you by your Harrogate Advertiser Series team. The same team that is out and about at the counts this evening.

Follow @LauraHillnews for the Harrogate and Knaresborough count, @JRMetcalf92 for Selby and Ainsty and @DWindham10 for Skipton and Ripon (Nidderdale).

11.07pm: Away from the election ever so briefly, and in case you missed it earlier, read about a car fire in Knaresborough earlier today

11.05pm: Potential big story for Yorkshire coming from our sister paper, the Yorkshire Post: “Rumours that Ed Balls could be set to lose his seat of Morley and Outwood.”

11pm: Anyone get any #dogsatpollingstations pics today? Send them my way.

10.55pm: Verification still taking place in Tadcaster.

10.50pm: Counting has begun in Harrogate International Centre for the Harrogate and Knaresborough constituency.

10.45pm: James Metcalf in Tadcaster: Selby and Ainsty Returning officer and high sheriff Charles Forbes Adam said: “It has been such a long drawn out and dull campaign and the parties are just banging the same drum day after day. It is one of the most important elections certainly since I started voting and it could have massive consequences.”

10.37pm: From our sister title @TheScotsman - “#GE2015 exit poll predicts SNP will win 58 out of 59 seats in Scotland.”

10.30pm: A total of 99 people will count ballot papers for the Harrogate and Knaresborough district - good luck guys!

10.20pm: Dan Windham at Skipton Town Hall: “The count is under way! Will history repeat itself here?” - Voting closes for Skipton and Ripon constituency

10.15pm: James Metcalf at Tadcaster Riley Smith Hall: “Hearing the general election count for Selby and Ainsty will begin at 1am after the votes have been verified.” Selby and Ainsty polls close and count begins

10.10pm: Laura Hill, from Harrogate International Centre: “The votes have been cast and ballot boxes have started to arrive at the Harrogate International Centre.

“Volunteers will spend the next few hours counting the thousands of votes which were cast across the district and the constituency’s MP is expected to be announced at around 2am.

“In 2010 a 71 per cent turn out saw 53,134 people casting their votes across Harrogate and Knaresborough and even more are expected to have turned out today.

“Conservative Andrew Jones will be hoping to hold the seat which he won by the narrowest majority in the constituency’s history last time.”

FULL STORY: Harrogate and Knaresborough polls closed and count begins

10.06pm: Harrogate electorate stands at 76,408 this year, slightly up from 2010 when it was 75,269.

10.01pm: Exit polls put Conservatives on 316 and Labour on 239.

10pm: POLLS ARE NOW CLOSED.

9.50pm: Right, just ten minutes to go. If you haven’t already, get out and vote!

9.45pm: Senior Reporter Laura Hill is in situ at Harrogate International Centre ahead of the count for the Harrogate and Knaresborough constituency. Follow: @LauraHillnews

9.35pm: Reporter James Metcalf is arriving in Tadcaster for the Selby and Ainsty count. He will be looking for coffee, if anyone can help him out? Follow: @JRMetcalf92

9.30pm: If you didn;t see this earlier, it’s well worth a look. A pet lamb, who we are told will be making an appearance at the Great Yorkshire Show in July, ended up at a polling station in Yorkshire. Watch the video here

9.05pm: Slight break from the election here (only briefly, fear not) - some sport news from our man Ed White, who is reporting thatPaul Marshall has been ‘relieved’ of his duties as Tadcaster Albion manager and Harrogate Town stalwart Adam Nowakowski is moving on Follow Ed: @EdWhite2507

9pm: ONE HOUR UNTIL POLLS CLOSE - Have you voted?

8:45pm: Reporter Dan Windham is readying himself to leave Harrogate, heading for the Skipton and Ripon count, which is being held at Skipton Town Hall. This constituency includes Pateley Bridge and Nidderdale.

Follow him @DWindham10 for updates.

8pm: Are you having an election night party? Tweet your pics to @HarrogateHound or @AlexWJohnston - I will rewteet what I can!

7pm: Stunning sunshine is providing the ideal backdrop for voters in Harrogate. Send us your pics on the way to or from the polling station, but remember - NO SELFIES IN THE POLLING BOOTHS!

We will Retweet and share as many pictures as we can. The more dogs, the better!

6.45pm: In just over three hours time, the polling stations will be closed. Make sure you get to a booth in time.

6.30pm: A quick shout out to our sister newspaper, The Scotsman. All eyes will be on Scotland tonight, so although I’d love you to stay with me throughout, if you want to see what’s happening north of the border, take a look at the blog being operated by the Edinburgh team here

6pm: Our reporters are getting set for the counts in Harrogate, Skipton and Tadcaster. Follow them on Twitter:

For the Harrogate and Knaresborough count: @LauraHillnews

For Skipton and Ripon, including Nidderdale: @DWindham10

And Selby and Ainsty, including Tadcaster: @JRMetcalf92

5pm: Expecting many people to vote on their way home. Still undecided? Check out candidate profiles here

4.40pm: Can ewe believe it? A pet lamb preparing for this year’s Great Yorkshire Show ended up at a polling station this morning. Click here to watch the video

4.15pm: Have you voted yet? Why not pick up a copy of this week’s Harrogate Advertiser on the way. This week, claim one day’s unlimited rail travel on the Northern Rail network for £12.50, and take a look at all the best pictures from our Business Awards ceremony last week.

4pm: We are looking for your pictures of #dogsatpollingstations - Tweet @HarrogateHound @RiponRover and @Wetherby_News

3.30pm: Follow our coverage online - Find us on Facebook

3pm: The polls are open and voters are choosing their MP and a government.

Polls opened at 7am and will close at 10pm.

Still undecided? Click on the links below to view our election candidate profiles for each constituency.

Live blog

Election gags: Anybody know any election jokes? We’d love to hear them. Email: news@harrogateadvertiser.co.uk

Pets allowed: Your polling day questions answered

Harrogate and Knaresborough candidates

Skipton and Ripon candidates

Selby and Ainsty candidates

Elmet and Rothwell candidates

Voters head to the polls in Thirsk

The view across Yorkshire

Warning: No ‘selfies’ in polling booths!