Local Election 2012 - Live Commentary
02.50: Labour gain total of ten seats so the new make-up of the council is as follows:
Labour – 42
Liberal Democrat - 5
Conservative - 13
02.30: Labour gain six of fifteen seats announced so far. Balderstone & Kirkholt, Castleton, Kingsway, Littleborough Lakeside, Milnrow & Newhey and South Middleton.
Labour hold East Middleton, Hopwood Hall, North Heywood, North Middleton, West Heywood and West Middleton.
Conservatives hold Bamford, Norden and Wardle & West Littleorough.
01.50: Milkstone & Deeplish looks good for another Labour gain, and in Spotland & Falinge, Labour candidate Shefali Begum is sure she has won. She said, "really happy, it was a hard and difficult campaign."
01.45: Deputy leader of the Labour group, Peter Williams told us he is "very happy to have won all four seats in Middleton and three in Heywood".
Peter Joinson is another Labour gain in South Middleton from the Conservatives.
01.40: Labour gain looks probable for John Hartley in Littleborough Lakeside and for hold his seat for Malcolm Boriss in East Middleton.
01.35: Jim and Jane Gartside are certain to hold their respective seats in Norden and Bamford wards for the Conservative party.
01.30: Labour looking good in Healey, Smallbridge & Firgrove, Spotland & Falinge and Kingsway wards. All of these wards would be gains, except for Spotland.
01.25: The first result of the night to be announced is Balderstone & Kirkholt ward and a gain for Labour with a majority of 944 for Richard Farnell. He said, "I am delighted, stunned and looking forward to working hard. There's a lot of work to do and I'll start straight away".
01.10 Independent Carl Faulkner is looking very happy with his share of the vote in Spotland & Falinge. However, the last box of votes to be opened in his ward look to be favourable to the main parties. He said, "I'm not really keeping track of the votes, it's pointless to try and pre-empt the result until all the votes are counted".
01.10: We now think Allen Brett in Milkstone & Deeplish will be another gain for the Labour party in Rochdale.
Bamford has definitely been held by the Conservatives but it's neck and neck for second place between Labour and the Liberal Democrats.
01.00: Conservative group leader, Ashley Dearnley looks to have held his seat in Wardle & West Littleborough.
Independent candidate Carl Faulkner is doing very well in Spotland & Falinge ward. If he won that ward he would be the first Independent Councillor on Rochdale Council since the 1970s.
00.55: Milkstone & Deeplish may well be another Labour gain and Balderstone & Kirkholt looks likely to be the same.
00.50: It's looking good for Shakil Ahmed in Kingsway. That would be another Labour gain.
00.40: The count in Milnrow & Newhey ward still looks very close between former Council leader Allen Brett and standing Councillor Irene Davidson of the Liberal Democrats.
00.35: East, West and North Middleton wards are almost definitely going to be held by Labour. In North Middleton that means standing councillor Maureen Rowbotham will lose her seat as she is standing as an independent.
00.30: Deputy Mayoress Jane Gartside may well have retained her seat in Norden ward.
00.25: Labour gains in Kingsway and Milkstone & Deeplish wards look likely at this stage.
00.20: A surge for Brett (Labour) in Milnrow & Newhey means that ward is too close to call now.
The Liberal Democrats could struggle to make second place in their former Castleton stronghold.
00.15: Labour have a clear advantage in Balderstone.
Labour look to be edging it in Milkstone & Deeplish and Labour candidate Shefali Begum is doing well in Spotland & Falinge ward.
00.10: The Liberal Democrats are doing poorly in Healey, they may not hold that ward.
Conservatives are looking good in Bamford ward and Labour candidate Billy Sheerin is romping home in Castleton ward.
00.05: South Middleton ward looks like a Labour gain from Conservative and West Middleton is looking like a Labour walk-over.
00.00: Milkstone & Deeplish is looking close.
It looks like Labour have the advantage in all three Heywood seats.
23.55: Smallbridge & Firgrove looking good for Labour candidate Amna Mir.
Liberal Democrat candidate William Hobhouse thinks the Bamford ward "will be close".
Ashley Dearnley is confident he has retained his seat in Wardle & West Littleborough ward.
Terry Linden, Labour candidate in Milkstone & Deeplish said, "I am quietly confident. I have put in a lot of work and, although I am new to the ward I have enjoyed canvassing. There is a lot of work to be done".
Irene Davidson thinks she has beaten Allen Brett in Milnrow ward.
Labour are looking strong in Kingsway ward.
23.45: Dale Mulgrew says the turnout is "pathetically low, which is disheartening".
23.45: A promising early start for Labour in Castleton.
23.40: The count begins.
23.33 Ballot boxes have started to arrive with the counters, but none open yet.
23.25: Returning Officer Linda Fisher has announced the Council is now happy the power is secure and the count will now go ahead. Slight delay to get everyone back upstairs.
23.20: Executive Director Andy Zuntz has announced the Council is waiting for a call from United Utilities giving an assurance the power problem is fully resolved before counting can begin. Candidates and supporters are being held downstairs.
22.30: The lights are back on but most of the candidates and agents are still outside and yet to be signed in. There is no sign of the ballot boxes yet, so we assume they are also outside.
22.20: The count has not yet begun. Staff at the town hall have delayed the start until power is restored. We believe the power cut has affected the surrounding area, not just the town hall. We have been moved to the entrance of the town hall for safety. Emergency lighting is on throughout the building.
22.00: Candidates and their agents are beginning to arrive at the count. It is rumoured to be a very low turnout. An electrician is already working on the lights that are still out in one of the rooms.
Fifteen minutes to go and an air of expectancy beings to fill the Great Hall.
21.43: The lights have gone out in the the room being used to count the Littleborough Lakeside, Milnrow & Newhey and Wardle & West Littleborough wards.
The Great Hall and Committee rooms at Rochdale Town Hall are set up, with counters and staff ready and waiting for the polls to close.
Before today's election, Rochdale Borough Council was under Labour control. The make-up of the council was as follows:
Labour – 32
Liberal Democrat - 18
Conservative - 10
A total of 20 seats on the council are available at this election.
The seats up for election:
Labour - 7
Liberal Democrat - 5
Conservative - 8
Local Election results 2011