Drama as Town Hall plunged into darkness
The election count at Rochdale Town Hall started off in a near-farce when, a few short minutes before the count was due to start, most of the building was plunged into darkness and candidates, supporters and visitors were evacuated to the ground floor as attempts were made to restore power.
Outside the front of the Town Hall, candidates and party workers shivered in the chilly night air.
The count was delayed for almost one and a half hours and at one point, an announcement was made that unless United Utilities could restore power and guarantee power would remain on, the count may have to be postponed until the following day.
Eventually power was restored but not before candidates had over an hour on the chilly flagstones in a sort of 'pre-count bonding'. Several referred to the forthcoming 'Chill-Out' campaign and said that it would be good practice for the sleep-out in protest at cuts to the provision of emergency beds for the homeless!