Page last updated at 13:39 GMT, Thursday, 1 May 2008 14:39 UK

Inquiry into spoilt ballot papers

Ken Livingstone, Boris Johnson and Brian Paddick on their way to vote on Thursday

An inquiry has been launched after polling station staff spoilt ballot papers by writing on them.

London Elects, which has organised the elections in the city, said it was investigating the "isolated incident" in Lambeth, south London.

It said polling clerks had written what is thought to be the voting card numbers on 10 people's ballot papers.

A spokesman for London Elects said any mark other than the voter's cross on the ballot paper made it invalid.

A spokesman for the organisation said: "We have confirmed that at one polling station in Lambeth, polling station staff wrote what is thought be the polling card numbers on the ballot paper.

Computer problems

"We took instant action and will find out why the staff made this mistake and we shall take it from there.

"As far as we are aware this is an isolated incident."

However, BBC London has learnt of one other such incident at a polling station in Croydon, south London, which London Elects said it had been unable to confirm.

In Barnet, voting problems occurred when five polling stations had not received their ballot papers by the time the polls opened at 0700 BST because of overnight computer problems.

Mayoral candidates

Barnet Council said its electoral registration team worked throughout the night to ensure all polling stations opened on time.

"Unfortunately, a handful of polling stations did not receive their ballot papers until some minutes after 0700 BST and we sincerely apologise to those voters affected," a statement from Barnet Council said.

It said all polling stations were operating by 0725 BST.

About 5.5 million registered voters are going to the polls to vote for the city's mayor and to choose the 25 members of the London Assembly.

There are 10 mayoral candidates including Conservative Boris Johnson, Ken Livingstone for Labour and the Liberal Democrat Brian Paddick.

The result, which is decided by a system under which electors name their first and second choices, is not expected until Friday evening.

The other mayoral candidates are: Richard Barnbrook of the BNP; Alan Craig of Christian Choice: Matt O'Connor for the English Democrats; Sian Berry of the Green Party; the Left List's Lindsey German; Gerard Batten of the UK Independence Party; and independent Winston McKenzie.

Voters also go to the polls in the wards of Camden, Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham and Tower Hamlets.





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THE ELECTION RESULTS
COUNCIL RESULTS
  Councillors Councils
Party +/- Total +/- Total
CON 257 3155 12 65
LAB -334 2365 -9 18
LD 33 1804 1 12
PC 31 205 -1 0
OTH 10 898 0 0
NOC - - -3 64
159 of 159 councils declared.

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London Mayoral results
Overall results
Name Party Votes
Johnson CON 1,168,738
Livingstone LAB 1,028,966
Paddick LD 878,097
Berry GRN 409,101

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London Assembly Results
Overall results
Party Constit' Top-up Total seats
CON 8 3 11
LAB 6 2 8
LD 0 3 3
GRN 0 2 2
BNP 0 1 1

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