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When will winner be announced?

London will be braced for many hours after polls have closed for the result of the mayoral election to be announced.

Londoners’ votes for the Mayor of London, London Assembly Constituency member and London Assembly London-wide member contests will be verified and counted over the two days after polling day on Thursday 2 May.

But it will most likely be early afternoon on Saturday at the earliest when it will become clear whether Sadiq Khan has won a third term in City Hall or if Tory candidate Susan Hall has pulled off a surprise victory.

Verification of ballot papers from all three contests will take place on Friday 3 May.

The counting of votes will start at 9am on Saturday.

Votes at previous London mayoral and assembly member elections have been counted electronically at three count centres.

This year, they will be counted by hand at 14 Assembly Constituency count venues across London.

The change has been made as there was the possibility that a general election could have also been held on May 2, and the voting system for the mayoralty has also been simplified to first-past-the-post.

The results are set to be announced at each of the 14 centers in this order:

* Mayoral election

* Constituency assembly winner will be declared

* London-wide election of assembly members using the proportional representation Modified D’Hondt System

The first results are expected to be announced from around midday on Saturday.

The Press Association has suggested that by 1.30pm it may be clear who will be the next mayor.

But past counts have drifted later so it could be late afternoon, or even the evening before it emerges whether Mr Khan or Ms Hall is the winner.

The tension could run into the night if the result is delayed further and the official announcement could even tip into Sunday.

It could be fueled further if, as happened in 2021, more pro-Tory results came in first which sparked talk that Shaun Bailey could beat Mr Khan.

But there is no indication that this pattern will definitely be repeated as counts could be delayed by a variety of reasons, and the timings could depend on the number of voters who turn up and the number of tellers.

The 14 counts are for Barnet & Camden, Bexley & Bromley, Brent & Harrow, City & East, Croydon & Sutton, Ealing & Hillingdon, Enfield & Haringey, Greenwich & Lewisham, Havering & Redbridge, Lambeth & Southwark, Merton & Wandsworth, North East, South West and West Central. Local elections are not taking place in London this year but they are in the capital’s commuter belt and wider South East.

Other key results in the region to watch out for include first Rochford around 1.30am on Friday, Eastleigh, Fareham, Portsmouth and Southend-on-Sea 2.30am, Thurrock 3am, Colchester and Harlow 3.30am, Southampton 4.30am, and Winchester 8.30am .

On Friday afternoon, the result in Havant is due at around 12.30pm, Watford and Welywyn Hatfield 1pm, West Oxfordshire 1.30pm, Basildon and Brentwood 2pm, Crawley 2.30pm, Hastings and Three Rivers 3pm, Milton Keynes 3.30pm, Adur, Epping Forest , St Albans, Swindon, Tunbridge Wells, Woking and Wokingham 4pm, Basingstoke & Dean, Cambridge, Oxford, Runnymede, Tandridge and Worthing 5pm, Mole Valley, North Hertfordshire, and Reigate & Banstead 6pm, and Elmbridge 6.30pm.