Tories were the only ones cheering at the West Gosforth declaration. From across the room we thought they'd won. I decided to check before commiserating with Bill. The Tories were cheering finishing second!
As a side note I hadn't realised how much the East End Labour councillors (plus some others) dislike their leader Nick Forbes. This became clear after the count when we were at different tables at the local pub and they had to go out for a while to vote him in as leader. They were a few comments made between them and us which made it clear they can't stand him.
The East End Labour vs others spilt is nothing new.
The staff in the Civic Centre certainly didn't help our nerves by not having the same amount of votes in each stack of bundles. Despite my count of East Gosforth putting us reasonably in front the stacking of votes seemed to show us behind (with some extra Labour votes in front of the stack of bundles). Luckily, at this point I noticed that our stack of bundles in the middle was quite a but higher than the corresponding Labour stack.
Even more stressful was the same situation in North Jesmond (where I've lived since I was six apart from four years in Hull as a student). Both myself and John Shipley were convinced we were behind (again some Labour votes in front of the bundles). Turnout was a lot lower than in East Gosforth so we couldn't tell anything else from the votes. We only realised we'd won when the Returning Officer said we'd got 621 votes and held on by 32 votes (we were bottom of the ballot paper). It's the only time I've shouted yes and punched the air at a count because I was sure we'd lost. When the Returning Officer said the word 6 I now know what the crowd watching Roger Bannister's sub four minute mile felt like when Norris McWhirter used the word 3!
I came my expected third in my ward. I think UKIP have to be a little disappointed not to have improved on their vote in last year's by-election. Although they went up 4% so did Labour. UKIP got decent results in safe Labour wards. Their West Gosforth candidate was most upset to have finished fourth in West Gosforth. He organised a campaign on transport, got signatures and then decided he was standing for UKIP!