In Sunderland we’re good at elections. We’ve won the race to be the first to declare for the last three elections in a row.
Traditionally all the talk on the night has been about what time Sunderland will declare rather than what the result will be. This time, however, the city is home to a new, much more unpredictable, parliamentary seat and many of us up here are working to ensure that the first result of the night is the result of the night. Sunderland can do for the Tories in 2010 what Basildon did in 1992.
Counting the votes as quickly and as efficiently as Sunderland is a challenge. Counting on the night is not.
Elections are all about drama. When polls close we want the eyes of the Nation to be on Sunderland as our teams of runners from local schools ferry the boxes into the Puma Centre.
That's why I've tabled the following motion for the next meeting of Sunderland City Council on 29th September:
Save General Election Night
This Council confirms that the votes cast in all three Sunderland parliamentary constituencies will be counted on the night of the General Election and that we will endeavour, once again, to win the race to be the first to declare.
All that could stop us being first is a recount. 10.40pm on election night – ‘Sunderland Central to re-count!’ Wouldn’t that be a reason to stay up?