…either Conservative Parvez Akhtar who received 9,105 votes or Liberal Democrat Dave Hodgson with 9,428 votes. Second preference votes are now being counted because neither of the top two candidates received more than 50% of the votes.
Two independent candidates beat Labour into a poor fifth place.
The Conservative Party is hoping that Parvez Akhtar will become the party's most senior elected Muslim. He was chosen at a controversial open primary meeting.
3.15pm: PragueTory writes: "Since the constituency was created in 1997 Bedford has had a Labour MP. Back in 1997, Labour gained over 50% of votes cast. You’d
have thought that Labour would be strong contenders in the Bedford
mayoral elections. You’d be wrong. John Prescott and Ali Campbell may
be campaigning to Go fourth, but in key battleground seats such as Bedford, Labour are coming fifth. In yesterday’s mayoral elections,
the Labour candidate captured just 3,482 (less than 10%) of the 34,875
votes cast. Backing for Labour has fallen from 1 in 2 to 1 in 10."
3.35pm: The Liberal Democrat has been elected to according good sources on Twitter…
4pm: Confirmation. "The number of votes in the second round were: Parvez Akhtar 11,543; Dave Hodgson 13,555."