LATEST: Preston election as it happens

Election Night 2015 General Election Parliamentary Election Count at Guild Hall, Preston.'The counting begins at the Guild Hall where they are expecting 45,000 ballot papers.'7th May 2015
Election Night 2015 General Election Parliamentary Election Count at Guild Hall, Preston.'The counting begins at the Guild Hall where they are expecting 45,000 ballot papers.'7th May 2015
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The turnout for this year’s General Election has been announced in Preston.

Returning officer Lorraine Norris told the count at Preston’s Guild Hall that the postal vote turnout was 81 per cent, while the turnout from polling stations was 50.9 per cent.

The overall turnout was 56.04 per cent, compared with 52 per cent in 2010.

Hours after the polling stations closed, votes are being counted for all wards across the city.

Candidates Mark Hendrick, Richard Holden, Jo Barton and Gemma Christie are all at the count and tension is building.

Labour’s Mr Hendrick said he was “cautiously optimistic” of keeping his seat, while Conservative Richard Holden said he was hoping to give Labour “a bit of a shock”.

Voters had been queuing for polling stations across the city just before 10pm, with tokens being handed out.

The high turnout means a result is not expected until about 5am.