Bleary eyed politicians across much of the UK are already toasting their successes and drowning their sorrows before heading off for a well-earned sleep.

But the picture's a bit different here in Hounslow, where bushy tailed election hopefuls are only now pouring into the Civic Centre to learn their fate.

Hounslow Council's more civilised approach to results day means that although polls closed at 10pm last night and 'verification' has already taken place, the count itself will not begin until 10am.

The first results are expected at around midday, with the final declarations forecast to be made by 4pm, subject to any recounts of course.

With candidates saved from having to pull an all-nighter, let's hope for some cogent and insightful reaction as results start to roll in.

Elsewhere, it's been a good morning so far for Labour, with gains in Hammersmith & Fulham and Merton.

It will be interesting to see how much of a factor the downgrading of Charing Cross Hospital played in the Tories' shock defeat in Hammersmith & Fulham, which is one of the party's flagship councils.

The hospital is a stroll away from Chiswick's borders and candidates there have been keen to make political capital out of it losing its A&E department.

Will the coalition government's decision prove costly for councillors in what is traditionally a Tory stronghold?

Or will the extra government investment promised for West Middlesex Hospital, a few miles to the west, be enough to satisfy voters?

A bit further west, Feltham and Hanworth is key to the hopes of UKIP, who have had a disappointing morning so far in the capital.

Can the four UKIP councillors who defected from the Conservatives last summer hold onto their seats and lay the foundations for any gains?

Over in Isleworth, it's anyone's to win, with the Independent Community Group looking to regain a voice in the council and UKIP also having three candidates.

It's getting busier here, as people get ready to start counting. We're still waiting for the turnout, but should have that for you soon.

We'll keep you updated here as it happens throughout the day.

09.57am The turnout figures are in.

Bedfont = 37.5%

Brentford = 34.58%

Chiswick Homefields = 39.10%

Chiswick Riverside = 40.05%

Cranford = 36.42%

Feltham North = 37.26%

Feltham West = 32.36%

Hanworth = 33.94%

Hanworth Park = 38.02%

Heston= 37.66%

Heston East = 33.63%

Heston West = 40.5%

Hounslow Central = 33.23%

Hounslow Heath = 33.8%

Hounslow South = 44.35%

Hounslow West = 37.61%

Isleworth 39.75%

Osterley & Spring Grove 36.64%

Syon 37.52%

Turnham Green 35.26%

10.43am Labour councillor Ruth Cadbury, who is also the parliamentary candidate for Brentford & Isleworth, says she thinks the relatively high turnout is good news for the party. She says the group is 'quietly confident'.

"I think there's a real understanding of what this Tory-led government has done to ordinary people's lives. A lot of people blame the Tories," she says.

She also claims some people told her they had come out to vote because they 'don't want that nutty UKIP lot to get in'.

10.48am Dave Cox, who is representing the Independent Community Group in Brentford, says a big issue for voters, especially the older generations, was the shortage of quality accommodation and the time taken for repairs to council housing.

"I'm not as hopeful as I'd like to have been because I was a bit of a lone wolf running around out there but a lot of people have said they would vote for me," he adds.

The local election count at Hounslow Civic Centre on Friday, May 23
 

10.57am Hounslow UKIP group leader Colin Botterill says retaining the group's four councillors in Hounslow, who all defected from the Conservatives, would be a good result. Anything more would be a bonus.

"We're happy. We've got some really good results coming through elsewhere. I can't call my own ward but people are telling me I've kept my own seat," he said.

"We weren't a local party last year. If we get one more councillor in that's a step in the right direction."

11.18am Mary Macleod, Conservative MP for Brentford & Isleworth, says she wishes more young people could witness the excitement of the count to see how their vote does make a difference, especially with so many marginal wards likely to be decided by a handful of votes.

For those young people who feel they're missing out, here's a video of the action.

Video Loading
 

Asked about the picture elsewhere, she says that although Labour has made gains they are well short of the 200 extra seats she says Labour leader Ed Miliband had predicted. According to the BBC, they've gained 123 seats so far and the Conservatives have lost 110.

11.50am Just caught up one of the candidates for the Independent Community Group, which held six seats before losing them all in 2010.

He said the demographic had changed since 2006 and he didn't think the group would 'get back to where we were'.

He also thought the higher than expected turnout would play into the hands of the main parties.

"The turnout in Isleworth and Syon was about 40 per cent, whereas we were expecting it to be nearer 30. It looks like the main parties have done their job and got their voters out," he said.

12pm Karmat Malik, standing for the Conservatives in Heston Central, said he thought the so-called bedroom tax had cost the party votes locally.

"People didn't like the bedroom tax and they didn't always understand when we tried to explain that was a national issue," he said.

"Some voters also thought the Conservatives would get together with UKIP, who they felt were too anti-immigration."

12.59pm Labour's deputy council leader Colin Ellar says he expects the party to have an increased majority when the final results are announced this afternoon.

There shouldn't be long to wait until the first results are declared.

1.35pm I'm being told Feltham North, Hanworth Park and Osterley are likely to be the first wards where results will be declared. Hopefully shortly.

Candidates from both sides are saying it looks like Labour has gained the first two from the Conservatives.

Chiswick Riverside Conservative candidate Paul Lynch, whose seat should be safe, says the party is 'very bitter' towards the UKIP defectors, who he believes have cost it crucial votes in the west of the borough.

Labour councillor Ed Mayne, however, puts the success down to the party's hard work in Hanworth and Feltham.

1.40pm Paul Lynch says one memorable moment of his campaign was being mistaken by a schoolgirl for the actor Richard Attenborough.

"She said don't I know you and I thought the political message must be getting across well, but then she said 'you were in Jurassic Park weren't you?" he said.

"I wouldn't have minded being Richard Attenborough's body double in The Railway Children and getting up close to Jenny Agutter."

Here's a picture of Paul Lynch. The spitting image of Richard Attenborough?

Conservative councillor Paul Lynch

2.13pm Still no results in but Conservative group leader Peter Thompson has predicted they could be down to as few as nine councillors by the end of the day. That's down from 25 in 2010, though they'd already lost five to defections.

He blames the national mood, rather than local politics, and says the party couldn't have done anything more locally to mobilise its voters.

2.14pm An angry Rebecca Stewart, one of four Conservative councillors to defect to UKIP last summer, blames ex colleague councillor Paul Jabbal for 'wiping out the Conservatives in Feltham and Heston'.

"We split the vote and that needn't have happened if the Conservative management of Feltham and Heston hadn't been so appalling," she said.

"The management and bullying was so bad and because of that they've wiped out the Conservatives in Feltham and Heston. For that, I blame Paul Jabbal, and Peter Thompson for not doing anything about it."

2.22pm Council chief executive and returning officer Mary Harpley says she needs to speak to the election agents about the first 'indicative result', for Heston Central.

2.40pm The first announcement is ready. Candidates are called to the stage. Three Labour councillors turn up and that's it. Who's it going to be? Three seats to Labour. Surprise, surprise.

Harleen Atwal Hear gets 2,095 votes, followed by Manjit Buttar, with 2,041, and Surinder Purewal, with 1,951. The next best was Amarjit Dhillon, with 1,018 votes for the Conservatives. The sole UKIP candidate, Clive Barnes, got 420 votes.

2.47pm The next to be called are Hanworth Park, Feltham North and Hounslow South. These should give a better idea of how good a day it's going to be for Labour, and how painful for the Conservatives. Will have those results soon.

2.50pm I'd like to apologise for suggesting Richard Attenborough was dead by the way, on behalf of both myself and Paul Lynch. He's very much alive.

2.52pm Here's a picture of your first batch of shiny new councillors. All Labour, as mentioned above.

Labour councillors for Heston Central. Harleen Atwal with Manjit Buttar and Surinder Purewal.

3pm Big news here, as Hanworth Park goes 100 per cent red, according to the Labour camp at least. Should have the official announcement in a minute...

3.16pm

RESULT: Hanworth Park - a Labour gain and the first significant result of the day

Bishnu 'Gurkha' Gurung (Lab) 1,170

Tina Howe (Lab) 1,264

Hanif Khan (Lab) 1,124

3.18pm

RESULT: Feltham North - another Labour gain

John Chatt (Lab) 1,332

Khulique Malik (Lab) 1,163

Hina Mir (Lab) 1,283

3.19pm

RESULT: Hounslow South - three more for Labour

Tom Bruce (Lab) 1,980

Shaida Mehrban (Lab) 1,747

Bob Whatley (Lab) 1,830

3.22pm Bishnu 'Gurkha' Gurung, who sadly had to go to work before the result was announced, is understood to be the borough's first Gurkha councillor. His Labour colleague Hanif Khan claims to be Hounslow's first Ahmadiya Muslim councillor.

3.24pm Very close between UKIP and the Conservatives in Hanworth Park. If you combine their votes, they would easily have won, though Labour claim they did leak some votes to UKIP. Hanif Khan claims the split vote was what gave them the chance of a historic victory in the ward.

3.28pm If you needed any illustration of how crushing a defeat this is shaping into for the Conservatives, the fact so many are choosing not even to take to the stage for the declarations should give you an idea.

3.30pm Next to be declared: Hounslow Central, Bedfont, Turnham Green, Osterley and Spring Grove, and Hounslow Heath. Unless it's been an unmitigated catastrophe for the Conservatives, they should get their first numbers on the board in Turnham Green.

4pm Sorry about the delay. We've got the first bit of blue on the map, in Turnham Green, but the Conservative group's deputy leader Liz Mammatt has lost her seat in Bedfont, which is another clean sweep for Labour.

4.01pm Meanwhile, the Osterley & Spring Grove votes are being recounted after the 'indicative result' was not accepted by one of the agents. Not sure yet which party's kicking up a fuss. Should have the result soon anyway

RESULT Hounslow Central: Three seats to Labour

RESULT Hounslow Heath: Three seats to Labour, including deputy leader Colin Ellar, who rumour has it could replace Jagdish Sharma as council leader

RESULT Bedfont: Three seats to Labour and a big blow to the Tories as deputy group leader Liz Mammatt loses her seat

RESULT Turnham Green: Three seats to Conservatives, including opposition leader Peter Thompson. First bit of blue on the borough map tonight. Still no UKIP purple.

4.06pm So with eight wards having been declared, Labour have 21 seats and the Conservatives have three. We could be just four wards away from seeing Labour regain control.

4.15pm Councillor Paul Jabbal, chairman of the Feltham & Heston Conservative Association, has defended himself against criticism from UKIP defector Rebecca Stewart, who blamed him for splitting the vote.

He says Ms Stewart and the other UKIP defectors jumped ship before they were suspended for failing to toe the party line.

4.18pm Feltham and Heston MP Seema Malhotra puts Labour's success in Hounslow down to 'incredibly hard work'. She said it was the best team of candidates Labour have ever had in the borough.

She admitted UKIP had helped split the vote and said it was important for all parties to learn from their success, even if they do fail to win a seat in Hounslow.

"It's an important message about UKIP. We have to deal with people's concerns regardless of who they voted for," she says.

"I think voters have been impressed by our promises to build homes, create apprenticeships and put education at the heart of what we do. It's been a really responsive local election campaign."

4.21pm Back on the subject of the Tories' parliamentary candidate for Feltham and Heston, Paul Jabbal says someone should be chosen in the next two months. He is unable to name any of the runners and riders.

With Mark Bowen having stepped down, does anyone want to take Ms Malhotra on in what is likely to be one of Labour's safest constituencies?

4.44pm Another three wards are declared and it's another nine councillors for Labour. Technically it's only eight as Gurpal Virdi has been suspended by the party pending the outcome of a court case.

RESULT Hanworth

Camelia Atterton (Lab) 1,404

Richard Foote (Lab) 1, 349

Samia Chaudhary (Lab) 1,285

RESULT Cranford

Sohan Sangha (Lab) 2,085

Daanish Saeed (Lab) 1,813

Gurpal Virdi (Lab) 1,643

RESULT Feltham West

David Hughes (Lab) 1,695

Elizabeth Hughes (Lab) 1,691

Alan Mitchell (Lab) 1,556

So, that's 30 seats for Labour, three for the Conservatives and none for anyone else.

4.50pm Colin Botterill, who was 400 votes behind the lowest polling Labour candidate in Feltham West, didn't even take to the stage for the announcement. He did have the small consolation of easily beating his Conservative rivals in the ward.

4.52pm It's Hounslow West, Brentford and Syon up next, plus Osterley and Spring Grove, where a recount's been completed, so it shouldn't be long before Labour retains control here in Hounslow.

5.12pm It's a champagne moment for Labour as they take Hounslow West ward, where councillors include council leader Jagdish Sharma. They retain control of the council.

5.13pm It's another clean sweep of red in Brentford.

5.30pm Some good news at last for the Conservatives, who take two of the three seats in the closely fought ward of Osterley and Spring Grove.

After a recount, Sheila O'Reilly and Peter de Vic Carey are both elected for the Conservatives, while Labour's Tony Louki takes the third seat, with 1,632 votes.

Peter de Vic Carey's 1,588 votes put him just 52 clear of the next highest polling Labour candidate Unsa Chaudri. Former police officer Ajoy Gosain was the Conservative to miss out, with 1,345 votes.

With just five wards to be declared then, Labour have 40 seats and the Conservatives have the other five. The Tories will be confident of another six seats in the remaining two Chiswick wards.

RESULT Syon

Steve Curran (Lab) 1,686

Katherine Dunne (Lab) 1,673

Theo Dennison (Lab) 1,615

RESULT Brentford

Ruth Cadbury (Lab) 2,326

Mel Collins (Lab) 2,066

Myra Savin (Lab) 1,875

RESULT Hounslow West

Jagdish Sharma (Lab) 2,262

Puneet Grewal (Lab) 2,160

Bandna Chopra (Lab) 2,081

RESULT Isleworth - three more seats for Labour. The ICG finish a distant second, after one of the hardest fought campaigns anywhere in the borough.

Two more results announced, leaving just Heston West and Chiswick Riverside to be declared now.

RESULT Chiswick Homefields - three seats to the Conservatives: John Todd, Gerald McGregor and Robert Oulds

RESULT Heston East - three seats to Labour: Kamaljit Kaur, Gurmail Lal and Amrit Mann

6pm Interesting that although the Conservatives held Chiswick Homefields fairly easily, Labour's Mendora Ogbogbo was only 229 votes behind Conservative Robert Oulds. That's close for Chiswick Homefields and she was heartily congratulated by her party colleagues. Could be one to watch.

6.02pm With just two results to go, most people have drifted away now to celebrate or commiserate.

FINAL TWO RESULTS

RESULT Heston West - Labour

Rajinder Bath (Lab) 2,491

Lily Bath (Lab) 2,419

Shantanu Rajawat (Lab) 2,323

RESULT Chiswick Riverside - Consesrvative

Sam Hearn (Con) 1,615

Felicity Barwood (Con) 1,572

Paul Lynch (Con) 1,560

FINAL RESULT

With all the results in, Labour have 49 seats, a gain of 14 on 2010, and the Conservatives have taken the remaining 11, a loss of 14 from 2010, but nine taking into account the defections since then.

There's not a single seat for UKIP, who, with the exception of a few wards, weren't really at the races. But they did leave their mark when it came to the damage they've done to the Conservatives.

6.32pm So, a day of celebrations for Labour. The Conservatives will have to regroup ahead of the general elections next year.

The next question is who will be the leader of the council this time next week. Jagdish Sharma has done a good job if the results are anything to go by but the mood is he's likely to be replaced as the main man. His deputy Colin Ellar is the most likely candidate to take over but there could be others in the frame.

Thanks to those who stuck with me through the day. Here's the final round-up of results day.