My sources tell me that only about 30 constituencies are sticking by their guns and counting on Friday, but this number may diminish even further if the Clause in the Constitutional Renewal Bill survives the wash up. Only seven of the thirty are Tory targets, so it looks as if we will know the election result by 6am on Friday morning after all.
You may have read in yesterday's Telegraph that there are still around 150 constituencies counting on Friday. This story was wrong. I assume the journalist just checked on the Electoral Commission website. The EC has updated their website this morning, but it is still, in fact, out of date. Their figures show 42 constituencies still counting on Friday with 69 still undecided. For instance, Ashfield, which the Telegraph had quoted as being counted on Friday (as per the EC list), is, in fact counting on Thursday. All the Birmingham constituencies are now being counted on Thursday as well as Chorley and the two Derby seats. Epping, South Suffolk and Waveney are among the constituencies which have changed from Friday to Thursday night.
This is a tremendous victory for those who have campaigned for counts to be held as soon as possible after polling closes. And credit to Jack Straw and the Ministry of Justice for responding to pressure.
This is the list of constituencies the Electoral Commission say are still intending to count on Friday... (any changes to this, please let me know!)
Argyll & Bute
Berwick upon Tweed (confirmed for Friday)
Blyth Valley (confirmed for Friday)
Broadland (confirmed for Friday)
Norwich North (confirmed for Friday)
Central Suffolk & North Ipswich
Kenilworth & Southam
Lancaster & Fleetwood
Morecambe & Lunesdale
Oxford West & Abingdon
Skipton & Ripon
St Ives (Have to wait for votes from Scilly Isles to be flown in)
Torridge & W Devon
Warwick & Leamington
West Bromwich E
West Bromwich W
Westmorland & Lonsdale
UPDATE: Mid Beds, Preston, Harrogate and S Cambs are all now overnight on Thursday according to sources.
UPDATE 3.15pm: Wokingham is counting on Thursday too. Likewise Selby & Ainsty, and Tiverton & Honiton.