Hours to go until election results
Sanchez Manning IN less than 12 hours local Labour incumbent Karen Buck will find out if she has been unseated after 13 years of power. If she does lose the impossibly close contest which has raged in the marginal constituency of Westminster North, her l
IN less than 12 hours local Labour incumbent Karen Buck will find out if she has been unseated after 13 years of power.
If she does lose the impossibly close contest which has raged in the marginal constituency of Westminster North, her likely successor will be her Conservative rival Joanne Cash.
The battle to win the highly desirable seat, which is 61 on the Tories' hitlist, has essentially been a two-horse race between the two women.
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Before the election build-up even started Ms Buck, who has a notional majority of 2,120, suffered a considerable blow to her chances when an electoral boundary change brought in more Tory wards.
However, Ms Cash, whose husband Octavius Black attended Eton with David Cameron, had her own set back when she resigned following a fall-out with her Conservative association chairwoman.
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But after a 24-hour cooling off period she changed her mind and came back before hitting the campaign trail with gusto.
Equally determined to claim victory, the both Ms Buck and Ms Cash have been canvassing until the last possible minute to increase their share of supporters.
Speaking about her state of mind as the finishing line approaches, Ms Buck said: "I feel extraordinarily good.
"We're just running this brilliant campaign. We've had hundreds of people getting out there and delivering leaflets for us.
"This has been one of the liveliest campaigns in the country and I just feel fantastic.
"But I'll be relieved when it's over because it's not just been four weeks of campaigning - it's been four years, and it's been a bit more bruising this time."
And with the oddsmakers giving her a 65 per cent chance of winning, Ms Cash was in an equally buoyant mood.
"Whatever the result of the parliamentary election, I want to have made a real difference to our local community," she said.
"The three and a half years that have passed since I was selected to fight Westminster North have been the most amazing of my life.
"The last fortnight has been incredible. We had an avalanche of new volunteers kindly giving up their own time to help ensure our positive message reaches as many people as possible. I can honestly say we have given this campaign our all and we could not have worked harder."
Despite the Tory-Labour monopoly of Westminster North, the Liberal Democrats have also been campaigning hard in the area.
And the party's candidate Mark Blackburn has wisely capitalised on the popularity surge provided by his leader Nick Clegg.
On his final leg he was insistent that nothing was a forgone conclusion.
"I think it's all to play for," he said.
"This election is more uncertain than any election that I remember and if everyone has the courage to go with their convictions then it could be a very interesting result.