Labour candidate Ros Jones has been elected as the new mayor of Doncaster in a nail-biting contest that went right down to the wire.
She snatched victory from incumbent Mayor Peter Davies by just 639 votes after a tense recount.
Just 590 votes separated the pair after the first preference vote with Jones maintaining her slender lead in the second round of voting.
Her victory was met with huge cheers by Labour supporters who had gathered at the Racecourse to watch her crowned.
A clearly delighted Jones said: “I am delighted and humbled the people of Doncaster have put their trust in us to take the town forward.
“We have gone back four years and now we have to take the town fowards again. We can’t put our heads in the sand. We have to drive Doncaster forward. ”
The result was a long awaited one with counting taking nearly nine hours before Jones finally emerged triumphant.
In the first preference votes, she polled 21,996, ahead of Davies on 21,406.
When the second preference votes were factored in, she picked up a further 3,368 votes to claim the spoils ahead of Davies who totalled 3,319.
In total, she racked up a winning vote of 25,364, narrowly ahead of Davies on 24,725.
She said: “It was a tight contest and we had to strive for each and every vote. But the people of Doncaster believe in us and our policies and the Labour party to drive them forward.”
She said the main planks of her mayoralty for the next four years would be boosting employment and taking a zero tolerance approach to anti-social behaviour.
But she added: “My main drive is moving the town forward. I know e have cuts imposed on us by cental Governmeny but we have to look at every avenue and ensure we protect our most vulnerable people.”
She added: “But first I can’t wait to get home, kick my shoes off, relax and watch some TV and let my family know. It has been a long day.”
Mr Davies was quick to congratulate Jones on her victory and said: “I have enjoyed the last four years. I have enjoyed every minute of it. Of course I am disappointed, we ran them close and we thought we had it. I have no idea what the future holds for the people of Doncaster but I hope she will not reverse ny policies.
“I have delivered four years of common sense. I hope Ros will have a good a time as I have and wish her all the best for the next four years.
And he said: “Next for me? Retirement, racing, theatre, village cricket and the Thomas Hardy Society.”
The English Democrats came third in the contest with both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats losing their deposits.
English Democrats - “Putting England First!”
The Conservative Party
Trade Unionists and Socialist Against Cuts
Putting Britain First
Save Your Services
1st stage: 590
2nd Stage: 639
* Total after 1st and 2nd Preference count
Davies: first choice = 21,406; second choice = 3,319
Jones: first choice = 21,996; second choice = 3,368
Total spoilt after 1st preference count:753
Total spoilt after 2nd preference count: 5
Total who did not vote for Davies or Jones as 2nd preference: 9,320
Total who gave no 2nd preference: 1,970
Statement of Verification
The eligible electorate for this election was: 223,608
The number of verified votes is: 62,138
The number of postal votes issued was: 59,526
The number of postal votes returned was: 36,528
Making the percentage of postal votes returned: 61.4%
Making the overall percentage turnout: 28%