1. How will Britain’s EU referendum vote count work on the night?

How will Britain’s EU referendum vote count work on the night?

Britain holds a referendum on whether to stay in the European Union on June 23.

By: | Published: June 17, 2016 1:27 AM

Britain holds a referendum on whether to stay in the European Union on June 23.


Votes will be counted by hand starting as soon as polls close at 2100 GMT.

Each of 382 local counting areas will tally the number of ballot papers cast and announce local turnout figures (including spoiled ballots and postal votes) in each of the areas. The Electoral Commission watchdog has estimated that most turnout announcements at counting-area level will come between 2230 on June 23 and 0130 on June 24. The last turnout figure is expected at around 0400.

Then each area will count the votes and announce totals for REMAIN and LEAVE in each of the 382 areas. The majority of counting areas are expected to declare between around 0100 and 0300 on June 24. The last declaration is expected around 0600.

These local totals will be collated into totals for 12 regions, and then a final, national, result. The final result will be announced in Manchester by Jenny Watson, who is the Chief Counting Officer.


Polling stations open at 0600 on June 23 and close at 2100.


There are currently no plans by broadcasters for an exit poll as the margin of error is deemed to be too large.


Voters will be given one piece of paper with the question:

“Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”

They will be asked to put a cross beside either:

“Remain a member of the European Union

“Leave the European Union”


All those who are entitled to vote in a UK parliamentary general election can vote in the referendum, including British, Irish and qualifying Commonwealth citizens over the age of 18 who are resident in the UK.

UK nationals resident overseas who have appeared on a parliamentary election register in the past 15 years will also have the right to vote, as will Irish citizens who were born in Northern Ireland and registered to vote in Northern Ireland in the last 15 years.

In addition, peers and citizens of Gibraltar who were able to vote at a European parliamentary election can vote.


Britain extended the voter registration period for the referendum to midnight on June 9 after a late surge in applications crashed a key website shortly before the original June 7 midnight deadline.


The electoral commission says this:

“The referendum rules do not provide for a national recount to be carried out in any circumstances. Any request for a recount of votes will be at local count level and is for the Counting Officer to determine. We expect local recounts to be granted if a specific issue has been identified with the process in that counting area, rather than simply when the local totals are close.

“The national referendum result is only subject to challenge by way of judicial review.

“An application for judicial review would need to be lodged within six weeks of the certification that is being challenged being made.”

Sources: Electoral Commission.

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