When the polls close at 22:00 GMT on Thursday some of the nation's voters will be in the dark over the election result until morning. But what's happening during these night time hours of suspense at vote counts across the country?As polling stations shut their doors many people get settled in front of the television to watch the drama unfold while others head to bed, perhaps checking their phones for updates and news of exit polls before turning the lights out. But others are sitting in rows under bright strip lights in schools, town halls and sports centres, sorting ballot papers.Three-time vote counter Ella Rees said a buzz of excitement united tables of strangers and powered them through the night as papers piled up and anxious candidates paced the room.The 21-year-old law student will be counting again this time, in her home constituency of Shrewsbury and Atcham. She counted votes in the 2017 local and general elections and the Brexit referendum in 2016. "It's exciting because … [Read more...] about General election 2019: What happens at the counts?
Key questions about general election results, and how the BBC reports them, answered.How does a party win?By winning more seats in the House of Commons than all the other parties put together. If a party does that, it has what is known as a majority. There are 650 seats available, which means 326 seats are needed to win an overall majority.However, an effective majority could be smaller as Sinn Fein, which won seven seats in Northern Ireland in 2017, traditionally refuses to swear allegiance to the Queen and, as a consequence, is not entitled to vote. So in 2017, 650 minus Sinn Fein's seven would be 643 voting MPs, and 322 would have been enough to command a majority. But obviously that figure changes depending on how many non-voting MPs there are.What is a constituency?Also called a seat, in a general election, this is where the political battles are fought. Voters in each constituency choose just one MP. Interactive content: Upgrade your browser for the full experience. … [Read more...] about General election 2019: How the BBC calculates and reports results
The UK will go to the polls on Thursday for the country's third general election in less than five years. The contest, the first to be held in December in nearly 100 years, follows those in 2015 and 2017. Polling stations in 650 constituencies across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland open at 07:00 GMT.After the polls close at 22:00 GMT, counting will begin straight away. Most results are due to be announced in the early hours of Friday morning.A total of 650 MPs will be chosen under the first-past-the-post system used for general elections, in which the candidate who secures the most votes in each individual constituency is elected. In 2017, Newcastle Central was the first constituency to declare, announcing its result about an hour after polls closed. Elections in the UK traditionally take place every four or five years. But, in October, MPs voted for the second snap poll in as many years. It is the first winter election since 1974 and the first to take place in December … [Read more...] about General election 2019: Voters set to head to polls across the UK
Learning of the death of one of your childhood heroes is always a sad experience, and it seems 2018 was a year when we had to say goodbye to too many of them. No matter your area of interest, we all would have keenly felt the loss of someone from the celebrity world last year - from political big-hitters like George H.W. Bush and Paddy Ashdown; to sporting stars Cyrille Regis and Eric Bristow; and icons of stage and screen from Stan Lee to June Whitfield, all will be greatly missed. And the losses have continued into 2019, with the sad news that we have already lost such much-loved people such as WWE Hall of Famer "Mean" Gene Okerlund, Albert Finney, and England goalkeeping legend Gordon Banks. Here's a look at those we've lost in 2019, who have and will continue to inspire generations for years to come. DECEMBER David Bellamy TV presenter and naturalist David Bellamy passed away on December 11 at the age of 86. Bellamy earned acclaim in the 80's for his TV nature shows, but also his … [Read more...] about Celebrity deaths in 2019: Famous faces lost this year from Gary Rhodes to Toni Morrison
BORIS Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn have been fighting for every vote as the fear of a hung parliament looms. Here's what you need to know. What is a minority government? The House of Commons has 650 constituencies and a party must secure 326 MPs to create a majority government. If one party has more than half of Parliament, they can pass whatever laws they want without the assistance of any other party — if their backbenchers don't rebel. A minority government is usually run by the party with the most seats, but they are not guaranteed to win votes alone because they still have less than half the total number of MPs. When was the last time there was a minority government? Theresa May's election gamble lost her the majority in 2017, so she formed a minority government with the help of the Democratic Unionist Party,Her Conservative party had 318 seats leaving them eight short of an overall majority, while the Northern Irish party has 10 seats. Speaking outside No.10, Prime Minister … [Read more...] about What is a minority government and how does it work?