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Time to cast your vote: How election day - and night - could unfold

PUBLISHED: 07:00 12 December 2019

Will there be drama at the General Election count at Ipswich Corn Exchange? Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Will there be drama at the General Election count at Ipswich Corn Exchange? Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

So after a campaign lasting six weeks - though unofficially it seems to have been going on for months - we are now at election day.

Bury St Edmunds General Election count in 2015 - the counters will be back on duty this evening and into tomorrow morning. Picture: ARCHANTBury St Edmunds General Election count in 2015 - the counters will be back on duty this evening and into tomorrow morning. Picture: ARCHANT

You have until 10pm tonight to go to your local polling station to vote. If you have a postal vote which you have failed to send back you can still take it to a polling station in your constituency to be counted.

When will you find out who has won, or been elected in your constituency? You should be able to get a good idea without having to stay up all night if you've got to get to work the next day.

Seconds after polls close the BBC, ITN and Sky will be publishing the results of the massive exit poll they have commissioned. This has been extraordinarily accurate over recent general elections (1992 was the last miss) and will give a projection of the seat numbers for the main parties.

That is all we will have to go on for about an hour - but it is bound to give the talking heads in the TV studios much to talk about. Whether anyone will be prepared to follow the late Paddy Ashdown's example and offer to eat their hat if the result is accurate looks unlikely!

The first results will be in at about 11pm, from Sunderland which has three safe Labour seats. If any other party comes close to winning here, there will be shockwaves - but even the results here will be pored over by the experts. Neil Kinnock said he knew he had lost in 1992 when the Sunderland swing was too small to make a major difference across the country.

After Sunderland there is likely to be something of a gap before any interesting results come in - but even they are likely to tell us more about particular areas of the country rather than an overall picture.

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By 1am we should be getting results from London seats like Battersea and Putney (where Labour could do well in pro-remain areas) and in Newcastle Upon Tyne which could give more clues about whether the Conservatives are making headway in the north.

From 2am there should be the start of the regular rush of results with seats across the country from the north of Scotland to the south of England coming in.

Seats like Bury South, Hastings and Rye, and Thurrock should start to give a clear indication of the likely result.

Jeremy Corbyn's Islington North is due to declare at 2.30pm. If Labour are doing really badly we might get a concession then - but that seems unlikely because it is early in the night.

Ipswich is expected to declare about 4am. By then the pattern of the result should be clear - although if it is a really close result there could be more twists and turns. Other Suffolk and north Essex seats are expected to come in between 4am and 5am.

If anyone is heading for a clear victory in the election, we should know by this stage.

Anyone looking for details on their individual constituencies can follow the link here.

And if you have more questions about how the election results are likely to unfold, we have compiled this handy Q&A for readers.

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