General Election polling day 2017 - your complete election day and results night guide

The Chronicle political editor Jonathan Walker's guide on how to vote, when the results will be announced and what happens next?

On June 8 the country will go to the polls in one of the most fascinating votes in recent history.

For a long time, the media and the politicians - whichever party they’re in - assumed that the Conservatives, led by Theresa May, would win.

But as the campaign went on, the General Election outcome looked less certain.

It now seems possible that Labour is in with a chance, and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn could become Prime Minister.

Opinion polls still suggest a Tory victory, but one thing we’ve learned from recent elections and referendums is that anything can happen.

Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn and Tim Farron
Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn and Tim Farron

There are suggestions that support for UKIP and the Liberal Democrats may have fallen, making this a real fight between the two major parties.

It will also be interesting to see what happens in Scotland, where the SNP won almost every seat in the last election.

Read more: General Election 2015 North East results in full: How North East constituencies voted last time

Which constituency am I in?

As part of our General Election coverage, we’ve created an online tool providing a unique analysis of a selection of official statistics for North East constituencies to highlight the big issues in Newcastle, Gateshead, Durham, Northumberland, North Tyneside and South Tyneside, and Sunderland.

Just enter your postcode in the tool below and you can find a raft of information about your constituency, including who your election candidates are, the history of the seat, and how it compares with the rest of the country on a range of categories.

Who should I vote for?

We detail the election promises of the main parties in the run up to the June 8 poll here.

How do I vote in the General Election?

Polling stations open at 7am. And they’ll stay open until 10pm.

To vote you have to turn up to the right polling station. Details will be included on a polling card, which should have been delivered to the home of every voter.

How do I vote in the General Election 2017? Our guide to casting your ballot

Sometimes there are queues, so it’s a good idea to turn up well before 10pm if possible.

Note that you should get a polling card through your letter box if you are registered to vote - but if you don’t have it, you can still vote. Just turn up at the polling station and be ready to give your name and address.

Some people may already have cast their vote, by post.

When does postal voting open? All you need to know for General Election 2017

They don’t need to do anything on June 8. But their votes won’t actually be counted until the polling stations close.

If you haven’t voted before, read our guide for first-time voters here.

What happens next?

Immediately after 10pm, news organisations will publish “exit polls” - surveys based on asking people who they voted for as they left the polling station.

These might give an early indication of who has won, but they are nothing more than a prediction.

The results that matter are announced once the votes have been counted in each seat.

Local councils organise the count.

And traditionally, Sunderland Council has been the most efficient - announcing its results sooner than any other authority.

Newcastle Council is also traditionally one of the fastest councils to declare.

When are the results expected?

It should be clear who has won the general election by 3am on the morning of Friday June 9. However, if the result is very close then it may take longer.

Read more: General Election 2015 North East results in full: How North East constituencies voted last time

And it’s not only important who won. The size of the winning party’s majority also matters.

How many seats are needed to win the UK general election in 2017?

That may not be clear until 6am on Friday morning.

What time will we know who has won the General Election 2017?

The Houghton & Sunderland South result is expected to be the first result to be announced in the entire country. It may come in at around 11pm. It was declared at 10.48pm in 2015.

Newcastle vs Sunderland: Who will be the first to declare their general election result?

The next two constituencies to declare are also likely to be in the in the North East, with Sunderland Central due to report at 00.01am and Durham North West’s results expected at 12.30pm.

Which the are seats to watch?

Labour traditionally does well in the North East.

But the Conservatives hope to make gains in the region this time.

One of the big questions of this election will be whether Tory leader Theresa May has succeeded in winning over voters in parts of the North and Midlands who previously always voted Labour.

Seats to watch include Bishop Auckland, a Labour-held seat which the Conservatives hope to in.

Bishop Auckland constituency General Election 2017 - candidates and the history of the seat

North West Durham and Sedgefield, Tony Blair’s old seat, might also be interesting. These are Labour-held seats which the Conservatives could take if they do extremely well.

Berwick-upon-Tweed is one to watch. This seat had a Liberal or Liberal Democrat MP from 1973 to 2015, when the Conservatives took it. Lib Dems will be hoping to do well here.

Further south, there are three Labour-held seats in the Tees Valley area which the Conservatives could have a chance of taking, These are Darlington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland.

And what happens once all the votes are counted?

If any party wins a majority of the seats in the House of Commons then they get to form the government - and the leader of that party becomes Prime Minister.

If nobody has a majority of seats then we get what is known as a hung Parliament.

In this case, Conservative leader Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn might decide to talk to the smaller parties and see if they can do a deal with them.

If a large party forms a partnership with smaller parties so that they have a majority when all their MPs are added together then the leader of the larger party will be Prime Minister.

If Labour does lose, then there will be an immediate debate about whether Mr Corbyn should stay on as leader.

Some Labour MPs will want him to stand down, but he may decide to carry on.


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