General election 2017: Polls open...but when will the results for Kent be announced?
PUBLISHED: 08:04 08 June 2017 | UPDATED: 08:48 08 June 2017
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Everything you need to know about today’s vote
Just five weeks after going to the polls for the Kent County Council elections, we’re back again today to choose our MPs in the general election.
Kent was awash with blue last time out in 2015 as the Conservatives won all 17 of the seats available in the county, and many are expecting more of the same when the results are announced in the early hours of tomorrow morning.
Should you still not be sure what to expect later this week, here’s our handy guide to the 2017 general election.
When do the polling stations close?
Polling stations will be open on the day of the election from 7am until 10pm. Counting of votes will start immediately after the close and continue throughout the night, with the first seat usually being announced before midnight.
To find your polling station, enter your postcode on wheredoivote.co.uk
What are exit polls and when do they come out?
An exit poll is an opinion poll taken as people are leaving a polling station. It asks how they have voted. This will be carried out during the day on Thursday, June 8 and published after voting has closed.
When are the individual seat declaration times?
Most district and borough councils across the county are expecting results to filter through at around 3am on Friday morning, however Medway Council says an announcement for the seats of Chatham and Aylesford, Gillingham and Rainham and Rochester and Strood may not be made until between 6am and 7am.
Thanet District Council says an estimated declaration time will not be given at any point before or during the count for its two seats.
The final result should be revealed sometime on the morning of June 9 with the first seats being declared from about midnight. Sunderland is often the first area to announce its results, doing so over the last six general elections.
In the UK we use the first-past-the-post voting system, which means the candidate with the most votes in each constituency becomes the MP for the area.
Usually, in order for a party to form a government, it needs to obtain more than half of the seats in the House of Commons – at least 326. The party with the second largest number of seats usually becomes the main opposition party.
But if no party finishes with more than half the seats, the incumbent prime minister can try to form a minority government by convincing other parties to vote for her Queen’s speech. If it becomes clear she won’t be able to get half of Parliament behind her, she is expected to resign whereupon the leader of the second party can try the same thing.
Alternatively, parties can form a coalition whereby members of more than one party are given government posts.
Results will be reported by Kent News as they are revealed, with each local authority publishing the results for parliamentary constituencies in that area. The Electoral Commission publishes the overall results and individual constituencies.
Vote counting can continue into the afternoon. Traditionally St Ives is the last of the 650 constituencies across the country to declare.
Still unsure who to vote for on the day? Take our quiz above and find out.
Check the candidates standing in your constituency here: