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Fifty million people registered to vote and elect 650 Westminster MPs

Thursday, May 7th 2015 - 06:19 UTC
Full article 32 comments
As well as the general election, there are more than 9,000 council seats being contested across 279 English local authorities. Mayors will also be elected in As well as the general election, there are more than 9,000 council seats being contested across 279 English local authorities. Mayors will also be elected in
Polls close at 22:00 BST, but officials say anyone in a polling station queue at this time should be able to cast their vote. Polls close at 22:00 BST, but officials say anyone in a polling station queue at this time should be able to cast their vote.

49.5 million people are registered to cast their votes in the UK general election on Thursday 7 May. Polls open at 07:00 BST at around 50,000 polling stations across the United Kingdom. A total of 650 Westminster MPs will be elected, with about 50 million people registered to vote.

 As well as the general election, there are more than 9,000 council seats being contested across 279 English local authorities. Mayors will also be elected in Bedford, Copeland, Leicester, Mansfield, Middlesbrough and Torbay.

This means that nearly every voter in England - excluding London where there are no local elections - will be given at least two ballot papers when they enter polling stations.

Some votes have already been cast, through postal voting, which accounted for 15% of the total electorate at the 2010 general election, when the overall turnout was 65%. For the first time, people have been able to register to vote online.

Most polling stations are in schools, community centers and parish halls, but pubs, a launderette and a school bus will also be used. A handful of seats are expected to be declared by midnight, with the final results expected on Friday afternoon.

Polls close at 22:00 BST, but officials say anyone in a polling station queue at this time should be able to cast their vote. The BBC's main election program, fronted by David Dimbleby, starts at 21:55 BST, with live coverage from 220 counts.

Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will have their own overnight programs but will join Huw Edwards from 07:00 BST on 8 May. On the radio, a joint overnight broadcast by BBC Radio 4 and 5 live will be hosted by Jim Naughtie and Carolyn Quinn.

Full coverage of the results as they come in will be on the BBC politics online live page and front page scorecard, with all the big breaking stories from around the country and analysis by correspondents.

Categories: Politics, International.

Top Comments

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  • Room101

    For all the criticism of the UK, we have a Vote for many voices. We can make a mess of things or make things better; it's always I a state of flux, but that's Democracy. Knock it if you like, but it's better than having your mind in a perpetual prison.
    I shall vote today, and no one can tell me what to vote. It's up to me.

    May 07th, 2015 - 08:32 am 0
  • ElaineB

    @1 I can't buy your vote with a sausage roll and can of coke? Ah, well.

    I thought it was about 42m registered to vote in the U.K. Just wondering where the 50m came from.

    May 07th, 2015 - 09:07 am 0
  • Islander1

    Elaine- no votes cannot be bought- unlike Argentina where in the 1970s the Peron Govt udsed an old voting list and the old folks who had since died were pout down as having voted for the Peronista Party!
    Mind you some disturbinbg news from Uk that a number of Pakistani-Indian folks have been coerced by some hardline religous leaders to get postal votes - and have to give them to the local mullah to fill in. Apparently the postal vote rules are to be changed for next time!

    May 07th, 2015 - 10:01 am 0
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