How it should all work on the day

Robert Franck

Forty six local polling stations will be open from 7am ’til 10pm on Thursday for those eligible to vote in the Referendum. When they close, the sealed ballot boxes will be taken to Putlands Sports and Leisure Centre in Paddock Wood where the count is likely to get underway around 1am.

The Local Counting Officer William Benson, Chief Executive of the Borough Council, is expected to announce the local result between 3am and 4am Friday morning.

He will give details of the number who voted to Leave Europe and the number who voted to Remain along with the turnout. There will not be a breakdown of figures to show how each ward in the Borough voted.

The count will be one of 382 taking place throughout the UK. Declarations will be tallied at regional and then national level. Unlike normal constituency elections which are a series of local contests, the EU vote is a national contest.

What really matters in each area is not which side won but how many votes each campaign banked. The winning campaign will be the one that banks the majority of votes in the UK.

And there are likely to be  no exit polls for this election where the outcome can sometimes be predicted soon after polling stations close.

The Kent results will be relayed to the south east regional count, one of 11, that is taking place in Southampton, to be validated. This will give us a result for the region that will be passed to the national counting centre in Manchester where the final result will be declared.

The Electoral Commission believes we will probably find out the result ‘at breakfast time’, but will be no firmer than that.

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