Northern Ireland

What time do polling stations close in Northern Ireland and when will we know the results?

Counting will take place overnight on election night with full results expected by Friday morning

The last of the votes in the assembly election should be counted today - the climax of a dull campaign to elect MLAs to a Stormont which might not even form an executive, says Mary Kelly.
Polling stations will close at 10pm and ballot boxes will start arriving in count centres from 10:30pm on July 4.

Westminster election nights are notoriously long; unlike Assembly and local council elections here, voting starts taking place overnight.

But this means that by Friday morning, the full results should be known.

However, for those keen on following the events of election night as they happen, here’s a round-up of key times to remember.

What time do polling stations close?

Polling stations will close at 10pm on July 4 and are open from 7am.

If you are queuing at your polling station by 10pm but still haven’t voted, don’t worry – you will still be able to cast your vote.

Edinburgh Council has set up an emergency centre to allow voters to receive their ballot papers
The first results for Northern Ireland are not expected to be declared until around 2am. (Peter Byrne/PA)

However, you will not be able to join the queue after 10pm.

When do they start counting votes?

Once voting stops at 10pm, ballot boxes will be sent to the three count centres across Northern Ireland.

These count centres are located at the Meadowbank Sports Arena in Magherafelt, the South Lake Leisure Centre in Craigavon and the Titanic Exhibition Centre in Belfast.

Ballot boxes are expected to arrive at the count centres after 10:30pm where they will be verified and then counted.

When will we know the results for Northern Ireland?

The first results for seats in Northern Ireland are expected to come in around 2am, and all 18 constituency results are expected to be declared by 5am.

This, however, could change and depends on how things go on the night.

Battleground seat Fermanagh and South Tyrone is among those likely to be declared later. If the result there is as close as expected, there may also be recounts requested.

In 2019, a recount for this constituency didn’t end until after 7am.

Results from some seats in England tend to come in as early as 11:30pm, however the majority of the other seats will be declared during the early hours of the morning.