BuzzJack
Entertainment Discussion

Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register | Help )

20 Pages V   1 2 3 > »   
Reply to this topicStart new topic
> The Election Night Thread, Including a Suedehead / Tirren Guide
Track this topic - Email this topic - Print this topic - Download this topic - Subscribe to this forum
Suedehead2
post May 7 2015, 09:16 AM
Post #1
BuzzJack Legend
*******
Group: Admin.
Posts: 23,605
Member No.: 3,272
Joined: 13-April 07
   No Gallery Pics
 


So, today is the big day and many of us will be up all night to follow the results. The whole process can be a bit confusing for people who have not followed a General Election before, with a lot of jargon. Your ever-friendly Buzzjack team can help. Our favourite Politics graduate and I have produced the Suedehead / Tirren guide to Election Night.

In the second post, there is a glossary of terms which you will hear a lot. It includes all of the words in italics in this FAQ.



What is this?

The UK is split into 650 seats (also known as constituencies), each with about 70-80,000 voters, and each represented by a Member of Parliament. At the last general election, the Conservatives won 306 of those seats, Labour won 258, the Lib Dems won 57, and various other parties (such as the SNP, Plaid Cymru, the Northern Irish parties, and the Greens) won the rest. This time, both Labour and the Conservatives will be aiming to win at least 325 seats (known as a majority - i.e., having enough seats where even if every other party voted against them, they could still win a vote and pass laws), while the smaller parties like the Lib Dems, UKIP, the SNP, Plaid, the Greens and the Northern Irish will be hoping neither Labour nor the Conservatives win a majority and that they win enough seats to be influential over the next government. This time, it is looking like neither the Conservatives nor Labour will be popular enough to get a majority, and may have to rely on the smaller parties to get into government and pass laws.



What is the exit poll?

The BBC, ITV and Sky News have joined forces to commission a poll to predict the overall result. In 140 constituencies across the country, one in ten voters will be asked how they voted as they leave the polling station. By making sure that overall the people asked for the poll are demographically representative of UK voters, this survey will be used to try and get an accurate picture of how the UK has voted and how many seats each party will have. Over the years, some exit polls have been very accurate (this happened at the last two elections). Others have not.

In previous years it was a little easier to predict accurately, as generally only Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats got a significant amount of votes in most seats. However, with the rise of UKIP and the SNP, the authors of the poll this year have said it may be very difficult to get an accurate exit poll with five different parties picking up a lot of votes.

It is illegal to publish an exit poll before the polls close so, the result of this poll will be announced on all the major channels at 10pm.



CONSTITUENCY RESULTS

When will the results start?


By midnight, a few constituencies will have declared (mostly in safe Labour seats). The rush will start at around 2 am. As a rule throughout the night until the overall result starts to become clear, the number to watch isn't the total for each party on the screen, but the aggregate (the pluses and minuses next to the party totals, indicating how many seats each party has lost/gained).



Why do some counts take so long?

The count cannot start until all the ballot boxes have been verified. That means that the number of ballot papers in the box must agree with the number issued. The number in the box may be slightly short if some people have left without putting their paper in the box. In addition, many places also have local elections. As votes for both elections are put in the same box, they all have to be separated, and some constituencies count local election votes before the general election votes. In some constituencies, it can take some time for all the ballot boxes to arrive at the count.



How are the results declared?

In films and television dramas, candidates are often shown to be amazed / outraged / whatever, when the result is announced. This is wrong. They already know the result.

When the count has been completed, the candidates and their agents will gather round the Returning Officer. They will be shown the result and all the papers which have been classified as spoilt. If the result is close, or one candidate has lost their deposit by a small margin, the candidate can ask for a recount. The Returning Officer has to decide whether to grant the request. There is no statutory limit to the number of recount requests that can be made. The Returning Officer has to decide when to call a halt.

If the result is very close (within 50 or so), there may be a full recount. Effectively, they have to check every vote. If it is within a couple hundred, there may be a partial recount ot a “bundle check” to see that each pile of fifty votes is correct and that it hasn’t been put into the wrong pile. As all parties will have people watching the count, it is unlikely to happen on a large scale, but accidents do happen.

When the result is agreed, the Returning Officer will then announce it. (All the candidates line up on stage and the Returning Officer will list the candidates in alphabetical order with the number of votes they won.

After the result is announced, each candidate, starting with the winner, mat give a speech. They will thank the Returning Officer and other staff before making some other remarks. The broadcasters may show some of the early speeches (when there is little else to show), plus some from prominent politicians.



When will we know Nick Clegg’s result?

It is expected at around 4 - 5am. However, these estimates are often wrong. There is a good guide here (as long as you ignore the writer’s insistence on calling Clegg’s party “The Liberals”) -



Which seats should I be watching out for?

Channels like the BBC will normally show live results for particularly contested seats, but when results start coming through fast they won't be able to keep up with all of the results in swing seats.

Generally, to get an idea on how a general election result is going, the best thing to do is to keep an eye on the Opposition party's target list - this year, that's Labour (a list of their target seats is here -. Labour need to gain 67 seats overall (that is, win 67 seats they didn't have before without losing any they had in 2010). However, as Labour are expected to lose a lot of seats to the SNP (Labour have 41 seats in Scotland), that increases the number they need to win from the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats in order to become the largest party.

In a worst case scenario, Labour would lose all 41 of their Scottish seats to the SNP. This would leave Labour on 217 seats compared with the last election. As such, they would need to gain around 40 seats for the Conservatives (with each gain from the Conservatives adding one to Labour's total and taking one away from the Conservatives) and gain about 10-15 from the Liberal Democrats. (Obviously, every seat Labour don't lose to the SNP makes their task easier) Therefore, if Labour are failing to win a lot of seats between the 1-50 mark on their target list, that means it's likely the Conservatives will still be the biggest party. If Labour are winning a lot of seats between the 1-50 mark on their target list, and winning more between the 51-106 mark on their target list, it's likely Labour will be the biggest party.



What if there is a tie?

In a General Election, this is very rare. Indeed, it has never happened since universal suffrage (when all adults gained the right to vote). However, this is what would happen. If there is a tie for first place, there will be at least one full recount (see above). If there is a tie in any other position, the Returning Officer may not allow a recount. If, after a number of recounts, it is agreed that the result really is a tie, we enter the realms of the absurd. The candidates will draw lots. The precise method is up to the Returning Officer, but it must be truly random. A common method is to put one of each candidate’s votes into a box and then drawing one out. The winning candidate will have one vote added to their total so, officially, they will have a majority of one.

If there is a tie in the number of seats (which, though still fairly unlikely, is slightly more likely to happen this year when the result could be close), things get interesting.



THE OVERALL RESULT


When will we know who won?


That depends on your definition of winning! In some elections, the winner is clear by around 3am (or even before that). That won’t happen this time. The last results should be declared by Friday afternoon / early evening. However, even then, it is unlikely that we can be sure who will become Prime Minister.


But, won’t the leader of the largest party become PM?

Not necessarily. The Prime Minister is the leader who can get a majority in the House Of Commons. In most elections since the War, either Labour or the Tories have had more than half of the MPs, so their leader automatically became PM. However, if no party wins at least half the seats (which currently means they need 326 seats), things become more complicated.

By convention, the Prime Minister remains in charge until an alternative leader can demonstrate that they can command a majority in the House Of Commons. Therefore, despite what some papers claimed in 2010, Gordon Brown was right to stay in Number 10 while coalition negotiations were going on. Indeed, it was his duty to do so as somebody has to be PM. In the same way, David Cameron has every right to stay in Number 10 unless and until Ed Miliband can show that he has the support of a majority of MPs.

All ministers will retain their posts (even if they are no longer an MP) until a new government is formed.

There are more questions on this. As they depend on the actual result, they can be discussed on the night and in the following days.


Why does one party have more votes than another but fewer seats?

This is because of the First Past The Post system that we use for elections, and it is likely (for example), that the SNP and the Lib Dems will get fewer votes than UKIP but a lot more seats than them this time; or that either the Conservatives or Labour may get fewer seats but more votes than the other.

As a way of demonstrating why this happens, imagine three seats, each with 50 voters. In Seat 1, the Lee Wallace Party gets 20 votes and the TaraElla Party gets 21 votes, while the Kath Party gets 9 votes. The same result happens in Seat 2. In Seat 3, the Lee Wallace Party gets 26 votes and the Kath Party gets 24 votes, while TaraElla gets none.

The total? TaraElla wins with 2 seats and 42 votes, Lee Wallace comes second with 1 seat and 66 votes, and Kath gets 42 votes too but doesn't win any seats. If some of Kath's voters in Seat 1 had been in Seat 3, she may have won a seat, and if some of Lee Wallace's voters in Seat 3 had been in Seat 1, he may have won the election.

In some seats, Labour or the Conservatives (or the SNP) will get huge majorities over other parties, while doing badly (or getting none) elsewhere, whereas some other parties (like UKIP) may consistently get a few thousand votes across most seats but rarely enough to win. As a result, the number of votes a party gets overall may not match how many seats it will get.



Why are ITV and Sky News declaring results before the BBC?

The BBC only declare results when they have been formally declared. The other two broadcasters declare “predicted” results, based on what reporters at the count can see. They will see the bundles piling up for each candidate and can use that to predict the result. Most of those “predictions” will be obvious anyway. For a running total of seats actually won, use the BBC figure - it is more reliable as it only goes on results already known for certain.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Suedehead2
post May 7 2015, 09:18 AM
Post #2
BuzzJack Legend
*******
Group: Admin.
Posts: 23,605
Member No.: 3,272
Joined: 13-April 07
   No Gallery Pics
 


Turnout

The proportion of registered voters in a constituency who actually voted.


Swing

This is rapidly becoming an outdated concept. Traditionally, it has been a measure of the net shift in votes between two parties. So, a 3% swing from Tories to Labour means that three in every hundred people who voted Tory last time, have voted Labour this time. However, it is generally based on the assumption that the share of the vote won by other parties has stayed the same. Nevertheless, it is still a rough guide to how well or badly parties are doing.



Returning Officer

The person who oversees the election and (usually) declares the result. It is generally the Chief Executive of the council (i.e. the senior officer). They often describe themselves as the “acting Returning Officer”. That is because, for most of the year, there is no Returning Officer, so they are simply assuming the role for a day. Some results are declared by the Mayor, but the count is still overseen by the Returning Officer.


Agent

Every candidate must nominate an agent (which may be the candidate him / herself). The agent has to keep account of all expenditure in the campaign and ensure that their campaign is not breaking the rules. An agent for a candidate with a good chance of winning is likely to know a lot about electoral law as their accounts will be closely scrutinised by their opponents. An agent who falsifies the accounts (or does not submit them on time), or oversees a campaign that breaks the law could go to prison.


Spoilt Paper

A ballot paper that has not been marked correctly. Technically, the only mark on a ballot paper should be a cross by the name of the preferred candidate. In practice, a tick is generally accepted. However, for an election of an MP, there must be a mark (a tick or a cross) in one box, and one box only, and no other mark. A paper with a tick in one box and a cross in all the others, will be considered spoilt. Any written comments (or illustrations) will mean the paper is declared spoilt. In general, there is no dispute about spoilt papers.



Lost deposit

Every candidate has to pay a deposit of £500. If they receive less than 5% of the total vote, they lose that deposit. The money goes to the government. In theory, it helps to cover the cost of the election.



Safe seat

Traditionally, this has been defined as a seat where the winner was at least 10 percentage points ahead of the second-placed candidate. In other words, it would require a swing (see definition above) of at least 5% for the seat to change hands. In more recent elections, a lot of seats defined as “safe” under this definition have proved to be anything but safe. The same will happen this time, particularly in Scotland. Even so, hundreds of seats in this election can still be considered safe.


Marginal seat

Traditionally, this has been defined as a seat where the winner won by under ten percentage points. See “Safe seat” for reasons why this definition is now rather dated.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Suedehead2
post May 7 2015, 09:20 AM
Post #3
BuzzJack Legend
*******
Group: Admin.
Posts: 23,605
Member No.: 3,272
Joined: 13-April 07
   No Gallery Pics
 


If you have any questions, I, or someone else, will try to answer them. Come back here tonight to discuss the results as they come in.

A separate, more detailed discussion will be going on in the Politics forum. This thread is more for discussion than heated debate biggrin.gif
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Slade
post May 7 2015, 10:52 AM
Post #4
Mrs Brayden Smith <333
*******
Group: Moderator
Posts: 25,024
Member No.: 12,810
Joined: 18-January 11
 


Excellent guide that was full of clarity, thanks to the both of you for putting that together!

I unfortunately cannot vote this time around but it's always useful to be clued up and all the chat around it is rather exciting.

QUOTE(Suedehead2 @ May 7 2015, 10:16 AM) *
The total? TaraElla wins with 2 seats and 42 votes, Lee Wallace comes second with 1 seat and 66 votes, and Kath gets 42 votes too but doesn't win any seats. If some of Kath's voters in Seat 1 had been in Seat 3, she may have won a seat, and if some of Lee Wallace's voters in Seat 3 had been in Seat 1, he may have won the election.


laugh.gif best analogy I've seen in a while.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Doctor Blind
post May 7 2015, 11:26 AM
Post #5
#38BBE0 otherwise known as 'sky blue'
******
Group: Members
Posts: 10,165
Member No.: 7,561
Joined: 27-October 08
   No Gallery Pics
 


Thanks Simon, very comprehensive.

Houghton and Sunderland South is usually the first constituency to declare. Last time it managed it at 2252, just 52 minutes after the polls closed. That's some speedy counting!

I think they haven't failed to declare first since 1987.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Brett-Butler
post May 7 2015, 01:20 PM
Post #6
Howdy, disco citizens.
******
Group: Moderator
Posts: 9,151
Member No.: 10,455
Joined: 16-January 10
   No Gallery Pics
 


On a related music-y note, the writers for Drowned In Sound got in contact with their local candidates to find out what music they're listening to on the campaign, the results of which you can see here.

(Full disclosure - I was responsible for contacting the candidates from Belfast North, although in the end, the Alliance Party candidate was the only one I received a reply from).
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Yuki On Ice~
post May 7 2015, 01:38 PM
Post #7
masala me
*******
Group: Veteran
Posts: 26,293
Member No.: 12,929
Joined: 3-February 11
 


Interesting read Brett, amusing to see some of the political links that they're trying to find. The guy who chose Sufjan sounds like a real music lover.

And excellent guide Suedehead & Tirren, enjoyable read and good information.

I voted earlier this morning, have been loving seeing my Facebook feed SWELL with posts from people saying they've voted and am very much looking forward to tonight.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
TheGrinch
post May 7 2015, 02:13 PM
Post #8
🙄
*******
Group: AF Leader
Posts: 39,382
Member No.: 10,643
Joined: 14-February 10
 


tara beating me though?

I should have been 59p at the start of the election.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Crazy Christmas
post May 7 2015, 02:14 PM
Post #9
BuzzJack Platinum Member
******
Group: Members
Posts: 10,742
Member No.: 53
Joined: 7-March 06
   No Gallery Pics
 


Remember that you do not have to tell an opinion pollster how you've voted. By law they're not allowed to harrass you and try to badger you to tell them. They can ask you once and if you refuse then that's it.

In case anyone didn't read the BBC article that I linked to in another thread, about what you can and can't do inside the polling booth, yes you can take your dog there but it must be on a lead inside the booth.


This post has been edited by Common Sense: May 7 2015, 02:17 PM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Suedehead2
post May 7 2015, 06:18 PM
Post #10
BuzzJack Legend
*******
Group: Admin.
Posts: 23,605
Member No.: 3,272
Joined: 13-April 07
   No Gallery Pics
 


The final Guardian prediction has Labour and the Tories winning 273 seats each ohmy.gif
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Popchartfreak
post May 7 2015, 07:42 PM
Post #11
BuzzJack Platinum Member
******
Group: Moderator
Posts: 10,959
Member No.: 17,376
Joined: 18-July 12
   No Gallery Pics
 


QUOTE(Suedehead2 @ May 7 2015, 07:18 PM) *
The final Guardian prediction has Labour and the Tories winning 273 seats each ohmy.gif


Oh that would be hilarious! I do so hope that's correct cheer.gif
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Candlelit Snow
post May 7 2015, 07:46 PM
Post #12
Life is so much queefier than we allow ourselves to think x
******
Group: Members
Posts: 19,201
Member No.: 18,639
Joined: 18-April 13
   No Gallery Pics
 


QUOTE(Suedehead2 @ May 7 2015, 06:18 PM) *
The final Guardian prediction has Labour and the Tories winning 273 seats each ohmy.gif


Omg yas please! laugh.gif

QUOTE(LeeWallace @ May 7 2015, 02:13 PM) *
tara beating me though?

I should have been 59p at the start of the election.



laugh.gif

The Beaverfina votes haven't been counted yet though?
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Ryan.
post May 7 2015, 09:02 PM
Post #13
BuzzJack Legend
*******
Group: Members
Posts: 24,175
Member No.: 12,608
Joined: 23-December 10
   No Gallery Pics
 


Exit poll spoiling everything and completely ruining tonight. Fun!
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
dancember
post May 7 2015, 09:04 PM
Post #14
DANTA CLAUS 🤶
*******
Group: Chart Mod
Posts: 44,131
Member No.: 11,746
Joined: 30-August 10
   No Gallery Pics
 


conservatives landsliding the exit poll then with a near-majority nocheer.gif not close at all
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
April
post May 7 2015, 09:05 PM
Post #15
changed the game with that digital drop
******
Group: Members
Posts: 13,000
Member No.: 11,905
Joined: 26-September 10
 


That lead for the Tories in the exit poll! ohmy.gif Surely that can't be right?
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Yuki On Ice~
post May 7 2015, 09:05 PM
Post #16
masala me
*******
Group: Veteran
Posts: 26,293
Member No.: 12,929
Joined: 3-February 11
 


QUOTE(Ryan. @ May 7 2015, 10:02 PM) *
Exit poll spoiling everything and completely ruining tonight. Fun!


It's a very unusual exit poll though, not what I was expecting at all. Given it's supposed to be incredibly close it could still be quite off the mark. Right?
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Jester
post May 7 2015, 09:07 PM
Post #17
On Hold
********
Group: Veteran
Posts: 78,592
Member No.: 12
Joined: 7-March 06
 


SNP nearly a clean sweep in Scotland on exit poll!
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Klumzee
post May 7 2015, 09:07 PM
Post #18
it's alright to feel like a fat child in a pushchair
******
Group: Members
Posts: 12,724
Member No.: 11,421
Joined: 3-July 10
 


It's what I predicted in terms of Tory-Lab-SNP top three, but Lib Dems so far down and Tories so far ahead is a surprise ohmy.gif
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Ryan.
post May 7 2015, 09:08 PM
Post #19
BuzzJack Legend
*******
Group: Members
Posts: 24,175
Member No.: 12,608
Joined: 23-December 10
   No Gallery Pics
 


QUOTE(Iz~ @ May 7 2015, 10:05 PM) *
It's a very unusual exit poll though, not what I was expecting at all. Given it's supposed to be incredibly close it could still be quite off the mark. Right?


Surely there's absolutely zero chance of it being wrong by 40 seats (in order to swing it back to a tie/Labour win) so what a shame.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Yuki On Ice~
post May 7 2015, 09:11 PM
Post #20
masala me
*******
Group: Veteran
Posts: 26,293
Member No.: 12,929
Joined: 3-February 11
 


Probably not, true, but like the BBC were saying, the Conservatives have far fewer potential allies and will have a far harder time trying to form a majority coalition.

Which could well mean weak Conservative minority government.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post


20 Pages V   1 2 3 > » 
Reply to this topicStart new topic

1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:


 

Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 13th December 2017 - 11:03 AM