June 8 2017 will see millions of people across the UK heading to the voting booths to decide who will form its next government. With current polls predicting the Conservative’s lead being rapidly diminished by a resurgent Labour party, the vote could be one of the most unpredictable in recent years.
What time will we know the election results?
Due to the sheer physical demands of counting millions of votes it's always in the early hours of the morning that the results become clear.
Polls across the country close at 10pm, and while the seats in Sunderland often declare within the hour, it's not until around 2am before the ones that give significant clues to the direction of the election start coming in.
If you can't bear to stay up for that long then the exit polls are often quite accurate. These will be known as soon as the polls close and will be discussed at length by broadcasters while they have dead air to fill.
Election night coverage on national television
As voting booths don’t close until late in the evening, there’s a good chance that you’ll be at home when the coverage begins. If this is the case then the best way to watch is to choose from a number of marathon election night specials that run on TV.
Each year the BBC assembles a diverse panel to discuss the ramifications of a swing vote in Renfrewshire East or the potential of an upset in Thanet South.
Jeremy Vine will be wandering through a VR wonderland of parliamentary seats and swingometers, while David Dimbleby keeps everything ticking over with his usual relaxed authority.
Coverage starts at 9.55pm on BBC 1 and runs through until 7am the next day.
It’s not just the BBC offering hours of analysis; ITV, Sky, and Channel 4 all have similar fare planned, with the latter trying out an alternative approach by mixing Jeremy Paxman with David Mitchell and the cast of Gogglebox.
Whichever flavour you choose you’ll want to stock up on drinks and snacks, as it will be a long night.
Watch live on iPlayer
Those with a Playstation 4 or Xbox One will also be able to download the iPlayer app and watch the action as it unfolds, and of course you’ll also find it available on Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.
Depending on those you follow, Twitter will be a constant feed of the election results as they are announced. While the commentary will be provided in a disparate fashion, rather than the curated nature of broadcast TV, it can often be funnier, if a little random.
This year the BBC has also announced that it will be live streaming its Election night coverage on the micro-blogging platform, just as it did with the recent Leaders Debate. This will be accompanied by Tweets offering context and explanations of what’s happening onscreen.
Visit the BBC / Twitter Live stream page to watch the coverage.
Another easy way to watch election coverage is on YouTube. A number of broadcast outlets have live channels that stream their TV footage. These include Sky and the BBC, plus there’s certain to be coverage on several of the US-based networks that are watching the election with interest.
So, there you have it, several ways to keep up to date with the election results. Now just be sure to take part in the whole shebang by making a trip to the voting booths yourself earlier in the day.