The #indyref essential count guide.

The last major debate happened between Alex Salmond and Alastair Darling last night and commentators where flying with debates about who won (yes, some poor buggars thought Darling did win). Yet, very few people seem to know just what exactly the process for the count will be and providing the public service that we do here on Slugger, I thought I would put up the guide as published by the Electoral Commission for the how the count will take place.

How many eligible voters?

At the moment there are 4,063,206 people registered to vote in Scotland. Should the turnout be around the predicted 80% that means that over 3.2 million Scots should be casting their verdict on whether their nation should leave the United Kingdom?

Note-people still have until 2nd of September to register for the referendum, so this figure will change, but it gives you an idea of the size of the electorate. It is also useful to keep in mind that the voting age in this referendum has been lowered to 16.

Opening hours

Polls open at 7am and close at 10pm. If there is a high turnout and people are still waiting as polls close it has been determined that any voter who arrives at the polling station before 10pm shall be able to cast their ballot. If you think back to the 2010 general election many people couldn’t vote due to long lines and the returning officers being unable to keep the polls open. That will not happen in this referendum count.

The count

You better be a night owl! Counting begins immediately after polls close in 32 locations throughout Scotland. Local totals will be collated in Edinburgh and announced there, along with the overall result. Unless it is close, we should be able to project a winner within a few hours of counting.

A final result will be declared by the Chief Counting Officer in Edinburgh.

Can the result be challenged?

Yes, if either side wants to challenge the result they can do so via a judicial review, but this must be done within six weeks of the result being formally announced.

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  • Michael Henry

    Salmond called his darling a Tory and Alastair lost the debate when he lost his head-most of Scotland was behind Yes Salmond last night but it will be a different story when the same people are behind the polling booths- unfortunately –

    ” any voter who arrives at the polling station before 10.00pm shall be able to cast their ballot –

    This happened in Fermanagh a few years ago and people who were at the polling booth before 10pm were still able to cast their vote till 10.20pm- the unionists went to court over this but they lost and the democratic will of the people was allowed to stay-

    This is Scotland’s last chance to vote Yes- their last chance to be Scottish only and Scot proud- I hope they vote Yes for a better Scotland-

  • Ian James Parsley

    Thanks for this. I had understood this to be the case but had also heard some suggestion we may not know until the morning. Somewhat appropriately perhaps, I will be returning from a cross-border trip as polls close!

    As Michael says, actually it has been the rule for some time that people who “join the queue at the polling station” to vote before 10pm are able to do so.

    (“You had better”, by the way – “better” isn’t a verb…)

  • terence patrick hewett

    Less of a debate: more of a shouty match. Could they not have come up with a moderator with a bit of authority? Andrew Neil springs to mind: he is of course bigger than both of them.

  • Jude42

    Gawd I detest pedants…

  • Morpheus

    Everyone does

  • Jude42

    Hands up who noticed that Salmond referred to Darling as ‘Alistair’ while Darling referred to Salmond as ‘him’? Now who does that remind me of….

  • Ian James Parsley

    No harm, but we live in a world which requires greater mutual understanding, and that often means greater accuracy. So let’s make a collective effort to get the basic things right, especially when we’ve had the benefit of a full education denied to most.

    Your life’s full of “detesting”, isn’t it?

  • Richmond clements

    It was game oiver in the debate when Darling said the Scotland could still use the pound.

  • Reader

    …democratic will of the people…
    Specifically because it didn’t affect the result
    http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons/lib/research/briefings/snpc-05517.pdf
    (see page 12)
    And I guess you wouldn’t have approved if a different party had forced the issue?
    http://www.thefreelibrary.com/SINN+FEIN+%27THREATS+KEPT+POLLING+STATION+OPEN%27+Court+told+of+UUP+claim…-a078371883

  • Jude42

    Ah Ian – and here was me going to say I see your point but I disagree with it, in that I don’t think the use of ‘better’ as a verb impedes communication any more than ‘It is me’ rather than ‘It is I’ impedes communication. My life ‘full of detesting’? How well you know me. It consumes me from opening eye to merciful evening oblivion…