EU Referendum and the count process

We are now just a few days away from polling day and I thought it would be useful to put up some information about the count process in Northern Ireland for the EU referendum.

Unlike other referenda that have been held in the past, Northern Ireland will count through the night and in 8 different centres across the province.

You can see the estimated declaration times for the rest of the UK here, but I have compiled the Northern Ireland times below (Open the image in another tab for a larger image)


Announcements will be made at each count centre giving the provisional total for each constituency, the final total will be read out by the Chief Electoral Officer in Belfast (The Scottish Referendum followed a similar procedure). We should have a good idea by around 3am of the Northern Ireland wide result.

What about a recount? The rules state

The referendum rules do not provide for a national recount to be carried out in any circumstances. Any request for a recount of votes will be at local count level and is for the Counting Officer to determine. We expect local recounts to be granted if a specific issue has been identified with the process in that counting area, rather than simply when the local totals are close. The national referendum result is only subject to challenge by way of judicial review.

David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs