EU referendum night – everything you need to know

From when polls open and close, when we'll expect the EU referendum results and who will be presenting live on TV, here's your definitive guide to the decisive Brexit vote on 23rd June

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When is the EU referendum taking place?

Voting will take place on Thursday June 23rd 2016.

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What time can I vote in the EU referendum?

Polls will be open to those who haven’t already voted by post between 7am and 10pm on election day.

What will be on the ballot paper?

The question on the ballot paper will be phrased in the following way.

“Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”

You will be asked to put a cross next to one of the following answers:

“Remain a member European Union”

“Leave the European Union”

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When is the EU referendum result expected?

In short, we should know the result by around 6am on Friday 24th June, with a sense of the nation’s sentiment by 1am or 2am as results begin to come in thick and fast.

However, if opinion polls and betting odds are to be believed, the result of the referendum may be very close, so there is a good chance that results may therefore be delayed. 

Once polls close at 10pm, ballot boxes will be immediately transferred from the polling stations to one of 382 local counting centres across the country.  

The ballot papers will then be counted by hand and the total number of votes cast from each of these (including postal votes and spoilt ballots). It’s expected the first turnout figures will be announced from the smallest voting areas like City of London (just 7,000 eligible voters) at around 10.30pm, around half an hour after polls close, with the majority of the counting centres declaring total vote numbers by 1am.

Once the vote numbers have been declared, counting of valid “leave” and “remain” votes will begin.

Percentage results will be declared by local counting centres throughout the night, with the first result expected shortly after midnight, and the majority of local results being declared before 3am. The last areas are expected to have declared their result by 6am.  

Local results will then be collated into 12 regions which will be declared, along with the national result of the referendum, by Chief Counting Officer Jenny Watson in Manchester.  

Will there be an EU referendum exit poll?

Unlike a General Election, none of the major broadcasters are currently planning an exit poll so we’ll probably have to wait several hours to get the first indications of the way the result will turn out.

This is because the margin of error in such a close contest is considered too large. Exit polls normally rely on previous elections and swing to make their predictions. This is not possible in such a unique referendum.  

How can I watch the results? 

BBC1’s EU Referendum – The Result programme begins at 9.55pm on Thursday. David Dimbleby will be your guide alongside Jeremy Vine, Emily Maitlis, Laura Kuennsberg, Kamal Ahmed and a host of BBC reporters across the nation.

Referendum Result Live: ITV News Special begins at 10pm hosted by Tom Bradbury. He’ll be joined by Robert Peston, Allegra Stratton, James Mates and the ITV News team scattered across the country.  

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Sky News will be live throughout the night with Adam Boulton, Jeremy Thompson, Kay Burley and the Sky team.