General election 2019: When do we find out the result?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson makes a statement outside 10 Downing Street on Nov. 6, 2019. (Photo by Han Yan/Xinhua via Getty) (Xinhua/Han Yan via Getty Images)

The UK has gone to the polls today to vote in the third general election in a five-year period - and the first ‘Christmas election’ to take place since 1923.

Voters complained of unprecedented queues at polling stations across the country and some members of the public reportedly left because the line was taking too long.

Polls close at 10pm tonight, but when will we find out how people voted?

Follow all the latest updates overnight in our general election live blog.

Read more: Why are we having an early general election?

When is the exit poll result revealed and how accurate is it?

National exit polls have been used to predict the result of general elections for 40 years.

An exit poll is a survey in which voters are asked how they voted when leaving the polling station, and the results are scrutinised and used to forecast the overall result of the election.

However, exit polls only engage with a sample of voters at a small number of the 39,000 or so polling stations in the UK.

Former Prime Minister Theresa May waits for the results to be declared at the count centre in Maidenhead early in the morning of June 9, 2017, hours after the polls closed in Britain's general election (GEOFF CADDICK/AFP via Getty Images)

Pollsters approach one voter out of the ‘given number’ (i.e one of every six/eight/ten) according to the estimated national turnout previously agreed between broadcasters and polling companies.

Exit polls are therefore not a foolproof guarantee of the actual election result, but they tend to offer a good indication.

In 2017, the pollsters accurately predicted the election would deliver a hung parliament, decreasing Theresa May’s majority.

Exit polls are published when voting ends at 10pm.

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn delivers a Brexit speech in Harlow, Britain on Nov. 5, 2019. (Photo by Han Yan/Xinhua via Getty) (Xinhua/Han Yan via Getty Images)

Read more: How many seats does a party need to win the general election?

What time do we find out the results?

There are 650 constituencies and votes are counted in two stages, normally ending around 2am.

For almost a quarter of a century and six general elections, Sunderland was the first constituency to deliver its results.

However, during the 2017 general election it was beaten by Newcastle Upon Tyne, who revealed their result at 11pm.

Despite this blip, Sunderland holds the record for the fastest ever declaration in 2015, when results were announced less than an hour after polls closed at 10:48pm.

UK residents will be heading to polling stations for a 'Christmas election' (Lindsey Parnaby / AFP via Getty)

It can take up to 24 hours for the official results from all 650 constituencies to be declared, but the overall winner is typically announced in the early hours of the morning at around 3am.

A party has to secure 326 seats to win a Commons majority, and if neither party achieve this, the country will have a hung parliament.

Labour strongholds usually declare their results earlier in the evening than Conservative areas.

This is because urban areas tend to vote Labour, whereas rural areas typically veer towards the Conservatives. Ultimately, it’s a lot easier to count votes from a populous city, as opposed to gathering them from across a wider countryside region.

Read more: What is a hung parliament and will we have one after this general election?