We Spent The Day At Sky News To Find Out What Will Happen On Election Night

Election day is a mere two days away - here's what you can expect on election night...

We Spent The Day At Sky News To Find Out What Will Happen On Election Night

by Vicky Spratt |
Published on

Election day is almost here. On Thursday, hundreds of thousands of ballots will be counted through the night across Britain.

For the first time it’s not simply a battle between the Tories and Labour but a serious contest between six parties: Conservatives, Labour, Lib Dems, SNP, UKIP and Green. And, the truth is, it’s still too close to call.

Nobody really knows who will be in charge of the country once the votes have been added up. Because of this, Thursday evening is set to be one of the most dramatic and unpredictable election nights in recent history. It’s as close to the X Factor as politics gets.

With days to go, The Debrief spent a day behind the scenes at Sky News to find out what to expect from their election coverage...

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In the newsroom everybody’s buzzing around. There are live images coming in via satellite from Nepal of a teenager who’s been rescued from the rubble after last week’s devastating earthquake. Now that Princess Charlotte has made her grand entrance, they’re waiting on one thing: the general election.

All eyes are on who might have their finger on the nuclear button, the final say over our schools, student loans, hospitals and pensions once the people have spoken on Thursday. Will it be Dave, Ed, Nigel, Nicola, Natalie or Leanne?

Historically, TV presenters and their producers pull an all-nighter, reporting the results as they trickle in. The winner, though, is not clear until the next day. This year may be a little different.

 

Sky’s election night coverage, Decision Time, will begin at 9pm on Thursday. The polling stations across the country’s 650 constituencies will close at 10pm. An exit poll (based on what people have said about who they voted for as they leave the polling station) will be reported at around 11pm and may give an early idea of who might make up the government. However, these aren’t always reliable, so be wary of anyone declaring an early win.

READ MORE: Which Issues Will Students In Birmingham Be Voting For On 7 May?

As it stands, the polls and the experts are suggesting we will have a hung parliament as in 2010. So it’s not just election night that matters – it’s likely to be the next morning, afternoon, day and possibly even week after.

The Con-Dem coalition, which has been in charge for the last five years, took five days to negotiate, but bargaining could take longer this time around because things might be messier.

It’s likely that the Lib Dems won’t have enough MPs to help make up a majority with either the Tories or Labour (as in 2010). On top of this, MPs are far less willing than before to accept deals struck on their behalf (see Nick Clegg’s decision to get into bed with Cameron and the fate of the Lib Dems). The Tories, for example, have demanded an internal vote on any new coalition agreement involving their party. All of this is only likely to delay things.

So that’s what we don’t know. Aside from the fact that David Cameron can’t say tampon out loud and that it was great to see some female politicians hugging on stage before a debate, what do we actually know?

 

    So whether you stay up all night, check in in the morning or follow up in the afternoon, it’s likely you’ll be in front of your laptop (as usual), with mobile phone (where it always is) in hand.

    Sky will also have live minute-by-minute coverage and analysis on their website, mobile app and, believe it or not, on Snapchat. Jess, the Snapchat producer, tells me that her job is ‘about reaching an audience who might not be watching the channel.’ She hopes that you’ll ‘see a Snapchat and go off to read more about that particular story.’

    If, like 2010, there’s no outright majority when we wake up on Friday, it won’t be decision time at all. Last time, we knew by around 10am that we had a hung parliament. So it won't be just a long night, but a long week. The debate about which combination of leaders could hold power will continue as long as their bargaining with one another does.

    So, hopefully there will be more videos like this one to keep us going…

    The Electoral Commission has provided data on the count start times across the country, you can find out when your constituency will begin here.

    Like this? You might also be interested in:

    We Speak To Joey Essex About His Day Date With Nigel Farage

    Which Issues Will Students In Birmingham Be Voting For On 7 May?

    I Still Have No Idea Who To Vote For In The Election. Anyone Else?

    Follow Vicky on Twitter: @Victoria_Spratt[

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    This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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