The Scottish Referendum - when will the results come in?

16 September 2014

Question: When will the results come in for the Referendum?
Answer: The results won't come in.

Strictly speaking, there will be no “results”.

Please read on...

The Scottish Independence Referendum is nearly upon us.

Apart from the outcome itself, the big question is - when will the announcement be made?

The declaration will be made by the Chief Counting Officer (CCO), who is responsible for the conduct of the Referendum.

The CCO is Mary Pitcaithly, OBE, Chief Executive and Returning Officer of Falkirk Council.  

The CCO's intention is to declare the result "as soon as possible", but there is no specific time given for the declaration.

So, when is that likely that be? How long should the count take?

Voting will take place between 7am and 10pm on Thursday, 18th September.

Once the polls close at 10pm, the overnight counts will begin in each local authority area. Each local count will be overseen by a Counting Officer (CO).

Each of these local authority counts is known as a "local total".

As each local authority's count is known, the CO for the area will send the local total to the CCO at the National Count Collation Centre at Ingliston in Edinburgh.

The CCO will then verify the local total for that particular area and then give permission for the local authority to make the announcement for their particular local count.

So, throughout the night, 32 counts will be taking place and, at various times, 32 separate local totals will be getting announced.

Therefore, we are not waiting for "the results" to come in - but for 32 local counts.

Once all 32 local totals are in, the CCO will announce the one, national, final “result”.

When should that take place? Nobody knows.

Each local count will take place “as soon as reasonably practicable” after 10pm. For an overview of the counting process, see: The Scottish Referendum - how are votes counted.

Various factors might delay the counts and the announcements – for an explanation of those factors see: The Scottish Referendum - factors delaying the outcome.

All we know is that the final result will be announced “as soon as possible”.

Our best estimate is that it will be around breakfast time on Friday, depending on when you’re having breakfast.

It will be a long Thursday night for the counters, and an anxious wait for everyone else until the result is known.

If our Gus Macaulay can bear the excitement, he is going to try to get some sleep while the first stage of the counts are taking place, and then he’ll get up very early on Friday morning to find out where we’re at.

Gus advises people through uncertain times in life, whether through disputes or debt recovery or family law issues. If you want to talk to Gus about anything, please contact him on 0141 229 0880 or send Gus an email.

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