Election 2015

UK election 2015: Viewing guide for outside the UK

BBC election night set

Thursday's general election has been one of the UK's most closely contested and unpredictable. Here is a full guide to what you can expect after the polls close at 21:00 GMT on Thursday - and how to follow all the results and reaction on the BBC.

BBC World News

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Media captionWatch a timelapse video of the BBC election set being built

The BBC's main election night TV programme, fronted by David Dimbleby, will get under way at 20:55 GMT on BBC World News for audiences around the world.

Andrew Neil will be interviewing the politicians, with Jeremy Vine on swingometer duties.

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Media captionEmily Maitlis and the election touch screen

BBC political editor Nick Robinson will be on hand to look at the bigger picture, with Laura Kuenssberg monitoring social media and Emily Maitlis analysing the results on a giant touch screen.

Huw Edwards takes over from David Dimbleby at 06:00 GMT on Friday, then from 09:00 GMT Matthew Amroliwala will present continuing coverage on BBC World News.

BBC World Service

There will be a special programme on air from 21:00 GMT on Thursday until 08:00 GMT on Friday, presented by Tim Franks and Philippa Thomas. You can listen live via the BBC World Service homepage.

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Media captionMeet the BBC's behind the scenes team analysing the results


There will be full coverage of the results as they come in on our Election Live page, with all the big breaking stories from around the UK and analysis by BBC correspondents. You can also follow all of the BBC's election night programmes via the BBC website.

What to watch out for

Exit poll: Polls close at 21:00 GMT and the BBC/ITV/Sky exit poll is published. In 2010, the exit poll was pretty much spot on in its prediction of how many seats the parties eventually got.

Seat projections: There are 650 seats up for grabs. To form a majority government, a party needs 326, although 323 should be enough because Sinn Fein's MPs (five in 2010) don't take up their seats. If no party gets this, it becomes a question of who gets the most MPs - and how many seats their potential coalition partners get.

Declaration times: The Huffington Post have a list of all 650 constituencies and the times they are expected to announce their results.

Sunderland City Council in the north-east of England prides itself on its speedy counting and aims to declare the first seat within an hour.

Ballot boxes and bundle-flicking: The curious world of the counters

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The best of BBC News' Election 2015 specials

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