Northern Ireland

Verification of votes gets under way at count centres

Counting
Image caption Counting is under way across Northern Ireland

Verification of votes is under way at eight centres across Northern Ireland, in preparation for the Assembly election count.

The first results are not expected until this afternoon, with the final make-up of the new assembly not being known until Saturday.

Ballots cast in the Alternative Vote Referendum will be counted at 1600 BST.

However the overall result of the UK-wide referendum is not expected until Friday evening.

About 1,200 election workers will be counting votes over the next few days.

They will open more than 4,000 ballot boxes to check they contain the same number of ballot papers as were handed out by staff at the polling stations.

The brown council papers will not be counted until Monday and Tuesday of next week.

Once staff have finished their checks, they will start counting the white assembly papers.

Special Assembly election programmes will begin on radio and television at 1500 BST.

Radio Ulster news will keep you updated throughout the day -- and News Online will have the results as they happen.

Politicians and pundits will also be giving their reaction on news online, radio and television.

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