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 A/V REPORTS
Chief Electoral Officer Denis Stanley
outlines how the poll will operate in NI
 real 28k

Wednesday, 6 June, 2001, 14:19 GMT 15:19 UK
Last but not least...

The counting of the votes will start later in NI
Politicians in Northern Ireland will have to wait longer than their counterparts in the rest of the United Kingdom to know the results of their campaigns.

Overnight counting is not scheduled to take place in the province unlike most other parts of Britain.

Instead, the process will begin at 0900 BST on Friday.

First the votes are audited to make sure local government slips have not been placed in the general election ballot boxes by confused voters.

Champagne
NI politicians will have to keep the champagne on ice a bit longer
After this process is completed the vote is verified.

This involves a count to establish the total number of votes cast, rather than how many votes each candidate received.

Then the count proper can begin to establish who the new MPs will be.

It is expected this part of the process could start between midday and 1300 BST on Friday 8 June.

By this time most UK results will already be known.

The Northern Ireland results will probably start to come in late afternoon on Friday.

However, if the Westminster candidates have a long wait, the hundreds of local government hopefuls will wait longer still.

Two new faces

The counting of the council poll will not start until Monday 11 June, completing the following day.

One hundred candidates are standing in Northern Ireland's 18 seats in the Westminster election.

There will definitely be at least two new faces among the new MPs.

Two Ulster Unionist MPs have already declared their intention not to stand again in the Westminister poll.

These are Strangford MP John Taylor and Fermanagh South Tyrone representative Ken Maginnis.

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