General election 2019: your essential guide to the big vote in Central Lancashire

Voters across Central Lancashire are poised to head to the polls for the first December election in almost a century.

The Post has spoken to all 27 candidates standing in the six constituencies in our area to get their take on the big issues and challenge them about the policies which they hope will persuade you to vote for them.

Just some of the candidates seeking your support in Central Lancashire

Just some of the candidates seeking your support in Central Lancashire

See what they have to say by clicking on the constituencies below. If you're not sure which one you live in, enter your postcode here to find out - and be warned, they don't exactly match the council areas of the same name.

CHORLEY

FYLDE

PRESTON

RIBBLE VALLEY

SOUTH RIBBLE

WYRE AND PRESTON NORTH

TIMETABLE

Polling stations are open for the usual 15-hour window - between 7am and 10pm on Thursday.

As soon as they close, the first indication of the result will be the publication of an exit poll commissioned by ITN, the BBC and Sky. Compiled from responses from tens of thousands of voters in the minutes after they have cast their votes, the predictions have recently proved more accurate than they were historically - correctly calling two out of the last three general elections.

Verification of the voting papers begins as soon as the ballot boxes arrive at the individual counts, before the counting itself gets under way.

Results from individual constituencies usually start to trickle through shortly after 11pm, with a slew of seats declaring between 2am and 5am. Several Central Lancashire constituencies have estimated declaration times of around 4am.

The overall result usually becomes clear in advance of it being officially confirmed at some point in the early hours.

RESULTS AS THEY HAPPEN

You can keep up-to-date with the results from all our local constituencies and get reaction from the winners and losers on the night on the Post’s website - lep.co.uk. You can also follow us on Twitter - @leponline

GUIDE TO VOTING

Voters must cast their ballot at the nominated polling station for the area in which they live - details of which can be found on the polling cards which have been sent out in the post in recent weeks.

However, you do not need to present your polling card in order to be able to vote. If you have misplaced it or it never arrived, you should be able to find the location of your polling station on the website of your local borough or city council.

When you arrive to vote, give your name and address to the staff manning the station. You will then be handed a ballot paper with a list of candidates and the parties they represent for you to choose from. You can vote only for one candidate.

If you mark your paper with anything other than a cross in the box of the candidate you want to vote for, there is a risk that your vote may not count.

If you are in a queue to vote when the polling station closes at 10pm, you will still be allowed to complete your ballot - but not if you arrive after that time.

You will be entitled to vote only if you registered by the deadline for this election, which was 26th November.

WHAT IF I FORGOT TO SEND OFF MY POSTAL VOTE?

If you registered to vote by post, but left it too late to send your ballot paper back, you can still deliver it in person to your nominated polling station before it closes at 10pm.