Following on from yesterday’s missive, a quick guide for when to expect what in Turkey’s election today. Let’s hope for a few surprises.
7am – voting begins in 32 eastern provinces, 8am in the west.
4pm – voting closes in the east, 5pm everywhere else. Counting begins soon after the queuing remainders have voted.
6pm – first results start trickling in to newswires and Twitter. Turkish TV wringing its hands showing lifestyle programming: no-one is allowed to report the results until the Electoral Commission lifts its election news ban.
Midnight – Scheduled end of Electoral Commission’s ban on TV results coverage, allowing ample time to make sure every ballot box in the country is safely tucked away.
6.50pm – Around now, Turkish TV loses patience and switches to live coverage of Electoral Commission’s front door. Reporters shout for permission to read out results that anyone with an internet connection has already seen.
7pm – Electoral Commission spontaneously announces every ballot box has been found, no-one is still voting in a remote village, and acquiesces: TV results coverage permitted.
7.01pm – Explosion of results. More than a quarter of all votes should have been counted by now; most will be from eastern provinces, where voting finished earlier. AK dominate in the northeast, so will have won most of the seats so far. The fate of the BDP independents should be clearer too. Watch out for Leyla Zana in Diyarbakır.
7.45pm – First substantial results from the west by now. If vote counting is as fast as it was in 2007, the networks should be calling the election for AK around now too. The size of their majority will depend on whether MHP has crossed the threshold.
8.30pm – Vote share for all three main parties should be roughly clear by now, unless the MHP really is on a knife-edge.
10pm – Final colour of Istanbul’s 85 seats should be clear by now.