Can Sunderland constituency make it six in a row?

Houghton and Sunderland South will aim to be the first constituency to declare its general election result again.

Houghton and Sunderland South will aim to be the first constituency to declare its general election result again.

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Will the Labour-held constituency of Houghton and Sunderland South once again win the race to be the first place to declare the result?

Over the past five elections, this seat, or its predecessor Sunderland South, has been the first to declare, operating a well-rehearsed military-style manoeuvre to be first in the field.

At the last election, the result was declared at 10.48pm, less than an hour after the polling stations closed.

Ballot boxes from throughout the constituency will be sealed and rushed to the counting hall by a special fleet-footed team within half an hour of the polls closing.

They then expect to complete counting by 11pm.

Such is the speed and organisation, the other two constituencies in the Sunderland area may be the next constituencies to declare their results also, they hope, within an hour.

This first result enables the pundits and their computers to calculate, as best they can, the accurate (they hope) final result nationwide.

It has now become a source of pride in the constituency that they leave nearly everyone else lagging far behind.

Some constituencies, particularly the far-flung ones, do not declare until late on the Saturday, sometimes nearly 48 hours after polling finishes.