If the most recent polls are to be believed (and as we all know, that’s a very big “if”), the result of the EU referendum is likely to be very close. But what happens if it’s a dead heat? Statistically this is of course highly unlikely, but it’s not impossible. It’s more plausible that the difference between the two camps is just a handful of votes. The question is: how close would the result have to be to trigger a recount? There is, perhaps surprisingly, no simple answer to this question. The general rules of the game are set out in the EU Referendum Act 2015, and there are specific regulations for conducting the poll. As for all elections in the UK, counting officers are responsible for the votes cast in their voting area and specific guidance rules for this referendum have also been published by the Electoral Commission.
There will not be a national-level recount if the result is close but there can be local-level recounts at any of the 382 counting areas.
Accurate local totals for each voting area are therefore fundamental to a clear result in which voters can have confidence, and counting officers will no doubt be painfully aware of the pressures on them to get things right.
Full Article: EU referendum: what if it’s a tie?.