Facts and figures on the British election:

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AT STAKE: All but one of the 646 seats in the House of Commons (search), with 324 needed for a majority; 529 constituencies in England, 59 in Scotland, 40 in Wales and 18 in Northern Ireland.

In last election for 659 seats, Labour received 40.7 percent of popular votes and 412 seats; Conservatives 31.7 percent and 166 seats; Liberal Democrats 18.3 percent and 52 seats.

One seat will be decided next month at an election postponed because of the death of a candidate.

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CANDIDATES: Head of majority party becomes prime minister. Party leaders are Tony Blair (search), 51, of the Labour Party; Michael Howard (search), 63, of the Conservative Party; Charles Kennedy (search), 45, of the Liberal Democrats.

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RESULTS: First official results expected Thursday afternoon EDT, most in by Thursday evening.

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ELECTORATE: 44.2 million registered voters, who must be at least 18 years old, hold British citizenship. Adults from Commonwealth countries and Irish Republic may vote if residents of United Kingdom.

Ineligible to vote: members of the Royal Family, members of the House of Lords, bishops and archbishops of Church of England (search), the incarcerated or mentally impaired.

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TURNOUT: 59 percent voted in 2001, the lowest since 1918; 70.9 percent in 1997.

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PARTIES: Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are largest national parties.

Regional parties: Scottish National; Plaid Cymru (Wales); Northern Ireland's Ulster Unionists, Democratic Unionists, Social Democratic and Labour and Sinn Fein.

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AFTERMATH: Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's head of state, invites leader of winning party to form a government. Second-place party is named Her Majesty's Official Opposition. The state opening of Parliament, when the queen announces the government's legislative program, is scheduled for May 17.