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  1. Bushwhacker's Avatar
    Senior Member
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      • Spain
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    Cool too close to call

    What is the exact meaning of "close to call" at the following sentence:

    The election is too close to call.

    Does it mean that voters time is about to end? or does it mean that election is about to begin?


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409

    Re: too close to call

    'too close to call'

    As votes are counted for each electoral area, the numbers go up on the board.
    Now, there are a definite number of registered voters per constituency. If there are 100 people voting (say), and one candidate has polled 40 and the other 44, that means there are 15 votes still to be counted.
    If one or other of the candidates received ALL those votes, then the possible final votes would be either 55, or 59. But because the voting is already so close, they are likely to continue neck and neck. What say later votes swing in favour of the candidate with 40 votes so that he takes the lead?

    It's just 'too close to call' - the numbers of votes for both candidates are so close, it is not possible to predict the end result (call) - who will win this seat - at this point in time.

  2. BobK's Avatar
    Harmless drudge
    English Teacher
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    Re: too close to call

    This is the key: "it is not possible to predict the end result (call)". It may help you to remember this special use of call if you think of two people tossing a coin (to decide who plays first, or whatever). While the coin is spinning in the air - could land either way up - the person who tossed it says "Call". The call (in the more common sense) is either "Heads" or "Tails", but in the context it becomes a prediction.


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