Election night viewing and listening 

26 April 2015 tbs.pm/6445

Here, courtesy of @swingbook2015 on Twitter, the author of Swing: A brief history of British General Election Night broadcasting, is a quick rundown of what to watch and listen to over the course of the General Election.

7 May

ELECTION BBC1 NationalELECTION BBC News 24The BBC’s main national programme, Election 2015, begins at 9.55pm on BBC1 (England), the BBC News Channel and BBC World News. David Dimbleby hosts, with Andrew Neil, Jeremy Vine, Emily Maitlis, Sophie Raworth, Laura Kuenssberg, Fiona Bruce and Nick Robinson.


ELECTION BBC1 ScotlandELECTION BBC ParliamentOn BBC1 Scotland and UK-wide on BBC Parliament, Glenn Campbell, Jackie Bird & Brian Taylor present Scotland’s results from 9.55pm.


ELECTION BBC1 NIMark Carruthers and Tara Mills chair BBC1 Northern Ireland’s coverage at 9.55pm, with all eighteen declarations plus UK analysis.


ELECTION BBC1 WalesELECTION S4CIn Wales, Election 2015 with Bethan Rhys Roberts airs from 9.55pm on BBC1 whilst Dewi Llwyd hosts Etholiad 2015 on S4C at 10pm.


ELECTION BBC2Viewers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can watch network coverage with David Dimbleby on BBC2 from 10.30pm.


ELECTION ITVELECTION UTVTom Bradby chairs Election 2015 on ITV and UTV at 9.55pm, with Julie Etchingham presenting the programme’s array of graphics.


ELECTION STVViewers in Scotland will receive STV’s own Election 2015 programme hosted by Bernard Ponsonby; again, coverage begins at 9.55pm.


ELECTION Sky NewsSky News’ Decision Time, presented by Adam Boulton, begins at 9pm. The channel will have pictures from as many as 282 declarations.


ELECTION C4Channel 4’s Alternative Election Night – with results and entertainment – begins at 9pm, hosted by Jeremy Paxman & David Mitchell. Guests include Richard Osman, Aisling Bea and Kayvan Novak, along with special editions of The Last Leg and Googlebox.


ELECTION M4At 8.25pm on More4, James Graham’s play The Vote – starring Catherine Tate and Mark Gatiss – will air live from Covent Garden.


ELECTION BBCRBThe BBC Interactive red button service will air rolling highlights of key declarations throughout the night.


ELECTION Sky Arts 1Sky Arts 1 will be following the action behind the scenes at Sky News from 9.50pm to 8am with Martin Stanford wearing a mini-camera while Mark Longhurst commentates.


ELECTION R4ELECTION R5lRadio 4’s Election 2015 begins at 10pm – simulcast on 5 Live from midnight – presented by James Naughtie and Carolyn Quinn. Beforehand, Stephen Nolan and John Pienaar host 5 Live’s early coverage from 9.50pm.


ELECTION BBC RSELECTION BBC RnGBBC Radio Scotland’s General Election 2015 airs from 10pm, with Gaelic-language coverage on Radio nan Gaidheal at 9.55pm.


ELECTION BBC RUWilliam Crawley hosts The Polls Have Closed on BBC Radio Ulster at 10pm; the station then joins Radio 4 from 2am.


ELECTION RW-RCBBC Radio Wales (9.55pm) and Radio Cymru (10pm) will carry audio from BBC1 Wales and S4C respectively until 5am.


8 May

ELECTION BBC1 NationalELECTION BBC2BBC1’s coverage continues until 6pm, with Huw Edwards in the chair. Coverage briefly switches to BBC2 from 2.45pm – 3.30pm.


ELECTION BBC1 ScotlandELECTION BBC ParliamentELECTION BBC2BBC1 Scotland’s own coverage – also on BBC Parliament – continues until 9am; viewers to BBC2 Scotland can watch Huw Edwards.


ELECTION ITVELECTION UTVELECTION STVEdwina Currie and Oona King are among the guests on Good Morning Britain; 6am – 9.25am, ITV, STV & UTV.


ELECTION ITVITV’s coverage continues with Alastair Stewart from 9.25am through until 4pm. Analysts include Colin Rallings and Vernon Bogdanor.


ELECTION UTVIn Northern Ireland, UTV’s Vote ’15 airs from 9.25am – 2.30pm, with further coverage at 5pm and 8pm.


ELECTION BBC1 NationalELECTION ITVELECTION UTVELECTION STVCoverage of the VE Day 70th anniversary service of remembrance begins on ITV and BBC1 at 2.30pm and 2.45pm respectively.


ELECTION R5lBBC Radio 5 Live’s Friday coverage begins at 5am with Nicky Campbell and Rachel Burden; Peter Allen takes over at 10am before Andrew Neil presents a round-up of events at 7pm.


ELECTION BBC RSBBC Radio Scotland’s coverage continues throughout Friday, with Good Morning Scotland, John Beattie, The Big Debate and Newsdrive until 6.30pm.


ELECTION BBC ParliamentBBC Parliament will broadcast the previous night’s programmes from BBC Wales and Northern Ireland at 11am and 6.30pm respectively.


ELECTION BBC1 NationalDavid Dimbleby presents a special edition of Question Time on BBC1 at 8.30pm, before Have I Got Election News For You at 9.30pm.


ELECTION R4XFinally, Radio 4 Extra is playing a selection of politically-themed comedy throughout election night from 10pm – 6am, including Count Arthur Strong, Henning Wehn, Hancock’s Half Hour, Yes Minister, Radio Active, Dead Ringers, The News Huddlines & The Burkiss Way.


Many thanks to Gary Rodger for this list. Buy Swing: A brief history of British General Election Night broadcasting for Kindle and Kindle Apps for only £2.99 now!


You Say

7 responses to this article

Richard Jones 26 April 2015 at 7:56 pm

You didn’t main that E4 have promoted that their going off air to encourage people to vote…

What do you mean I’m the only one watching it anyway..??

Tim Mischka 26 April 2015 at 8:29 pm

Of course, you also don’t mention all the channels that are airing good stuff, like Comedy Central. Also, since I’m American, which party is the Republican equivalent that I can make fun of and hate on?

Russ J Graham 26 April 2015 at 8:34 pm

No list can ever be comprehensive compared to looking at the Radio Times (other listings magazines are available).

The Great Britain version of the Republicans are the Conservative Party; our version of the even madder Tea Party is the notionally separate United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP).

R Bell 26 April 2015 at 11:29 pm

I think the Conservatives have much more in line with the Democrats than Republicans. The U.S. Is much more right-wing than the UK, But yeah UKIP are the Republican equivalent.

Tim Mischka 26 April 2015 at 11:54 pm

Right, including the guides that are integrated into Sky, Freesat and Virgin boxes, which are likely the most used guides now. I’ve heard of so many parties over with you guys, I was confused. I need to know who’s got sense and who to want to march on with pitchforks and torches.

Graham Kirk 4 May 2015 at 10:57 pm

Radio Wales and Radio Cyrmu only carrying BBC 1 Wales audio is hardly a proper public service. I know small scale community stations producing overnight shows with Reporters at the count. Massive BBC Fail in Wales if the above information is correct.

Joseph Gallant 27 June 2015 at 9:49 pm

The American networks can use a Swingometer to show viewers how the ratio of Republicans to Democrats in the House and Senate changes as the result of a Congressional election.

How the late Tim Russert of NBC would have loved to use one!

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