The Nation Decides 

8 June 2017

From the TVTimes Yorkshire edition for 28 April – 4 May 1979

ITN’s General Election programme is divided into Day One (10.45 p.m. tonight to approximately 4 a.m. tomorrow) and Day Two which opens with a breakfast programme Good Morning, Prime Minister from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., followed by The Nation Decides.

Alastair Burnet is the anchor man, Peter Snow will operate the VT30 computer, which will automatically forecast the final result, adjusting the outcome as each result is declared. All the results and graphic displays have been computerised to provide a fast service.

Martyn Lewis will read all the results. ITN’s poll involves questioning 13,000 people at 153 polling stations across the country. ITN will have an early forecast of the result at the start of The Nation Decides.

ITN Opinion Research Centre will be carrying out the biggest election day poll ever done in this country.

In October 1974 the ITN Opinion Research Centre poll was accurate to within six seats of the actual result for Labour, five for the Conservatives, two for the Liberals and one for “others”.

Because of the local elections in some areas today the usual timings for the expected declaration in many seats may be an hour or more later than normal.

There will be continual reports from outside broadcast units throughout Britain. These constituencies will include the first to declare, key marginal seats of all parties, including the SNP.

ITN reporters will be with the leaders of the three major parties during today and tomorrow.

Julian Haviland, ITN’s political editor, will be with James Callaghan, the Prime Minister, and Anna Ford will accompany Margaret Thatcher, the Conservative leader. Reginald Bosanquet will be with Edward Heath, former leader of the Conservative Party.

ITN political correspondent David Rose will be with Mr. David Steel, the Liberal leader at Roxburgh. Trevor McDonald will be at Huyton with Sir Harold Wilson. Desmond Hamill will be in North Devon with Jeremy Thorpe.

Leonard Parkin will be talking to a panel of leading politicians in the studio. They include: Lord Carrington, Conservative leader in the House of Lords; Michael Heseltine, Shadow spokesman on Environment; Sir Ian Gilmour, Conservative spokesman on Defence; and Edward du Cann, Chairman of the Conservative 1922 Committee.

For Labour there will be: Shirley Williams, Secretary of State for Education; Peter Shore, Secretary of State for the Environment; Robert Mellish, a former Chief Whip of the party; and Neil Kinnock, a leading member of the Tribune Group of Labour MPs.

The Liberals will be represented by Jo Grimond, twice leader of the Liberal Party, and John Pardoe, the party spokesman on economic affairs.

The Election 79 Breakfast Show

7.0 Good Morning, Prime Minister

Peter Sissons opens the programme and might well declare whether Mr. Callaghan stays at No. 10 or Mrs. Thatcher moves in. ITN political correspondent Glyn Mathias will be analysing the results with the VT30.

There’ll be reports too from Reginald Bosanquet who has been accompanying Edward Heath and from Anna Ford, with Margaret Thatcher.

1O.O The Nation Decides: Day Two

Anchor man Alastair Burnet returns with a summary of the results and the stories of the day. Leonard Parkin conducts a general election phone-in when viewers can talk to a panel of Roy Hattersley, Minister for Prices and Consumer Protection, Sir Geoffrey Howe, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Mr. David Alton, Liberal M.P. for Edge Hill, Liverpool, the last Parliament’s shortest serving member. Viewers who wish to put their question to the panel should telephone: 01 637 5161.

ITN outside broadcast units will be at the headquarters of the Labour, Conservative and Liberal parties. Julian Haviland will accompany Mr. Callaghan from Cardiff to London. Outside broadcast units will be at Mrs. Thatcher’s home in Chelsea, No. 10 Downing Street, and Buckingham Palace.

Personalities questioned in the studio will include: Merlyn Rees, Home Secretary; Joel Barnett, Chief Secretary to the Treasury; James Prior, Conservative spokesman on Employment; Norman St. John Stevas, Conservative spokesman on Education; liberal M.Ps. in the last Parliament, Stephen Ross and Clement Freud; Len Murray, General Secretary of the T.U.C.; and Sir John Methven, C.B.I.

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