The Newsroom

The BBC announce Local Election plans

Co-presented from London & Edinburgh

This site closed in March 2021 and is now a read-only archive
AM
Alfie Mulcahy
The BBC have outlined their plans for the upcoming local, mayoral and devolved parliament elections:


https://www.bbc.com/mediacentre/2021/elections/?at_medium=custom7&at_custom2=twitter&at_custom4=4D721906-8B1C-11EB-A3A9-F85D16F31EAE&at_custom3=%40bbcpress&at_campaign=64&at_custom1=%5Bpost+type%5D

The May elections are a bumper edition, with local elections that were postponed last year combined with those originally scheduled to take place in 2021.

The England and Wales Police and Crime Commissioners elections will round-off the elections coverage.

Results
Huw Edwards and Kirsty Wark will front the BBC's election coverage, in a BBC One programme co-hosted from London and Edinburgh from 7 May. Reeta Chakrabarti will bring us all the results as they come in, alongside Professor Sir John Curtice for expert results analysis.

There will be live coverage of all the key results from the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Senedd elections, and our correspondents will be at closely fought council, mayoral and police commissioner contests in every part of England and Wales.

Wales and Scotland will also show their own dedicated results programmes on BBC One Wales, BBC One Scotland and will produce coverage in Welsh for S4C. Coverage will continue throughout the weekend on the BBC News Channel, with BBC One coverage as crucial results come in.

BBC Radio Wales will have an election special with Gareth Lewis on 7 May between 4pm and 7pm.

Results from England, Scotland and Wales are expected from Friday 7 May - although the full picture may not become clear until the following Sunday.

Katy Searle, BBC Executive Editor, Politics, says: “The BBC’s aim is to give our audiences all the information they need before heading to the polls. Through our extensive range of programming, across digital, online, TV and radio, we will deliver widespread news, analysis and scrutiny of each political party.”

“A key part of our coverage will be audience led as we interact and engage with voters up and down the UK, hearing their opinions and views ahead of these important elections.”

“We will provide the best service possible to all voters, delivering clear and informative programming ahead of casting their vote.”

Details of coverage are as follows:


Scotland
There will be two televised debates with the leaders of five parties for the Scottish Parliament Election.

The first leaders’ debate, hosted by Scotland Editor Sarah Smith, will air at 7.50pm on Tuesday 30 March on BBC One Scotland. The second debate will take place at the end of the campaign.

There’ll be major interviews with the party leaders - by Martin Geissler on the Sunday Show; and by Gary Robertson and Laura Maxwell on Good Morning Scotland.

The extensive news offering will deliver content across digital, television, radio and online, as well as Podlitical, the weekly political podcast, with special election editions.

News reporter Ian Hamilton, accompanied by his guide dog Major, will present two people-centred half-hour specials on the election for the BBC Scotland channel from around the country, in the style of his successful My Kind of Town series.

Debate Night will be on air each Wednesday on the BBC Scotland Channel, focusing on issues including Covid-19 recovery, education and climate change, with an audience for one of the programmes made up of young voters.

A postcode checker will allow easy access to information on constituencies, results as they come in and information on candidates.

In a BBC Scotland first, a voter panel - comprising a cross-section of members of the audience - will inform the broadcaster’s output across all platforms with their stories, opinions and questions.

The late edition of Reporting Scotland will be extended two nights a week to become a half hour programme - The Campaign.

BBC Naidheachdan will bring the Gaelic audience the latest news with a series of An La specials and extended reports on Radio, TV and Online.

Chief Inspector Miekelson (Jack Docherty) will take the temperature of the nation, covering the hottest topics and talking truth to power in Scot Squad - the Chief Does Democracy, as well as quizzing politicians for an hour-long show on the BBC Scotland channel.

Special coverage will run on English-language and Gaelic programmes and platforms across Friday 7 May, Saturday 8, and into the Sunday if there are still results outstanding.

Wales
There will be a live televised leaders’ debate for the Welsh Senedd Elections at the beginning of the campaign. This will air on BBC One Wales, hosted by Bethan Rhys Roberts.

BBC Wales Live will focus on policy specific debates with leaders, including health, Covid-19 and the economy.

In-depth interviews with the leaders of the political parties will take place at 7.30pm, on BBC One Wales, as well as across BBC Radio Wales Breakfast and, on Radio Cymru. The programme, Ask The Leader, will take place over four nights, hosted by Felicity Evans.

An extensive online and digital service will include online guides, constituency information and a youth focused series fronted by digital apprentices.

BBC Radio Wales will extend the drive programme between 4-7pm, for all results coverage, subsequently simulcast across TV and radio.

Coverage will be bolstered with the Walescast podcast, providing a lighter look at issues and developments across the campaign.

BBC Bitesize will provide a developed offering as 16/17-year-olds are able to vote for the first time.

BBC Sesh will introduce a social media initiative to engage younger voters.

Hayley Pearce will present a TV factual entertainment programme to air on BBC One Wales and BBC iPlayer.

The results will air Friday 7 May on BBC One Wales and S4C, providing a comprehensive breakdown of all results, news and analysis. The results will be shared across digital and social media, in both Welsh and English.

England
Seven mayoral debates, as well as one London Mayor debate will be broadcast ahead of the polls opening, on BBC One.

News, views and opinions of voters will be reflected across digital, TV and radio broadcasts, with weekly topics introduced, including transport, social care and the environment.

State of the Region debates will be held across all regions electing their local representatives.

BBC coverage of the local elections begins on 22 March across local radio stations, regional news programmes and online, with results expected once polls have closed on Thursday 6 May.

Other highlights during the elections include:

BBC Breakfast
BBC Breakfast will provide full coverage of the elections in Wales and Scotland, as well as the local and mayoral elections in England.

The team asks if power has returned to the people since Covid-19 and the impact on UK politics, as well as speaking to voters up and down the country as they head to the polls.

BBC News at Six and Ten
The BBC News team will hit the road, led by Laura Kuenssberg, reporting on all the latest news from across the UK.

Providing in-depth coverage of all elections, as well as live updates and reports of breaking news.

BBC News Channel
BBC regional political editors and correspondents will provide coverage from across the UK, relaying the views and opinions of our audiences as they head to the polls.

BBC News will give you all the information in Your Questions Answered, which will be simulcast across BBC Radio 5 Live, Your Call.

The election touchscreen will be introduced to explain different voting systems across the elections.

Making sense of the elections
All network programmes will reflect the elections in Scotland, Wales, and England.

Real-time coverage and analysis of all elections will be covered extensively across TV, radio, digital and online platforms.

Simple guides to individual elections will be provided, as well as policy guides and audience questions answered.
DT
DTV
I imagine that they'll use NBH-B for the national programme with a similar set-up to the 2019 elections. Wouldn't be surprised if they put Reeta up in the Media Cafe again as it would give a more socially distanced appearance to the programme. I hope that we'll get more analysis from Reeta and John than tedious, repeating interviews with politicians, but I know I'll just be disappointed.

Anyway, nice of the BBC to remember that elections are taking place, they certainly didn't remember last week when the Dutch general election didn't even get a mention.
DK
DanielK
Am I missing something...if Scotland is opting out to provide coverage of only Scotland to only viewers in Scotland, then why is Kirsty Wark presenting the network (England) coverage from Edinburgh? She'll be telling non-Scots about the Scots votes...

Please tell me I'm going mad and have mis-read the article.
CF
CallumF
DTV posted:
I imagine that they'll use NBH-B for the national programme with a similar set-up to the 2019 elections. Wouldn't be surprised if they put Reeta up in the Media Cafe again as it would give a more socially distanced appearance to the programme. I hope that we'll get more analysis from Reeta and John than tedious, repeating interviews with politicians, but I know I'll just be disappointed.

Anyway, nice of the BBC to remember that elections are taking place, they certainly didn't remember last week when the Dutch general election didn't even get a mention.

The BBC’s correspondent based in the Netherlands covered the elections last week - I know this from watching her ‘live hits’ on the News Channel.

CF
CallumF
Am I missing something...if Scotland is opting out to provide coverage of only Scotland to only viewers in Scotland, then why is Kirsty Wark presenting the network (England) coverage from Edinburgh? She'll be telling non-Scots about the Scots votes...

Please tell me I'm going mad and have mis-read the article.

I assume she’ll be reporting on the Scottish results which will be of interest across the UK?

Although, I don’t know where she will actually be presenting from? It was my understanding that Scottish votes won’t be counted until the next day so that rules out counting centres. The BBC’s Edinburgh bureau also doesn’t have a studio I think?
DK
DanielK
Am I missing something...if Scotland is opting out to provide coverage of only Scotland to only viewers in Scotland, then why is Kirsty Wark presenting the network (England) coverage from Edinburgh? She'll be telling non-Scots about the Scots votes...

Please tell me I'm going mad and have mis-read the article.

I assume she’ll be reporting on the Scottish results which will be of interest across the UK?

Although, I don’t know where she will actually be presenting from? It was my understanding that Scottish votes won’t be counted until the next day so that rules out counting centres. The BBC’s Edinburgh bureau also doesn’t have a studio I think?

From what I read, it's only elections to the Scottish Parliament, rather than electing any MP's to Wesminster etc, so it has little relevance outside of Scotland.

The logic doesn't add up, if we in Scotland need a special programme just about Scottish results, why do the English Regions need to carry a 'network' programme that shows all results, rather than an English Regions programme showing results from England.
AN
Andrew Founding member
Am I missing something...if Scotland is opting out to provide coverage of only Scotland to only viewers in Scotland, then why is Kirsty Wark presenting the network (England) coverage from Edinburgh? She'll be telling non-Scots about the Scots votes...

Please tell me I'm going mad and have mis-read the article.

I assume she’ll be reporting on the Scottish results which will be of interest across the UK?

Although, I don’t know where she will actually be presenting from? It was my understanding that Scottish votes won’t be counted until the next day so that rules out counting centres. The BBC’s Edinburgh bureau also doesn’t have a studio I think?

From what I read, it's only elections to the Scottish Parliament, rather than electing any MP's to Wesminster etc, so it has little relevance outside of Scotland.

The logic doesn't add up, if we in Scotland need a special programme just about Scottish results, why do the English Regions need to carry a 'network' programme that shows all results, rather than an English Regions programme showing results from England.

As the SNP are campaigning on a vote for them is a vote for "IndyRef2" agenda then its clearly of interest to those in England how the results turn out
DK
DanielK
I assume she’ll be reporting on the Scottish results which will be of interest across the UK?

Although, I don’t know where she will actually be presenting from? It was my understanding that Scottish votes won’t be counted until the next day so that rules out counting centres. The BBC’s Edinburgh bureau also doesn’t have a studio I think?

From what I read, it's only elections to the Scottish Parliament, rather than electing any MP's to Wesminster etc, so it has little relevance outside of Scotland.

The logic doesn't add up, if we in Scotland need a special programme just about Scottish results, why do the English Regions need to carry a 'network' programme that shows all results, rather than an English Regions programme showing results from England.

As the SNP are campaigning on a vote for them is a vote for "IndyRef2" agenda then its clearly of interest to those in England how the9 results turn out

Actually, fair point.

EDIT: However, 'co-presenting' is overkill vs a correspondent up in Scotland relaying the relative info.
DT
DTV
DTV posted:
I imagine that they'll use NBH-B for the national programme with a similar set-up to the 2019 elections. Wouldn't be surprised if they put Reeta up in the Media Cafe again as it would give a more socially distanced appearance to the programme. I hope that we'll get more analysis from Reeta and John than tedious, repeating interviews with politicians, but I know I'll just be disappointed.

Anyway, nice of the BBC to remember that elections are taking place, they certainly didn't remember last week when the Dutch general election didn't even get a mention.

The BBC’s correspondent based in the Netherlands covered the elections last week - I know this from watching her ‘live hits’ on the News Channel.


Didn't make it over to network, though. I watched the Ten on Wednesday (post-Exit Poll) and the Six on Thursday (post-result) and, unless I got distracted for a few minutes, I don't recall it even getting a mention let alone a report. Given the near-saturation level of coverage of US elections, I feel that the parliamentary election of a medium-sized western European country deserves at least a single standard packaged report on the main evening bulletins. It's not like they were particularly constrained by other news, one of them found the time to run a bizarre package by Laura K that was a basically a promo for her Covid Confidential video. But then again, the Dutch election only partially fulfilled The Narrative™.
JO
Jonwo
I suppose news organisations have to consider whether the election in question is relevant to viewers and clearly the Dutch elections isn't that important compared to the US elections. Even the Australian and NZ Elections don't get much coverage.
AP
AndrewPSSP
DTV posted:
Anyway, nice of the BBC to remember that elections are taking place, they certainly didn't remember last week when the Dutch general election didn't even get a mention.

It was talked about on the World Service last week
I feel like most of the domestic audience wouldn't be too interested in the Dutch elections - especially when a lot of people can't be bothered to vote in elections here!
CU
Cusack
DTV posted:
DTV posted:
I imagine that they'll use NBH-B for the national programme with a similar set-up to the 2019 elections. Wouldn't be surprised if they put Reeta up in the Media Cafe again as it would give a more socially distanced appearance to the programme. I hope that we'll get more analysis from Reeta and John than tedious, repeating interviews with politicians, but I know I'll just be disappointed.

Anyway, nice of the BBC to remember that elections are taking place, they certainly didn't remember last week when the Dutch general election didn't even get a mention.

The BBC’s correspondent based in the Netherlands covered the elections last week - I know this from watching her ‘live hits’ on the News Channel.


Didn't make it over to network, though. I watched the Ten on Wednesday (post-Exit Poll) and the Six on Thursday (post-result) and, unless I got distracted for a few minutes, I don't recall it even getting a mention let alone a report. Given the near-saturation level of coverage of US elections, I feel that the parliamentary election of a medium-sized western European country deserves at least a single standard packaged report on the main evening bulletins. It's not like they were particularly constrained by other news, one of them found the time to run a bizarre package by Laura K that was a basically a promo for her Covid Confidential video. But then again, the Dutch election only partially fulfilled The Narrative™.


I didn't see it mentioned by ITV or Sky either, so not just the BBC.

Newer posts