They did release an hour long compilation of that election on VHS so maybe that was always the plan and they decided to record a clean version to make it easier to edit that, and then that's the one they've always used for the repeats.
They've been recording "clean" versions since the 1987 election at least, as I've seen the infamous clip of David Dimbleby caught with his mars bar both with and without the result caption at the bottom on different programmes:
When they showed the 2001 election, the quality was awful. Clearly from a composite source and recorded on an analogue format (lots of dot crawl and analogue video dropouts), hard to tell if the large amount of artifacting was from BBC Parliament using a low bitrate, or if it had been recorded off-air. The start of the morning portion was missing the first few minutes too and they used the clean version before an abrupt cut to the dirty one part way through William Hague's resignation speech. Clearly they only recorded the dirty feed in a lower quality, presumably they gave the clean version higher priority for recording (but presumably BBC Parliament used the dirty one even if it was lower quality, as it's easier to follow with the graphics- that's always one of the issues when they show 1997).
1979 and 1997 were the first two GEs BBC Parliament ever showed, presumably at that time they were less bothered about getting the "as broadcast" version, and they wouldn't have known at the time how many people would watch or that they'd ever show any more, so I guess they'd have put minimal effort into it. They're clearly still using the same edits of the elections they made way back in 2002- complete with very thin black bars at the top and bottom of the picture!
In 2003 we got the 1970 and Feb 74 elections, they were meant to show the 83 election as well, but Parliament came back a few days early so it got pulled, and for some reason wasn't shown until 2006 (by which time they'd shown the 55, 64, 66 and 87 elections, the 75 referendum and repeated the 70, 79 and 97 ones again. I've always wondered why they sat on 83 for so long after it was originally meant to be shown, they'd have had it edited and ready to go, so seems strange they left it 3 years and showed every other election, apart from 1959 and 1992, and repeated some others, before finally showing it).
Last edited by james-2001 on 1 June 2020 12:36am - 9 times in total