Tuesday 31 March 2015

So there's an election on?

I've been busy with family (including babies) in recent days so, on returning to the world of blogging, I find there's a general election going on. Who saw that coming?

I was very active during the last election, watching the BBC (naturally), but that's not going to happen this time. There's far too little time to do anything - and, especially, to do it properly. 

However, there are a few small things that might be done over the course of the next month to monitor things. 

So I've chosen three things to follow as 'tests of BBC impartiality' - (a) the party leader interviews on Today; (b) the Reality Check posts on the BBC website; and (c) something else I've not yet decided on (but which must be capable of being monitored from yesterday).

If any of you are able to do similar easy, small-scale studies we'd love to hear your results (whatever way they may go). 


Arriving a day late, one further thing - and maybe my (c) - might be to check the BBC, Sky and ITV websites at the same time every day - say 8.30 pm each night - and compare who's reporting what.

OK, let's give it a go...

Well, tonight Sky isn't making too much of the election at all on its website. They are leading with foreign affairs (Nigeria, Turkey). The general election is merely its fifth story and its take on it (as per its headline) is scrupulously non-committal: Leaders' Day Of High Visibility Campaigning.

ITV News, by way of contrast, is leading with the election and focusing on a topic the Conservatives are said (by pundits) to want the election to focus on, the economy - and on David Cameron's take on it:
The key players in the General Election battle are focusing on business today with David Cameron pledging to create two million new jobs over the next five years if the Conservatives win power on May 7.
ITV's second election story goes with bad news for Labour, reporting a 19% swing (in a poll) from Labour to the SNP:
ITV News poll: Labour could lose 28 seats in Scotland
The BBC are also leading with the election but, in contrast to ITV, are focusing on a topic the Labour Party are said (by pundits) to want the election to focus on - living standards: 
The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats welcome pre-election figures showing growth in household incomes, but Labour says it has been the "slowest recovery for 100 years".
Related content
Beneath that is a small-print plug for Plaid Cymru:
Election 2015: Plaid promise cash boost for public services 
The BBC's real second election story, however, is: 
Why is UKIP off to a slow start?
It might (or might not) be interesting to follow this through until the day of the election.


  1. I detect among an unrepresentative section of the general public, which I condescend to mix with on occasions, a lack of interest in the election. Will the BBC reflect this ?
    BBC 1 6 pm news yesterday had Robert Peston walking around a golf course in Swindon with 2 older ladies asking them about their standard of living. Is it going to get more banal than this ?

    1. I'm not looking forward to five weeks of drivel either, Grant. Unlike last time, when I was all fired up, I'd like it all to end tomorrow and not to have to watch any of it (which isn't a good state of mind to be in for a blogger about BBC bias).

      Morecambe is a tight marginal seat. It used to be solidly Conservative, then in 1997 went Labour and - helped by 'demographic change' - stayed Labour until 2010 , when the Conservatives just about won it back, despite Labour having a popular local MP. (People like me wanting to get the Brown government out must have tipped it).

      The sitting Conservative MP doesn't do much for me, and all the polls predict Morecambe will be a Labour gain. But the Labour candidate is a non-local, anti-Israel, pro-mass immigration Muslim lady imposed from afar (well, Manchester). Do I vote UKIP? Wouldn't that just increase her likely majority even further? Or should I vote for the sitting Tory and keep my fingers crossed?


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