Saturday, 23 April 2011

Elections 2011 : Your Essential Viewing Guide

The following information has been sourced from and is accurate as of April 23rd 2011. I will be updating this post on April 30th 2011 and again on May 4th 2011 in order to provide the most accurate information possible

Thursday May 5th 2011
So you have done your civic duty and are slumped in front of the telly exhausted by the sheer number of ballots you've had to fill in and are eagerly waiting for the results to start to trickle in and so you switch on your telly and count down the last few seconds of polling thanks to the BBC News channel's countdown to the top of the hour and at 10.00pm the polls close and the BBC Ten O'Clock News leads with the top story of Elections 2011. At 10.25pm you have a choice (the first of several over the next few days), you can either a) watch Question Time (BBC One), b) watch Newsnight (BBC Two), or c) cheat, and using the miracle that is Sky Television change to BBC One Wales where Huw Edwards greets you with a warm "Noswaith dda" to the first of the election programmes as BBC One Wales covers the Welsh Assembly elections until 4.30am (recounts permitting of course). If you don't have Sky (or a internet connection that can stream live footage), then you will have to wait until 11.35pm for David Dimbleby to welcome you to Vote 2011. If you are in Scotland at this time, then you get Glenn Campbell (no, not the country and western singer, but BBC Scotland's political correspondent) from 11.45pm and with that the entire country is watching at least one set of elections.

Friday May 6th 2011
By the time the sun is rising over the Isles of Sicilly (6.00am), BBC Breakfast will have taken over the reins of the election coverage (except in Scotland where you will get your exclusively Scottish breakfast programme) which will gently ease you into the morning proper allowing you to catch up on some sleep. But not for long, because at 11.05am Glenn's at it again with Scotland (this time on BBC Two Scotland), closely followed at 12.00pm by David Dimbleby in London and Huw Edwards in Wales (on BBC Two and BBC One Wales respectively). Now you might be thinking at this time, hold on a moment, aren't we missing someone? Not to worry because at 3.05pm, Neil Davenport (from BBC Northern Ireland) and the rest of the BBC Newsline team from Belfast will storm onto BBC One Northern Ireland with the first results from the Assembly elections. By which time, the AV referendum will be starting to declare and BBC Two becomes AV Central as David Dimbleby comes back at 5.00pm with the first results from the referendum. Of course, all of this has been happening in English, if you come from the Western Isles or having to be taking a course in Scottish Gaelic, may I suggest changing to BBC Alba at 5.30pm and playing a game of "Guess the constituency!" as An Taghadh 2011 (Vote 2011) launches. By now, if you have been hardy enough, you will have spent nearly 19 hours glued to your television, so if you feel like being a glutton for punishment may I recommend more Northern Ireland Assembly results (BBC Two Northern Ireland) from 7.00pm which leads you nicely into the Ten O'Clock News, Newsnight and the various regional reviews of the day so far and then you might be able to go to bed!

The update on April 30th 2011 will carry on from 6.00am on Saturday May 7th 2011 and will focus on the remainder of the AV referendum yet to declare, the remainder of the Northern Ireland Assembly and carry on into the following week as the Northern Ireland councils start to declare.


  1. ".......BBC One Wales where Huw Edwards greets you with a warm "Noswaith dda" to the first of the election programmes as BBC One Wales covers the Welsh Assembly elections until 4.30am (recounts permitting of course)."

    The whole North region is not going to start verifying until 9am so we'll see none of those on that programme. My own local authority area, Rhondda Cynon Taff,says it expects to start declaring around "breakfast time" (depends then on when returning officers usually have breakfast!) so that's three constituencies and the South Central region not in that programme either and I suspect they won't be the only area in that position. Unless a few key seats come in we won't have bugger all of a picture until well after this programme finishes.

  2. Fife and Stirling aren't counting until morning in Scotland, though there may be others too, in which case we'll all be at work when most of the results are coming through:( Thank goodness I can just record the whole election day for when I get home and warn my colleagues not to tell me any results!

  3. Err, the alternative to using Sky to watch BBC Wales is, of course, to live here. For us, it's the norm, not the Other.

    Otherwise, brilliant! Please keep up the good work.

  4. You forgot S4C - but then people do.

  5. If however, you would like un-biased, expert opinions from leading academics on Welsh politics, you should turn on S4C and enjoy Dewi Llwyd and Richard Wyn Jones' analysis!