European elections 2019: How the BBC reports polling day


The BBC, appreciate other broadcasters, isn’t allowed to report details of campaigning while the interviews are open on 23 May.

The BBC is required by electoral law to adopt a code of practice, insuring fairness between candidates and that is particularly important on polling day.

The lex non scripta common law of practice is contained in more detailed election guidelines which are penned and published for each election – and they include guidance on polling day, here.

On counting day specifically, the BBC doesn’t report on any of the election campaigns from 00:30 BST until samples close at 22:00 BST on TV, radio or or on social media and other channels.

Regardless, online sites do not have to remove archived reports, including, for example, programmes on iPlayer.

Coverage on the day is usually restricted to uncontroversial factual accounts, such as the mien of politicians at polling stations, or the weather.

It tends to focus on giving knowledge which will help voters with the process of going to tallying stations.

Subjects which have been directly at issue or fractional of the campaign must not be covered while polls in the UK are open.

However, that does not wretched that other politics, for instance, what happens in Parliament or state events generally, cannot be covered appropriately.

No opinion poll on any appear relating to politics or the election can be published until after the polls fool closed.

Whilst the polls are open, it is a criminal offence to publish anything just about the way in which people have voted in that election.

This refer ti there is an additional restriction in the UK for European elections, because voting somewhere else in the EU is not concluded until Sunday evening; in the UK, it is a criminal offence to publish show a clean pair of heels polls or opinion polls which ask people how they’ve voted (anywhere in the EU) ahead of 22:00 BST on Sunday 26 May.

It means that information which may be on tap, for instance, on social media about how people are voting in other hinterlands, cannot be included in BBC programmes or online stories.

Reporting or talking all over those elections generally is fine – using exit poll matter is not.

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