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The BBC's Election 2010 programme

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Craig Oliver Craig Oliver | 11:37 UK time, Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Every general election is special. There's something extraordinary about tens of millions of people coming together and deciding who should run our country.

However, some general elections go beyond the extraordinary and become truly historic.

I wasn't quite 10, but I'll never forget when Margaret Thatcher stood on the doorstep of Number 10 and said "Where there is discord, may we bring harmony." Similarly, Tony Blair saying "A new dawn has broken, has it not?" was clearly going to be a historical moment.

Whatever the result, this year's election will bring a sea change. Will David Cameron become the first Conservative prime minister for 13 years? Will Nick Clegg break the mould of UK politics? Or will Gordon Brown defy the polls and secure an unprecedented fourth consecutive Labour victory?

The opening titles of our Election 2010 programme, we hope, recognise this sense of history. The programme begins at 2155 BST on 6 May on BBC One, the BBC News Channel, BBC HD and of course online and you can see a preview of the titles below.

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The idea came from looking and listening back over the many election nights the BBC has covered. As election editor, I have often made a date with BBC Parliament - which has shown many past elections in the past year - and found myself drawn into the intrigue and excitement of a particular night.

1974 BBC election coverageI realised that if you ever want to get a sense of the country at a specific time, you could do a lot worse than watch the BBC election results programme. February 1974 is a particular favourite - not just because it helped with my understanding of the last time we had a hung Parliament, but also because it reveals the UK as such a different country.

A full ashtray can be seen on the desk at the beginning of the night; some of the men have hairstyles that could have been in a science-fiction film; the presentation team has no women and for any woman standing for Parliament, the graphics helpfully add a "Mrs" or "Miss" in brackets after her surname.

The only black face to be seen on the programme is a man in Trafalgar Square being interviewed by Desmond Wilcox, who seems to assume he mustn't be used to democracy - the interviewee politely points out that he has lived in the country for some time.

1979 BBC election coverage

1979 is equally interesting. The country seems a colder, greyer place than 1974 - and many of the reporters speak as though they have a plum in their mouth. I wonder what the BBC election editor in 2046 will make of the country presented in Election 2010.

election1979.jpgI am sure they will see a fantastic team, headed by David Dimbleby presenting his eighth general election. Nick Robinson will give us the sharpest analysis; Emily Maitlis and Jeremy Vine will bring clarity with exceptional graphics and Fiona Bruce will keep us up to date with regular news bulletins.

We'll be on air just before the polls close at 2200 BST, when we'll release the results of our exit poll. Most importantly, we'll bring you all the results as they happen - with our reporters at many more seats across the UK than any other broadcaster.

Our colleagues in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will have their own programmes - with the BBC UK programme on BBC Two in those areas. Radio 4 and 5 live have been
working closely with us, sharing expertise and resources, and they will have their own results services. We've also worked extremely closely with our colleagues online, so watching us with your laptop or mobile open on the Live Event page and explainers should be a great experience.

The last three elections were extremely important - but during each campaign, the polls pointed to only one outcome. As I write this, no-one is certain what will happen this time. Pollsters and political analysts are as bemused as they are excited, saying they've never seen anything like this in their lifetimes.

6 and 7 May 2010 look to be days that historians will write about for generations. I hope you take the opportunity to grab the best front-row seat with the BBC as history is made.

Craig Oliver is deputy head, BBC newsroom.

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    While I'm sure you'll be putting on a great show I think I'll be watching C4's alternative election night special.
    Election night broadcasts have become increasingly dull and no amount of special effects and analysis can hide the fact that for most of the time the show is little more than a group of boring middle aged people talking about who may win what seat and what it may all mean in an attempt to kill time between results being announced.

  • Comment number 2.

    If Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have "their own programmes", that surely makes the so-called "BBC UK" transmission a programme for England.

    Alternatively, if the main output is truly a UK programme, why does England (or indeed each BBC region) not rate its own programme?

    The election is to the Parliament of the United Kingdom, so a United Kingdom perspective is all that should matter. Or, given that it gives a rare opportunity to shine, is the subsidiarity merely something to keep Brian Taylor, Betsan Powys and Mark Devenport (and their respective colleagues) happy in their work, out in the wilds where politics isn't a three-horse race?


  • Comment number 3.

    Errr Craig, in this article you appear to be saying how wonderful you own opening credits are. Then you say '1979 is equally interesting.' If it wasn't interesting you wouldn't be writing about it would you?

  • Comment number 4.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 5.

    What happened to Rick Wakeman?

  • Comment number 6.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 7.

    I'm afraid I'll be watching Channel 4's Alternative Election Night - if you are going to watch absurd television you might as well watch some that is MEANT to be!

  • Comment number 8.

    Before the 1997 Election the BBC did a programme looking back at election coverage called "Swing Time" - a wry look back, intercut with occasional comedy sketches from Python etc. I still have it on tape somewhere.

    One of the telling comments came from Cliff Michelmore, about the size of the sets typically used - pointing out that at the end of the day, "it all comes down to a box like that" (framing his head with his arms). Funnily enough, the Beeb are using their biggest studio once again!

  • Comment number 9.

    Past Election night programmes were great, the time before hyperbolic leaping about a CGI set became all that is important, when all that was necessary was a simple verbal explanation and if a 'gadget' was needed it was equally simple.

    The vast majority of us do not need to be treated as though we are eleven parts short of a dozen all the time...

    [/rant]

  • Comment number 10.

    1. At 12:54pm on 05 May 2010, Buck_Turgidson wrote:

    "Election night broadcasts have become increasingly dull and no amount of special effects and analysis can hide the fact that for most of the time the show is little more than a group of boring middle aged people talking about who may win what seat and what it may all mean in an attempt to kill time between results being announced."

    But that is what is so interesting, the actual results being announced is the boring part, it's the insight that these guests give, stories of past elections etc. but I suspect that the real problem is that you're really interested in the pure politics of the occasion, just the (media) hype.

  • Comment number 11.

    Craig,

    I see clearly your sense of history so could you give me one good reason why the BBC has dropped Rick Wakeman's 'Arthur' theme for the Election Night programme after 30 years? It's a piece of music that not only captures perfectly the sense of drama and destiny of the occasion but, in the minds of so many, is identified with journalistic excellence at the BBC. Its successor comes nowhere near. Why does somebody always feel the need to mend what is not broken or to impose their own mark on a longstanding tradition?

  • Comment number 12.

    So you are getting rid of Rick Wakeman's Arthur as the theme?

    For shame.

  • Comment number 13.

    Will the BBC be showing any more old election marathons soon? I've so far enjoyed watching the 1979 and 1983 coverage (almost from start to finish, believe it or not... I find it oddly gripping) but missed 1987 last time it was on.

  • Comment number 14.

    I predict that when the result is looking guaranteed we will hear Labour, the Conservatives and the Lib Dems all claim it was a good night for their parties.

  • Comment number 15.

    Oh no! I like the sense of history conveyed by the titles - but where is Rick Wakeman's King Arthur music??!

  • Comment number 16.

    lots of manufactured excitement, incredibly long periods of nothing happening and - hopefully - communication breakdowns!

    dont worry, i'll be watching!

  • Comment number 17.

    [notBolierplated]

    some boring stuff about media coverage of the election...

    [/notBoilerplated]

    ...damm that whole html thing is really corney...

    ha ha ha!

  • Comment number 18.

    Be honest.It's just an excuse for a party...isn't it ???
    Still* if you can't enjoy the odd glass or two of whine on Election night ...when can one ? ?

    David Cameron's face should be a picture,...just not like Helen Of Troy.


    [New Dawn Fades]

  • Comment number 19.

    i love election night and usually manage to stay awake for most of it ... [day off on friday] ... you see some fantastic moments and/or amusing things that happen that never appear again on the regular news ... as well as the classic times when someone [a cabinet minister] loses a seat.

    i love the fact that every single one of us decides the outcome without fear of repurcussion and that we are able to vote freely. that is something worth celebrating and being thankful for i think.

  • Comment number 20.

    I would be as well waiting until I read the election results in the tabloids, as the BBC political journalism and coverage of the election is no longer any different than those of the worst tabloids.

  • Comment number 21.

    Bring back King Arthur!! This new music sounds like a poor man's Black Beauty and is instantly forgettable. If you are going to change it pick something powerful and heroic - there's plenty of Vangelis or even Hans Zimmer that hasn't yet been done to death by TV productions.

  • Comment number 22.

    Will there be Arthur (by Rick Wakeman, I think), after the initial look provided, I'm a tad anxious (as I was looking forward to it with the election).

    I also watch BBC Parliament for the archive elections. Best wishes to all those working on the Election Night programme.

  • Comment number 23.

    Channel 4's alternative election night for me as well - if I'm not watching recorded programmes from my cable box's hard disk that is.

    I'm sure BBC1, BBC News, BBC HD, BBC Moon, BBC Jupiter, Sky News, Sky News HD, ITV1, ITV HD (or ITV NearlyHD, upscaled) and by extension STV & UTV will all do a fantastic job of presenting the same information about how much swinging is going on.

    Its the digital television era.. does this mean digital swingometers for the above mentioned channels, I wonder?

  • Comment number 24.

    Why are all the past election programmes not available permanently on iPlayer, surely there will be no rights issues? In fact why can't they be made available for download (no time limit) as their is little or no commercial value (they only seem to be dragged out as fillers on high days and holidays) whilst content creators who want to use extracts would still have to licence footage in the usual way.

  • Comment number 25.

    Aw C'mon Beeb, you just gotta keep Dimbles, "OK, OK I should say David Dimbleby" wasn't there were some talk of relieveing him of his post.. "hope I am mistaken".

    The been usually does a good job in spite of all the 'hot air' they got from the politicians on the night...

    ... I just love watching them and listening the excuses, putting a brave face on when a expectant winner get slaughtered, better the the Flintstones.

  • Comment number 26.

    Craig:

    Thanks, for giving us the audience a sneak preview about the 2010 BBC Election Night Coverage....

    (d)

  • Comment number 27.

    Very, very disappointed with the decision to change the theme music; I'm 41 and to me at least it's synonymous with election night. It had the right sense of grandeur, import, and peculiarly a tinge of sadness (which helped in years when it doesn't go your own way!). Seriously though, why??

  • Comment number 28.

    Living in Wales I don't understand why there needs to be a different programme for us, unless it's to justify having such large numbers of politicl hacks to spare and too much licence money to spend. I would, and will prefer to follow programming which accepts the General Electon is for the whole country. England's Council elections I believe also take place at the same time, so if anything England needs more attention, not less.

  • Comment number 29.

    The female commentator said that postal votes will need to be posted Wednesday in order to be delivered by Thursday. I understand that it is in order to hand it in at a local polling station - if this is so could the BBC make it known before voters lose their opportunity?

  • Comment number 30.

    Torn between whether to watch the inevitable cock-ups on the BBC coverage or Channel 4's promising "alternative" election coverage.

  • Comment number 31.

    I agree! Bring Back The Theme Tune!!

    Good luck to all involved though. Let's hope there aren't too many out takes to look forward to when BBC Parliment reruns the show in a decade or two's time.......

  • Comment number 32.

    Craig, can you see how many people have already been disappointed by the planned loss of 'Arthur'? "A poor man's 'Black Beauty'. Instantly forgettable," said one of the proposed tune.

    Don't alienate your loyal viewers, it's not too late to use the new titles and play the 1992 Election Night edit of Rick Wakeman's theme over the top. It fits perfectly!

  • Comment number 33.

    Better theme tune than the one for 2001, but come on, election night is King Arthur's Night, isn't it?

  • Comment number 34.

    What have you done to the theme music? It's gotta be Wakeman's Arthur theme.

  • Comment number 35.

    Boilerplated wrote:
    But that is what is so interesting, the actual results being announced is the boring part, it's the insight that these guests give, stories of past elections etc. but I suspect that the real problem is that you're really interested in the pure politics of the occasion, just the (media) hype.


    I think you've got the wrong end of the stick here, apologies if my post wasn't clear.

    If you read my post again you'll see that I said:
    the show is little more than a group of boring middle aged people talking about who may win what seat and what it may all mean in an attempt to kill time between results being announced

    It is not the politics I find boring, it is the predictable line up of has-been's and hacks repeating the same old lines that they've been putting out for years, there won’t be any meaningful political insight and all of the stories you hear will just be the same old stories you’ve heard before.

    There's no reason the BBC couldn't have made an alternative show themselves for BBC3 using people like Charlie Brooker, Ian Hislop and other satirists who would be able to provide the same information without the mind-numbing waffle you're going to be watching on BBC1 tonight.

    Channel 4 have been running a show with Bremner, Bird and Fortune over the last few days and while it is based around comedy they have also managed to get a lot of important information and debate into the show without turning it into a bore-fest.

    Politics may be serious but that's no reason for it to be dull !

  • Comment number 36.

    Will the online coverage be available to overseas voters? (i.e. purely self-interested me in the US)

  • Comment number 37.

    I'm disappointed to see the removal of the traditional theme tune, why has this been changed? In its own small way, it's part of the BBC's election coverage!

  • Comment number 38.

    I'm working as a counter on election night and the following day & will be taping C4 to watch on Saturday after its all over.
    Cant be bothered with all these so called "experts" who in reality know less than anyone else usually.

  • Comment number 39.

    32. At 3:43pm on 05 May 2010, Easylistener wrote:

    "Craig, can you see how many people have already been disappointed by the planned loss of 'Arthur'? "A poor man's 'Black Beauty'. Instantly forgettable," said one of the proposed tune."

    Indeed, so forgettable it was only after reading some of the comments that I realised that the tune had been changed, it just didn't registrar at all (brain probably waiting for 'Arthur' to kick in...), totally agree, use the Rick Wakeman's theme.

  • Comment number 40.

    Quote "recognise this sense of history"

    Erm the BBC wouldn't have change the theme music if you knew anything about history. The new offering seems like a reject for the 1980s 'one o'clock news'.

    I'm very shocked; there will be a backlash, but will the BBC ignore us?

  • Comment number 41.

    "tens of millions of people coming together and deciding who should run our country"

    Were this so. My vote is pointless, I don't want any of the main parties anyway, and I want a say in things during a parliament session; and probably some decent constitutional protection from an out-of-control executive with trigger-happy legislation. We're in a shocking situation democratically in many ways, and I don't see this changing.

  • Comment number 42.

    35. At 4:17pm on 05 May 2010, Buck_Turgidson wrote:

    "Politics may be serious but that's no reason for it to be dull !"

    I wouldn't use the word "dull", more like "serious", 'nough said...

  • Comment number 43.

    There are 28 hours left for a crucial decision to be made - BBC bring back the old music for the Country's sake!!

  • Comment number 44.

    Why is this nowhere on the BBC

    its in the Guardian & the Telegraph

    UK budget deficit 'to surpass Greece's as worst in EU'European commission's spring forecasts put UK budget deficit this year at 12% of GDP – the highest

    Your not trying to cover it are you?

  • Comment number 45.

    Have to say that this years theme music is very underwelming - totally forgettable and completely lacking the pomp and grandeur of the Rick Wakeman composition. Sounds like you got a third rate composer on the cheap to write it in his lunch break.

    If it aint broke, don't try to fix it. Election Night is a major event and deserves better.

  • Comment number 46.

    Another supporter of the "Bring Back *Arthur*" campaign. The last time it was dropped it came back for the following election. The new "jingle" - does sound a little like a bland remix of an old news theme. Arthur is exactly right for an election: "whosoever shall draw the sword from this stone and anvil shall be the true king of all England" - OK replace England by "this land" for the sake of the 4 nations, but a true and grand Murray Gold style orchestral reworking of Arthur, akin to the reworked deliah derbyshire Doctor Who theme would be a great intro.

  • Comment number 47.

    I'm really looking forward to watching the coverage. Actually, your account of the 1974 election and hung parliament coverage sounds even better - any chance of viewing that somewhere on the BBC site?

    I really think this election is a critical one for the UK. With the budget deficit sitting at over 11% of GDP - the largest since World War II - it really doesn't matter who wins.

    The ultimate victor's priority simply has to be how to employ tax increases and public spending cuts in order to bring the deficit down. If it is shown to be anything to the contrary, the rating agencies around the world will have a field day trying to figure out how much they should be downgrading UK's rating by.

    Less seriously for a moment, the UK election coverage has been quite comical in other parts of the world. Think you'd all enjoy a break from the serious with this UK election cartoon containing 'comic interviews' with each of the major and some not-so-major UK political parties!

  • Comment number 48.

    40. At 4:50pm on 05 May 2010, khawkes wrote:

    "The new [theme music] seems like a reject for the 1980s 'one o'clock news'."

    Well spotted there, that is exactly what it sounds like, trying to compete with ITN's "First Report"...

  • Comment number 49.

    Well, I love the new theme music. Quite stirring - well done for being brave enough to make the change.

  • Comment number 50.

    "Well spotted there, that is exactly what it sounds like, trying to compete with ITN's "First Report"..."

    Come on BBC, reinstate Arthur now, otherwise they'll be Facebook groups about it!!

  • Comment number 51.

    Boilerplated wrote:
    35. At 4:17pm on 05 May 2010, Buck_Turgidson wrote:
    "Politics may be serious but that's no reason for it to be dull !"

    I wouldn't use the word "dull", more like "serious", 'nough said...



    I did use the word serious, you may notice it there just after the words Politics may be, in my last sentence that you've copied into your post, I've even highlighted it above just in case you can't see it.

    I hate to play the Dictionary definition game but just to clarify the point;

    Serious, as in requiring thought, concentration, or application: serious reading; a serious task.

    As opposed to;

    Dull, as in causing boredom; tedious; uninteresting.


    There is a distinct difference between the two and it is surely not beyond the abilities of the BBC to produce a program that is serious without it being dull, even if it is an alternative program on BBC3 so people like you are still getting to watch the traditional sort of program you like on BBC1.

  • Comment number 52.

    Thanks.. looking forward to the coverage! Are you still planning on broadcasting it on Big Ben or will you just display a hangman's noose there? ;)

  • Comment number 53.

    Channel 4's Alternative Election is the first of its kind this year so it be interesting to see what its like

  • Comment number 54.

    Without a 'True born King of all Britain' (Rick Wakeman - Arthur) we SHALL have a hung parliament.

  • Comment number 55.

    Totally agree with the many other posters about the theme music - it's absolutely dire! Whoever dubbed it 'a failed edit for the one o'clock news from 1980' or similar, was right on the money. Bring back Rick Wakeman's Arthur!! On reading the other postings I have to admit I'm curious about Channel 4's offerings now!

  • Comment number 56.

    Please keep Rick Wakemans Arthur!

    and put the replays on iplayer!


    THE PUBLIC HAS SPOKEN!

  • Comment number 57.

    You can add my name to the list of those disappointed by the removal of King Arthur as the Election Night theme, to the point where I plan to mute your title sequence and play this over the top instead:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WY7fmIgBtdk&feature=related

    That aside, I've watched Election Night on the BBC every time since 1992 and I'll be doing so again tomorrow night; I hope you share the same view I do, though, that the likely closeness of the seat totals make it more important that the main thrust of the programme is RESULTS and LIVE DECLARATIONS.

    Would you possibly be able to say how the OB operation and results gathering will work?

    Anyway, I wish you and your team behind the scenes, and David Dimbleby and his team in front of the scenes, all the very best for tomorrow - and Friday, and Saturday, and Sunday...

  • Comment number 58.

    BBC, what are you doing replacing an iconic piece of music (Arthur) conveying gravitas, importance, a sense of urgency and HISTORY with something that sounds like the brass section of an orchestra tuning up? Why fiddle with something that did the job so well? By all means update and remix for a contemporary Britain, but don't just replace for the sake of it. Even the music for Vote 2001 was 100 times better. I love the BBC and all that it stands for, but why does it do stupid things like this? Obviously, I'll be watching David et al on Thurs night/Fri morning, but it won't quite be the same. Shame!

  • Comment number 59.

    I know everybody else has said it but I still think it doesn't feel like a proper BBC election programme without using 'King Arthur' by Rick Wakeman as the theme tune.

  • Comment number 60.

    As others have said reworking a 1980's news theme!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goAwGs8TP6w
    Ugh!
    I rest my case. BBA (Bring Back Arthur)

  • Comment number 61.

    Ironic.. it's all about democracy, but will the BBC restore Arthur's Theme? Nah.. they feel above it all - happily spending our money commissioning something they know will disappoint.

    This will taint the whole evening - especially that nonsense about "recognising a sense of history".

    Now we know who runs the show.



  • Comment number 62.

    No doubt the coverage itself will be excellent. The BEEB know what they're doing for big events like this and I would never dream of watching it on any other channel. But changing the theme is a major clanger. I love the drama of election night and that theme is the starting gun, the big flashing neon sign screaming "it's started, time to settle down and crack open the tinnies". It won't be the same without it, like the FA Cup Final without Abide With Me, and smacks of some creative type making a change simply to justify their position. It's not too late to redeem yourselves and change it back.

  • Comment number 63.

    I'm gutted! I was looking forward to seeing what graphics you set to Arthur's theme - the new tune is a disaster!

  • Comment number 64.

    I read somewhere last week that the Beeb commissioned the new theme on the cheap. They didn't pay the composer, who is a virtual unknown, and they had the BBC orchestra already booked for something else, so they could add the recording for the election theme onto the end of it. A BBC spokesman apparently said that when they were looking at the old theme (Arthur), they thought it needed updating! And this was the result!!

  • Comment number 65.

    #51. At 6:44pm on 05 May 2010, Buck_Turgidson wrote:

    Dull, as in causing boredom; tedious; uninteresting."

    But only to those who think politics is all about 'Image', want that sort of media rubbish, watch "X-Factor"...

  • Comment number 66.

    jnforrest - CSPAN in the US Typically carry the BBC Election Feed Live, they did in 2001 and 2005 at the very least, so I imagine they will do so again.

  • Comment number 67.

    Everyone complain at this travesty of broadcasting how can they take away our beloved Arthur? I have already vented on Twitter join me with your angry tweeting at this injustice #bbcelectiontheme

  • Comment number 68.

    I agree with the comments that the iconic 'Arthur' Tune should be brought back.
    Never as a tune like Arthur make the hair on the back of your neck stand up and send a shiver down your spine just before the election Night.
    Not too Late Beeb, the Public has spoken, bring back Arthur, dropping it in 2001 was a mistake, why have you done it again????

    Also rather then having the elections on the iplayer, why cant the BBC bring the Elections out on DVD?

  • Comment number 69.

    I think the video looks better if you mute it and play XX::intro(the Election coverage trailer music) from youtube over it. This new program music is too much like stock music you'd use in a home video.

  • Comment number 70.

    Thatcher and Blair might annoy some people as well. As we may end up with the worst of both of them rolled into one in my personal opinion(not wishing to start a discussion on that). Isn't it possible to split audio channels on Digital TV? probably too late now though.

  • Comment number 71.

    I was a 10yr old in 1974 and was fascinated. There were two elections, in the Feb one the Tories got more votes but fewer seats, I remember the talk of whether Ted Heath would try and stay, then again Harold wilson was a real character, but subsequently labour limped along for 5 years (familiar?).
    My son is now 10, I gather his class discussing establishes that Gordon Brown is an "idiot" and they all think Nick Clegg is a "really nice guy" (i'm glad the issues have been sorted then).
    Now working in the US paid in $'s waiting for a hung Parliament so my money pays for more at home. This is now inevitatble following 13 years of largely pointless spending splurge and a toxic legacy. "Things Can only get better", you bet!
    God, I also remember the swingomiter, was'nt that great

  • Comment number 72.

    arthur 2005 election. You could try opening another tab, mute the sound on the title video and try to play the arthur track over the titles. to see what it would be like. Itll probably take a few trys

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/election_2010/8635069.stm

  • Comment number 73.

    Isn't it a bit sad to drag out an old tape of Thatcher's election as a reminder of what it was like being ten year's old? I wonder about people in journalism and the media, I mean just how egocentric can you get?

    It reminds me of the hype built up around Premier League football, a hype which still survives despite all the fractures appearing in the fabric that, I assume, were not in the plan. When the foundations of our national sport start to creak violently you know something very major is about to start crashing down. Just as well the sport is football and not dominoes.

    Just as football has become a game of chance for three or four football clubs, so our elections engage the same percentage game. Those percentages amount to two clubs having a better than evens chance of winning the title, and one other having a slightly less than one in three chance of coming second, but never winning. The other clubs scrap for the relegation places.

    The media hate an open game because it makes them look ordinary; did they notice the finesse demonstrated by Northern Rock supporters at a fixture a while back? No. They chose to regard it as hooliganism, the knee jerk violent reaction to a perfectly natural phenomena called a bank heist.

    So the Sale of the Century opens and we peer expectantly at the glittering prizes on offer. Then we realise that it is all a bit like the Eurovision Song Contest where rigged voting gets us going for just a moment. We laugh at Eurovision because it is funny; we should be crying at this pathetic excuse for a General Election.

  • Comment number 74.

    2005 arthur and x::intro fit quite well.

  • Comment number 75.

    May I suggest the theme be changed to 'Killing In The Name' by Rage Against The Machine? It worked at Christmas!

  • Comment number 76.

    Can we vote for a party that will take us back to 1974? With a couple of exceptions it sounded like a better place than now.

  • Comment number 77.

    Why did you change the music? It was fabulous and dramatic and provided the BBC with the perfect start to election night. You've replaced something superb with a dire noise. The graphics are great, but you should have retained the music. Big mistake.

  • Comment number 78.

    A UK General Election just isn't the same without the "Arthur" theme music. Hopefully they'll change their mind and reinstate it in time for the results programme.

  • Comment number 79.

    Sorry to butt in on this thread but the "new theme" thread lacked a comment section.

    A more appropriate theme would have been Warner Brothers' Merrie Melodies theme. Licencing fees might have been a killer, tho ;)

  • Comment number 80.

    You should have the Smiths' Shoplifters of the World Unite as the new theme. That ought to do it.

  • Comment number 81.

    It looks like a campaign has begun on Facebook to Bring Arthur Back to the BBC's Election Night.

    So far the BBC remain silent. How ironic that just a few weeks ago it broadcast a radio programme - A Night To Remember - looking back at BBC Election Night programmes whose starting point was...'Arthur'!

  • Comment number 82.

    Quite ironical! But looks like a time has come when us Indians can have a reverse learning British politicians on a few things. We have stalwarts in our political arena(innumerable of them) who are quite accomplished in this numbers game and government formation (Jod tod ki rajniti as we call it). Have been thriving on it for ages. Besides, right now, many of them are unemployed as well (lost power in last elections). You have options. Call them as consultants. Or, Pay by result - pay if they help you come to power. Or BOT (Build Operate Transfer).All modes can be offered. Results and Satisfaction guranteed. Payment terms very easy. All payments through Banks - Swiss banks preferred.

  • Comment number 83.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 84.

    Another one for the Bring Back Arthur brigade.

    Someone on YouTube has had the right idea and mixed the new titles and the 1992 version of Arthur.

    And it really works rather well.

    BBC, you know what to do...

  • Comment number 85.

    Why does Churchill appear in your opening titles before Atlee?

    Churchill never won an election during his first time as PM; Atlee won 1945 and 1950, and then Churchill came back with his win in 1951 (with fewer votes than Labour, by the way). So it would seem that if you are featuring election winners since the war, it should go Atlee followed by Churchill.

  • Comment number 86.

    Ive just switched on bbc news 24 and there is nothing about the election did it stop been news because it election day?

  • Comment number 87.

    Hi

    Got back from voting short while ago - had to wait until 7.00am for them to officially open.

    Not so much keen, (though this vote extremely important for Democracy). More a case of couldn't sleep. (Obstructive Sleep Abneoa).

    Duty done..

  • Comment number 88.

    Like everyone else, as soon as I saw this I immediately came onto this page to see what new graphics had been set to Rick Wakeman's 'Arthur'. For some reason, you seem to have taken the the opening theme from a 1970s American PBS nature documentary. If I could be so bold: Arthur is a legend, both literally and musically, and that piece is synonymous with election night. Someone on Youtube mocked up this sequence with Arthur. Please, it's not too late to change it. It took this guy about 20 minutes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sFKv4rEcDs

  • Comment number 89.

    I have to agree with 88! The Youtube video is fab. BBC, please at least satisfy all these comments and include it at some point (by popular demand) tonight.

  • Comment number 90.

    The new graphics for the Results show opening are excellent, but as many people before have said, why change the music ? Please reconsider this, and reinstate Rick Wakemans "Arthur".

  • Comment number 91.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 92.

    Yes. Rick Wakeman's Arthur!! It appears that if you polled on this topic, you would have not just a landslide but an electoral wipeout for the elevator music you have chosen instead. BBC, you have ultimately failed us, the British licence fee paying electorate. Please sort it out before tonight!

  • Comment number 93.

    all you see on the tv and radio is three party,s . and i think this is a bit misleading to some of the public.....

  • Comment number 94.

    How much money has been wasted on the election night studio with all its computerised gimmicks.

    Why not just wait until Friday morning and announce the results?

  • Comment number 95.

    Some contributors have asked why there are separate programmes for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and therefore assume that BBC1's coverage is therefore only for the English.

    Being English and having lived in West Wales (Pembrokeshire) for 8 years, eve the Irish Republic is closer to me (as the seagull flies) than Cardiff.

    In the Wales (and the other nations of the UK), we have the likes of Plaid Cymru, the SNP (in Scotland) and the various Unionist and Nationalist parties in Northern Ireland.

    In England, its fair to say that there are now 3 main parties. In Wales et al, there are 4.

    Whilst I personally am interested in the whole of the UK, I am also interested in Wales' results as this is where I live (by choice).

    I would imagine those who question the separate results in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are probably not interested in what happens here, as even the national papers seem to forget there is life beyond the Severn Bridge and the papers are stuffed with English football results, English rugby and the England football team as it goes to South Africa for the World Cup.

    I'm not saying they are anti-English here, its just that those in England do not understand the perceived bias for England in news and sports. If there is a Welsh news story, its invariably to do with a murder or some other bad news.

    England needs to appreciate the diversity of the nations that make up the UK (as I do) as I can understand why others see it differently.

  • Comment number 96.

    Our elections in Australia are a lot more interesting, especially the Federal elections. For a start the polls don't close in WA for at least 2 hours after the eastern states, which like many elections has held the result up and the preferential systems makes for some interesting results, many of which are not known for days. There is also the senate elections, which takes weeks to get the final results.

  • Comment number 97.

    Surely it will never be as good as this election night coverage?

    http://bit.ly/ZL4y9

  • Comment number 98.

    It really is fundementally misguided of the BBC to push onto BBC2 the national UK coverage of the General Election in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    This is a UK General Election. We all go out today to vote for a Westminster MP, wherever we live in the UK. It is the national picture which is most important - we are electing a government after all. Separate local coverage, whether it be for the UK countries or English regions, should be on BBC2, with the main UK coverage on BBC1 for everyone. I'm Welsh, by the way.

  • Comment number 99.

    OK its Facebook time!

    Bring Back Arthur Facebook group!

    http://www.facebook.com/?sk=2361831622#!/group.php?gid=123424391008149

  • Comment number 100.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

 

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