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Election day looms

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Steve Bowbrick Steve Bowbrick 20:13, Wednesday, 5 May 2010


Radio 4's election - like yours - is almost over. The BBC's election rules state that, from 0600 tomorrow, all discussion of the parties and their campaigns must stop until the polls close. On the blogs and messageboards this means we'll be asking people to stop leaving comments of a political nature during that period. Some forums and threads will be closed. The online guidelines are here.

In the meantime, I urge you pop over to the PM blog and listen to this hilarious item: Carolyn Quinn gives Eddie Mair a tour of Radio 4's election night studio - a facility that Eddie speculates "they must have spent hundreds of pounds on."

Tonight's PM saw the last of Tim Harford's enlightening ElectionWatch items - in which Tim disassembles the key campaign numbers and claims - from charter schools to opinion polls to net migration and national debt. You can hear all 23 of them on the More or Less web site. More or Less proper returns on 21 May.

One of the highlights of Radio 4's campaign (don't listen to me: ask Twitter) has been the three-nights-a-week treat of the Vote Now Show, a twist on the Now Show format involving commentators and reporters of all kinds as well as all the usual comic suspects. My favourite items were interviews with Robert Peston - on banks, a hung parliament and who really runs Britain - and Mark Kermode - reviewing the party political broadcasts, both of which were caught on video. Watch Peston here and Kermode here.

Another highlight of Radio 4's election coverage has been Today's panel of eight floating voters. Listen to the last of their contributions, from this morning's programme.

Politics junkies will have relished the extended editions of the World at One. I especially enjoyed 'Martha's lunch party' (with its Beatles theme tune and home baking) - this is the kind of stuff that has the current affairs addicts wishing it was an election all year round. Today's lunch guests were Tim Bell, Philip Gould and Tom MacNally.

Steve Bowbrick is editor of the Radio 4 blog

  • Radio 4's election night coverage starts at as soon as the polls close tomorrow evening and carries on until it neatly segues with the Today programme Friday morning.
  • Tonight's Vote Now Show is the last one. Listen to this week's editions on the Radio 4 web site or subscribe to the podcast (which will cleverly revert to the Friday night comedy after the election).
  • Tomorrow's PM is the special 'non-election edition', full of non-election content, much of it suggested by listeners. Like an oasis in the midst of all this election stuff for you election-phobics.
  • The photo shows the red sofas at TV Centre on which Martha's lunch club has taken place daily.



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