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Current traffic to BBC News website

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Steve Herrmann Steve Herrmann | 11:20 UK time, Friday, 7 May 2010

As the story of the election continues to unfold, we're seeing unprecedented levels of traffic to the BBC News website - it's looking like more than five million users since midnight according to the data we have so far, and thousands of searches every minute on our constituency result pages.

For such high usage, it's all been working pretty smoothly on the technical front, and we're working hard to make sure it stays that way. If the site is a bit slower for you at any time today, that's why.

Oh, and our journalists are also flat out bringing you the results, reaction and looking at what the outcome means across the UK. It's all at

Update, 21:00: We've had the highest ever level of traffic in a single day to the BBC News website today - according to our provisional data so far, at the time of writing this, there have been more than 10m users on the site since midnight. Our previous day record was about 9.2m unique users, on 5 November 2008 for the Obama election victory.

Steve Herrmann is editor of the BBC News website.


  • Comment number 1.

    I am quite surprised that the moderation can only publish posts of 9 am and it is almost 12 now. Maybe BBC should outsource its moderation function to the Chinese government? At least it is faster.

  • Comment number 2.

    Thank your team Steve! Sterling job, and great coverage!

  • Comment number 3.

    The BBC has done really well, not just on this website but also the through the night coverage on Radio 4. Thank you.

  • Comment number 4.

    Thanks to bbc we are following the result from even the remotest part of Africa.

  • Comment number 5.

    get ABCe to verify the stats!

  • Comment number 6.

    I would really appreciate help in understanding 'proportional representation'. Could this be looked at? More work for you guys I know!

  • Comment number 7.

    Outstanding coverage. Better than TV.

  • Comment number 8.

    considering the uk has been following the election, I'm not suprised the BBC website has been recieving high levels of traffic, yes its slightly slow but still, at least its online.

  • Comment number 9.

    I've had the BBC's live Election 2010 website on all throughout the time I've been at work here in Parramatta, Australia - it's absolutely brilliant.

    I still have it on as we enter the night. Hung Parliament making me feel like a kid again as I well remember the last one in 1974.

    Bravo BBC for your coverage. I would happily pay the TV licence from here in Sydney.

  • Comment number 10.

    The site collapsed for many at about 8.30 this morning, recovering about 20 minutes later. To start with, there was a nice polite error message from the BBC, then even that was unable to be reliably served, such was the extent of the overloading!

  • Comment number 11.

    ".. we're seeing unprecedented levels of traffic to the BBC News website.." and that's because it's been the best conveyor of information. The Times was slow and The Telegraph even slower. Well done BBC.


  • Comment number 12.

    I've been very impressed with the web coverage of the election. The live updates are very smooth and I've had no problem viewing the live video feed all morning. Some great background info and the other games (Swigometer, etc.) have all been beautifully implemented. Well done to all involved.

  • Comment number 13.

    I'd like to see some statistics about where the 5 million users are. I am not in the UK. I'm interested to know about the spread in Europe and elsewhere.

  • Comment number 14.

    DEMOCRACY - Greek: δημοκρατία - (dēmokratía) "rule of the people" (Wikipedia). My constituency, Northampton North, 65% turnout. 65.9% voting said NO to the Tory + 34.1% Tory. By current UK law Tory gets the seat, NEVERMIND 2/3rds actively voted no. Got to be wrong, this, got to be revised. This is NOT what the PEOPLE wanted - NOT DEMOCRACY. Am shouting. Sorry. Still shouting. LOUD.

  • Comment number 15.


    It's awesome that the BBC is THE source of information on the election. Frankly, it was generally a success for democracy as people were way more engaged.

    But some poeple couldn't vote even if they were entitled to then they must shout #countmyvote

  • Comment number 16.

    It's me Ahmed here.. A non British from a tiny South Asian country; The Maldives.So interesting election, I hope for a peaceful change in the UK, which is our European partner.

    Good luck and Bye

  • Comment number 17.

    As the majority of the English want a Conservative Government it is only right that we should have one. We are all fed up of pouring money into Scotland and Wales for them to influence our lives and we have no say in what they spend our money on. Enough of the English Tax Payer supporting their universities, free prescriptions and care of the elderly - are we mad?! How much more do Wales want from us? - "On your bike", as Norman Tebbit once said.

  • Comment number 18.

    Where is the page showing the remaining (uncounted) seats and how they might change hands with plausable swings? I find the BBC has been too intent on comment and not provided enough analysis.

  • Comment number 19.

    Why oh why when the English are not allowed seats or votes in the Scottish Parliament should the Scottish MPs have any rights in the English Parliament.It is quite clear that without the MPs from 'north of the border' we would not have a hung parliament.
    Kevan Price

  • Comment number 20.

    I am not surprised there are so many constituency searches, as the results are so difficult to browse.

    I would like to see a simple list or grid of every single result.

  • Comment number 21.

    Congratulation to your team Steve, brilliant job! Thank you for all the hard work for keeping us informed.

  • Comment number 22.

    I don't know about the website but I am sick and tired of finding every possible news channel tied up on the minutiae of this dratted election. There is no "other" news, no business news, no world news. So I have to turn to the website.

    I could understand the parliamentary channel (81, freeview) dwelling on the election but channels 1, 3, 80, 81 and 82 ALL fixated on it?

  • Comment number 23.

    Loving watching the long line of Bilderbergers being brought out to talk to Jeremy Paxman......

  • Comment number 24.

    Can anyone explain what might have happened with the results we have if they had occurred under the 'pr' system? What is this??? (Just a general idea would be nice seeing it seems to be a sticking point in talks between parties)???

    Also did GB say he would definately reform the electoral system or did he offer a referendum which is completely different? If we do have a referendum are they legal bound to change things to the way we vote?

  • Comment number 25.

    Janey wrote:
    As the majority of the English want a Conservative Government it is only right that we should have one.

    6 out of 10 English voters did not vote for the Conservatives.

    Mr Cameron has spent the last few years talking about how the majority of people didn't vote for Labour and using the amount of people who didn't vote at all to top up his figures, if I was to use the same rules then we can see that only 25% of English people who were eligible to vote have voted for the Conservatives in this election.

    If the majority of English people want a Conservative government then why did only 25% of eligible voters and only 40% of those who actually voted vote for them ?

  • Comment number 26.

    This election is likely to bring a sea-change. Gordon Brown in spite of all his political experience will be relegated to the side-lines while David Cameron and Nick Cleg would figure prominently. The Liberal Democrats will form a coalition with the strongest party and compromise some of their cherished policies. So Labour's future looks doomed. The agony written on Gordon's face sums it all: Labour is at its nadir and in the doldrums! Sad but true!

  • Comment number 27.

    Well we have a hung parliament. I hope the person with the greatest amount of seats and popular vote will be our next Prime Minister. I think that we do have to find a better way to represent the people's wishes. The time has come to have a Referendum. Perhaps the Liberal Democrats could explain various forms of Proportional Representation to the people. I, for the first time in many years voted Tory in this election. I resented having an unelected Prime Minister who had been after the job for many years and will not give it up easily.

  • Comment number 28.

    This is the 21st century, not the 19th. We live in the age of the internet. Many of the problems we've seen with the voting system - notably, people excluded from polling stations - could be solved with computer voting. It would also mean that results would be available as soon as polls closed, no need for all that laborious human counting and we all would get a good night's sleep!

    It would also be much easier to re-run elections in the aftermath of a hung Parliament. There would be no need to wait several months for a coalition to fail. In addition, it would be much easier to organise referenda - a truly democratic system where each vote carried equal weight.

  • Comment number 29.

    Ask003 wrote:
    Can anyone explain what might have happened with the results we have if they had occurred under the 'pr' system?

    It would depend on the system being used mate.
    There's also the problem that a lot of people vote tactically under the current system to prevent their vote from being wasted, under most PR systems you don't need to do this as every vote counts so the actual number of votes for each party could be significantly different under a different system.
    For example, my constituency is a pretty safe seat for Labour and the Conservatives were in second so a lot of people who would normally vote Lib Dem/Other under a proportional system have voted for the Conservatives in an (unsuccessful) attempt to get Labour out.

    Then there are all of the people who don't bother to vote because their constituency is effectively a rotten borough where the incumbent party could put up a donkey as a candidate and still win, under a system of PR every vote counts and that would hopefully encourage more people to vote too.

    The problem we've got is that there are several different types of PR, each with their own advantages and disadvantages so it's hard to say the result would have gone one way or another if we had PR without knowing which system we had.
    The only thing we can say is that under most PR systems every vote counts, unlike our system where a significant proportion of votes have no impact on the overall result and in effect are less than worthless.

    There's some good information about different types of PR here:

  • Comment number 30.

    Im a Lib Dem voter, I believe David Cameron has acted in the best interest of the country and I'm sure Nick Clegg will do the same. This is a great opportunity to change the face and nature of politics, and the electorial sysytem, to give the people a real democracy. If the parties can sort things out quickly the country will respond. If successful David Cameron could be Prime Minister for the next decade, but at least it will be truly democratic,

  • Comment number 31.

    if a tory lib pact is formed this may give the libs some oppertunity to show the country how they may run a future government. if the pact is formed how long before another general election

  • Comment number 32.

    Steve, the BBC coverage has been excellent so far. Bar the few irritations I've had trying to search for anything other than current news anywhere on the BBC site, I think it's been commendable! Judging by the viewership stats I would say it's quite a sign against the apparent voter apathy so many seem to be harping on about in previous blog posts here. In any case I'm glad the figures seem to acknowledge that we value UK politics more than Obamamania.

    @annjoseph - I doubt that's going to happen without formal electoral reform - certainly not if Nick Clegg is not going to stick to his 'precondition' if there was a hung parliament. It's no wonder Caroline Lucas of the Greens was so upset at his backtrack as the current situation was a likely one to occur and it's a squandered opportunity if they don't use the opportunity to push for reform now.

    @Pancha Chandra - I don't think the outcome is that obvious actually. In countries where hung parliaments are more frequent (e.g. Canada) smaller parties use their positions to stay in power for a long time by flip-flopping their allegiance between the various parties. I think the final outcome in the UK largely depends on the Lib Dem's view as to how they can make it work most effectively for them.

    On a lighter note, if you're bored (@#22 doctor bob!) with reading about the economic and social impacts of the current scenario playing out, have a laugh at this UK hung parliament cartoon - if anyone score from this whole event, it's definitely the bookies! Lol.. think Rory Cellan-Jones has even been speaking to them as part of his sentiment tracking to confirm it!

  • Comment number 33.

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

  • Comment number 34.

    The airwaves seem to be filled with contributors claiming that 52% voted against the election of a Conservative government or voted for a hung parliament. At the 2005 General Election the share of vote was Labour 35.3%;Conservative 32.3%;LD 22.1% compared to 2010 Conservative 36.1%; Labour 29%;LD 23%. I can not recall similar comments being made, that is 54.4% of the electorate voted against a Labour government in 2005.
    The key issue relates to the fact that the Boundary Commission has not acted properly or fairly in revising constituency boundaries meaning in 2005 Labour were elected in 356 seats as opposed to 306 for the Conservatives in 2010.

  • Comment number 35.

    what would have been the result of the general election had there been differant system from the first past the post

  • Comment number 36.

    Although the message from the electorate may be confused it has made two things very clear. One is that they want Brown and Labour out; and two is that they do not want a change in the electoral system. Most people know the Liberal Democrats for one thing, and that is their desire for pr to give them power. The Lib Dems have lost ground in the election showing we the voters reject their pr policy. Why do your interviewers continue to allow Lib Dem spokespeople to arrogantly claim they are speaking for the British people in their desire for a change in the electoral system. We have rejected it.

  • Comment number 37.

    The very best thing to come out of the electionwhen his potential constituants had there say about 'Lord Haw Haw' also known as George Galloway. He makes me cringe with his views.and, i feel an embarrassment to the country with it's many points of views.But we are better off without his.

  • Comment number 38.

    Re: Ben Bradshaw Interview.

    Where has this "progressive" Labour party come from, they have had thirteen years with an overall majority and have not attempted any legislation on electoral reform?

  • Comment number 39.

    I am absolutely loving Laura Kuennsberg's coverage and comments,she's passionate and informative, she should be congratulated by her team.

  • Comment number 40.

    Please explain to your viewers BBC who the source was that said Gordon Brown and Nick Clegg had an angry exchange on the telephone last night. THIS HAS BEEN TOTALLY DENIED BY THE LIBERAL DEMOCRAT PARTY AND THE LABOUR PARTY as being ABSOLUTE RUBBISH reporting. Sky news has reported this incident correctly, why cannot the BBC do the same, you are a PUBLIC BROADCASTING COMPANY, NOT A TORY PARTY ONE.

  • Comment number 41.

    It is driving me up the wall. With all the resources of the BBC, surely your production staff could produce some hair clips for BBC political correspondent Carole Walker outside Conservative HQ in Millbank. The constant flicking of her unruly hair from her face in the wind is totally distracting from the content of her report and this has been happening all day on each occasion the news switches to her reports.

  • Comment number 42.

    If the Lib Dem's and the Conservative's merge would they be the
    'Condem Party'?

  • Comment number 43.

    The BBC seem to think that it has finally found what it considers to be the general inteligence and interst level of election night viewers. Now,Sunday, to save Cameron, Clegg and Brown further tough negotiations should Andrew Neale not appoint Joan Collins and Bruce forsyth to form a coalition government to which they could invite the cast of "The last of the Summer wine along with the aformentioned party leaders to give guidance upon parliamentary procedures.

  • Comment number 44.

    Billy Bragg on BBC Breakfast shot his whole argument in the foot when he said that he wanted 'more accountability'. Proportional representation does NOT allow you to deselect your 'MP' since you vote for a list under each party heading. To deselect number one on the list (likely a local leader) would require almost ZERO votes in a future election. Thus PR reduces accountability. Why do so few realise this !

  • Comment number 45.

    who would meet mr obama first mr cameron or mr clegg because they would both forget about britains problems to further thier political careers

  • Comment number 46.

    Will you PLEASE get your newsreaders and interviewers to stop calling Gordon Brown a 'squatter', it is disgusting and disrespectful - he is our PRIME MINISTER

  • Comment number 47.

    Buck_Turgidson wrote up a good summary of the usual systems though the more proportional ones tend to get over complicated & would lack transparency to the average voter.

    I would advocate using completely separate ballots for the election of MPs & for getting proportionality.
    No system of electing an MP can also give proportionality. (see New Scientist 1st May 2010 p28 by Prof Ian Stewart)

    1-- Ballot for MP using the present system or better still the AV method.
    MPs get to parliament in the usual non-proportional numbers.
    Stage 2 works to correct any such system.

    2-- Ballot to get voters to mark their preferred party. Think of this as a proxy vote.
    All the proxy votes for a party go to parliament where the party shares them evenly between all its elected MPs.
    MPs use these proxies in each division. MPs of different parties have different voting power! This creates the proportionality.

    This system avoids many of the usual problems.

    Every proxy vote works even in safe seats.
    Proxies in marginals count no more than proxies elsewhere.
    You have a real proxy vote even if your party has no candidate in your constituency.
    Every MP is responsible to & for a constituency.
    Gerrymandering can not affect the national result.
    Constituency size does not matter, so there is less need to tinker with boundaries.

    If your party gets no MP then, as now, you are not represented. Tough but there has to be a cut off somewhere.

  • Comment number 48.

    a lot of people seem confused about parliament.It is the uk parliament not the english one which last sat in 1707.They also complain about the so called "west lothian question" which I PERSONALLY SEE FROM A DIFFERENT VIEWPOINT.If the uk parliament is to be a level playing field between equals lets have say 100 mps 25 from each nation of course that would abolish the majority say that england has held since the act of union.With its inbuilt majority as it has been since 1707 how is it that Scots can overrule the four times number of english mps?.
    England does not want Scots mps having sa well vote it through parliament.England dont want polish electicians and plumbers,visit the ROYAL AIR FORCE memorial at Runnymede and see the names of the poles who died to keep us free maybe they were electricians or plumbers before
    Keith Park committed them to battle.
    You also moan about being governed by Europe,we had a refererendum and England voted to join europe,you are like a bunch of schoolkids playing football and when the game goes against you then you pick up the ball and go home to cry about the unfairness of it.
    cONSERVATIVE with small c
    lIBERAL with small l
    sOCIALIST with small s
    Nationalist with large N

  • Comment number 49.

    When will BBC Commentators/Interviewers stop implying that Prime Ministers are elected by the genearal voting public? WE DO NOT ELECT DIRECTLY PRIME MINISTERS in this country. We do not have a presidential system.
    We elect Members of Parliament of a political party who in turn elect a leader of that party. This leader then becomes the Prime Minister if that party commands the support of the House of Commons.
    Per sisting with the above mis-information is totally misleading as far as the voting public is concerned. PLEASE ask your Commentators to make this clear.

  • Comment number 50.

    I cannot believe that I (almost) agree with the Daily Mail that the BBC is a lib-dem inspired media organisation. When will Nick Robinson finally come out of the closet and admit he is a member (albeit a closet one) of the Liberal Party? I have watched his replies/comments throughout the election, and particulatly recently today around Gordon Brown's proposed resignation as Labour Party leader. I really used to believe that I could reply on the BBC to give truly independent comment, but now almost despair of anything like non-biased comment coming from anyone ( with the possible exception of Andrew Marr, who at least provokes everyone!)
    Petra Greenwood, Bridport, Dorset

  • Comment number 51.

    I always thought that the BBC was impartial and in the main it manages to be just that. Your political commentator Nick Robinson however is unable to totally cover his undoubted leanings to the Tory party.
    In such prominence I am surprised the BBC allow his not too cleverly disguised comments to be aired.

  • Comment number 52.

    Having watched the 10 pm news tonight, i would like to know what is happening behind closed doors. Why arent we involved in our countries future,it appears to be about deals without a public vote!

  • Comment number 53.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 54.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 55.

    Why do you not challenge the oft repeated statement, 'the electorate has voted for a hung parliament', as though it was a conscious choice. The truth is that none of the parties was impressive enough to command a majority. To extend comments that we need the whole political system to 'Change' because that is what WE voted for, is without logic or sense.

  • Comment number 56.

    Good News. Sky News have just announced that the country did not vote FOR a hung parliament. I am sure Adam could be persuaded to give training to the BBC reporting team. Please get this training soon. I think even David Dimbleby has potential to retrain your reporters.

  • Comment number 57.

    I would point out that the country DID NOT vote FOR a hung parliament, It voted for a wide range of views.

    That apart, I think on the whole you do a good job, if a little slow at times.

  • Comment number 58.

    I have enjoyed the coverage - both on Channel 80 and BBC Radio.
    Would Scotland back the Lib Dems if they team up with the Tories? If the Scottish Lib Dems vote against what sort of stable "majority" government could there be? (Not to mention Wales and Ireland).
    The Green vote in Brighton Pavillion was principled.
    Gordon Brown's dignified resignation was principled.
    Nick Clegg's actions have been principled.
    David Cameron argued against a hung parliament...the people have voted for a hung parliament so... they are rejecting his arguement?

  • Comment number 59.

    Seems we have a case of Clarke Kent and Superman, does nobody see the reality of this current predicament, are the people who have just been told they got it wrong, really trying to be our trusted servants or is it Peter (shark) Mandelson, Alastair (dodgy) Cambell using Crypto!

  • Comment number 60.

    I do not understand when the tories have 48 seats more than any other parties why nick clegg is talking to lab. surely if the cons and libs form a government we would have quite a good balance in government. labour cannot stay in power when they have not received enough seats. ask them about how they won tower hamletts ??? that would be very interesting and needs investigating.. what or who on earth made mandelson a lord when he was accused of many forms of corruption!!!
    the libs need to be careful there voters may not be happy with them linking to a lost labour party!!!!

  • Comment number 61.

    The real losers in this election is the public and the extremely poor coverage by all media including the BBC. Nick Robinson in particular is not reporting but giving opinion. The British media is being found out by the public. How the paper news can be so biased and have no responsibility beggars belief and to hear the press talk about freedom of speech is laughable.

    If many of the TV commentators were in the workplace of the MP's of all parties they would be had up for bullying! This is not an opinion from any party point of view but the three party leaders seem to be far more in touch with the electorate than the media! We had presidential TV but no presidential system. We have more people voting for two parties (Labour and Liberal) than the third. The public voted for this result because it doesn't work as first past the post but the press seem unable to get to grips with this fact. Perhaps consensus doesn't excite reporters because it seems you all are in a frenzy. Get with the modern times and report fairly without bullying. Asking the same silly opposite points only tells the public that you have lost the plot.

    You all are far to wrapped up in your industry and have lost any sense of reason.

  • Comment number 62.

    Agree with post #61.

    In addition - are the BBC in bed with Twitter? Just because tweets are viral and get celebs' publicity - it doesn't contribute anything - is it ripe for tech 'bubble' listing on FTSE/AIM yet?

  • Comment number 63.

    The editor, madam/sir, Over the past five days I'm constantly reminded by political pundits of the unprecedented political position that the country is facing. Like most of the population, a hung parliament, in particular issues about the 'dos' and 'donts'; apparently the second or third such outcome following a general election.

    I wonder, could the BBC broadcast a programme setting out these nuances? Last Sunday, I listened to a bbc radio4 programme and an explanation re the constitutional matters partially explained by a former senior civil servant - Brown was not a squatter at no.10 etc he is const. required to remain at no.10 until a new primier is known. Yet your average newspaper reader only ascertain this information hidden in the bottom of your typical newspaper column.

    Discussions between the political parties - no overall majority - are a prequisit - not just horse trading, or is it? These indept explanation were missing from the Sunday papers I read.

    So I asked, could the bbc broadcast a programme in the next few months addressing the constitutional issues to inform the masses. I think it would make an interisting viewing.


  • Comment number 64.

    It was interesting to read about the record numbers of people accessing the BBC website and I was shocked when the BBC reported that the new government was planning to increase the number of MPs needed for a vote of no confidence from 50% + one to 55%! So within a day there goes two of the governments three key principles "freedom and fairness." In their new Orwellian newspeak will this mean that if we go to a public meeting say of 100 people and 51, 52, 53 or 54 people vote to do something then this will not count? Well done to the BBC for being the first to bring this to our attention. The 'Punch and Judy' show at no. 10 would be amusing if it wasn't so serious.

  • Comment number 65.

    The Election 2010 site is very good but we need a link to past Elections like the 1974 one


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