UK Politics

General election 2019: How the BBC reports polling day


The BBC, like other broadcasters, isn't allowed to report details of campaigning or election issues while the polls are open.

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

The code of practice is contained in more detailed election guidelines which are written and published for each election. They include more guidance about polling day, and you can read them here.

On polling day specifically, the BBC doesn't report on any of the election campaigns from 00:30 GMT until polls close at 22:00 GMT, on TV, radio or or on social media and other channels.

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

The lists of candidates in each constituency and the guide to parties' policies remain available online during polling day.

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

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

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

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

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

From 22:00 GMT, normal reporting of the election resumes, with rolling coverage.

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