Opinion Politics

BBC Electoral Coverage, Kuenssberg and the Twitter Storm

Spread the love

On Thursday night, many people across Britain settled down in front of the telly to watch that staple of British life, a BBC electoral coverage all-nighter. Feet up and cuppa in hand, the results were keenly anticipated. Little did they know what was in store for them, though.

And the Election results were keenly anticipated for good reasons.

With the Labour Party racked by a series of damaging Anti-Semitism allegations, the election results were seen as a test for Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of Labour. Political pundits were more or less unanimous that Labour would be devastated across the UK and that Corbyn may very well not survive the night.

For their part, the Conservatives had their own troubles. The upcoming referendum on EU membership had highlighted divisions within the Party. Worse, the last few months had seen a series of embarrassing policy U-turns, most recently involving forcing schools across the country to become academies.

And what about UKIP, LibDems, SNP, Greens? Would they be able to capitalise off the misfortunes of the major parties?

Everyone was looking forward to Jeremy Vine’s astute assessments of electoral results as he wanders around his virtual worlds of charts and graphics


Well OK, maybe not everyone.


Early in the coverage, some were growing impatient for results.


There was perhaps an early warning of things to come with Tory MP Nicky Morgan’s claim that London Mayoral candidate, Zac Goldsmith had run a good, honest campaign. That seemed to go unchallenged by the Beeb, despite widespread allegations of Islamaphobia from many miring Goldsmith’s campaign.


Nicky Morgan does have her fans apparently. But they didn’t seem to be tweeting on the night. This was fairly typical.


Former Conservative Party Leader, Ian Duncan Smith’s presence was generally not looked on favourably either. It’s probably best that Jack is a cat-person.


Some viewers started getting a little irritated with BBC’s Political Editor, Laura Kuenssberg’s apparent anti-Labour bias. Her narrative for the night appeared to be that the elections were going to be bad for Labour. Early poor results for Labour in Scotland seemed to fuel the fire of this criticism. That narrative seemed to continue, even after the results increasingly began to show that Labour was actually having a pretty good night.


It seems, how well or badly Labour was going was just a matter of what previous election performance it was compared to.


Kuenssberg’s own tweets didn’t seem to be helping with those perceptions of anti-Corbyn bias.


And the Stephen Hawking Award for Political Analysis with a Physics-slant goes to…



Then came Kuessenberg triumphantly presenting John McDonnell with his ‘secret Labour documents’. Or… err… notes as many of us might put it. Even some of Labour’s opponents were beginning to complain.


This is the moment Kuenssberg triumphantly presents Shadow Deputy Leader, John McDonnell… with his own notes.


Though of course, not everybody minded.


Contrary to popular opinion, not everyone on Twitter is a Corbyn fan.


Meanwhile in Sheffield, Elmo looked happy despite losing heavily to the Labour candidate.



More than one person felt compelled to throw things at the telly.

I’m reliably informed that the satsuma was successfully fished out from behind the telly the next day.


And for those into extreme sports… A BBC Election Night drinking game.


Then there was the increasingly bitter fight for London Mayor. Early polling seemed to be wide of the mark.


But pretty soon after London Mayor election results started coming in it became clear that Sadiq Khan was likely to win. BBC Commentators appeared to be distancing Corbyn from the Khan’s electoral success. And that was noticed too.


Some people had mixed feelings about Katie Hopkin’s pledge to run through the streets of London naked, with a sausage up her bottom if Khan won.


Some people were scratching around for answers to explain the BBC’s apparently biassed coverage. A few thought they’d found it in the form of former BBC Political Editor, Nick Robinson.


The BBC’s Electoral Coverage was such that it took a long time for many  to realise that overall Labour seems to have had a pretty good night.



The BBC had been surprisingly silent of allegation of widespread electoral fraud. The morning after the Elections, they finally get a mention. But some were suspicious.


As the dust settled the BBC viewers on Twitter searched around for comparisons to the BBC’s Election Night coverage.


And, of course, like most things in life, it ended with the inevitable petition.



subscribe to the scisco weekly dispatches

Keep up with the #MediaRevolution, subscribe to our weekly email newsletter. You’ll get one email per week and we’ll never share your email address with anybody. It’s free.