Should we save General Election night?

Quite a few people have had their say on this Sunday Telegraph story saying that council workers intend to ‘disrupt’ the traditional all-night TV election results fest. I think it is worth pointing out that this story smacks of those evil, bad council workers wanting to spoil our fun but there is more than a fair point when;

A spokesman for North Lincolnshire council said the chief executive had recently met election staff to discuss the way ahead.

He said: “Elections are a long day and a long night for staff, and there is a case that the counters will be fresher and do a better job after a night’s sleep.

Also, it is worth noting that only a tiny % of councils are actually considering this so saying election night is massively under threat is a slight exaggeration. What is more, as Costigan Quist rightly points out other countries seem to survive the wait. I am not sure it will dilute interest as Don Foster says; in fact, since most people are not political devotees and will not stay up all night to watch the results roll in I think that having some announced in the day may well increase interest not dilute it.

Mark Pack lists a number of reasons to save election night many of which are not really valid at all. For example, the complaint that;

“Particularly in the internet age, speculation and wild gossip quickly fills a news vacuum,”

seems to presuppose the same won’t happen regardless of when the votes are tallied.  It also has to be bourne in mind that this time around the General Election could well fall on a local election day as well so the logistical burden will be greater. I think that the drama and tension may well be increased by an extension of some counts into Friday day and am not convinced that it is the disaster that people are making it out to be.


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7 responses to “Should we save General Election night?”

  1. Mark Pack says :

    Darrell – you’re right that not much will stop a good gossip (!), but the longer the gap between an event ending and the result coming out, the greater the likelihood of wild speculation and gossip to spread. For example, do you really think that there wouldn’t be a difference between the result coming out five minutes after an event ending and five days after?

    On the point about local elections: the last three general elections all fell on local election polling day too.


  2. darrellgoodliffe says :


    I dont see a substntive problem, most of the ‘gossip’ will only be taking place overnight when not many people will be up to do the gossiping I dont think apart from hard core politicos who would in any case. Besides I dont see why this is even a problem, its not as if it will influence a result as the ballots will already have been cast.

    True, maybe a slight vested interest there in not wanting them on the same day, nonetheless I still think the substantive points stand.


  3. Matthew Cain says :

    And surely it’s much more important to increase the chances of getting the result right!


  4. darrellgoodliffe says :


    Would tend to agree 🙂


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