Skip to Content
Election Daily

Fire Up The Democracy Engines!

plus what do politicians do on election day?

7:45 AM GMT+1 on July 4, 2024

    Election Day! It’s Finally Here

    Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer made their final pitches yesterday. Sunak appealed for traditional Conservative voters not to abandon the party, urging supporters to use their vote to "prevent an unchecked Labour government". Starmer countered that a Labour victory would bring in a "new age of hope and opportunity after 14 years of chaos and decline". 

    But amid final polls that point to a massive Labour landslide, Starmer urged people not to take the polling for granted and to make sure they go out and vote if they want a change of government.

    Get Election Daily

    Sign up for our free newsletter

    Across the country, polling stations will open at 7am BST and will close at 10pm BST, so let's all make sure we go and exercise our democratic rights, both early and often, eh? And as you make your way to your local polling booth, do have a listen to the best of british news podcasting, which has all the last-minute info you need to make an informed (and entertained) vote, including the following:

    Sky News Daily: Sky News has admirably kept working hard right to the end, sending correspondents to follow party leaders to every corner of the UK. Joining host Niall Paterson on today's show are the broadcaster's political correspondents, Darren McCaffrey who followed around the Conservatives, Serena Barker-Singh who was on the Labour bus, Matthew Thompson following the Liberal Democrats, Gurpreet Narwan from the Reform trail, and in Scotland Connor Gillies on the Scottish National Party. Excellent round-ups from the lot of them.

    The Rest is Politics: What do politicians actually do on polling day, ask Rory Stewart and Alastair Campbell. Collapse from exhaustion, I would imagine. And what is it like to be elected, Campbell asks Stewart. "People underestimate how wonderful it is in some ways, particularly before you get very senior." Quite moving reflections. It is easy to forget that some people do go into politics for the right reasons.

    These Times: Host Tom McTague reflects on all the ups and downs of the election campaign, from Rishi in the rain to Boris Johnson's appearance as a last-ditch substitute. McTague has been on a journey across Britain, from Uist to Kent, to discover what's really going on, and offers some interesting reflections on what he has seen. "What I learnt personally was that much of the country feels disempowered even in the midst of an election campaign when they have all the power in their hands, at least theoretically", McTague says.

    For The Many: Iain Dale and Jacqui Smith discuss the "part-time PM" attack on Starmer after he said he would try not to work too late as prime minister. They also look at The Sun giving their support to Labour, the last-minute wheeling out Boris Johnson, how polling day works, how the candidates will be feeling and much more. The highlight from the whole show is Smith telling Dale "For the record I have not had my nipples pierced". Dale does not know what to do with that information at all.

    BBC Newscast: The politicians may be knocking off early and going for a pint today, but the good people over at the Big British Castle are going to be working their socks off today, tonight and over the weekend. Laura Kuenssberg, Paddy O'Connell, Adam Fleming and Chris Mason are reunited in the studio to discuss the final day of general election campaigning and reflect on the fact that the Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride has conceded that Labour is likely to win a large majority. Plus, they turn their attention to The Sun endorsing the Labour Party for the first time since 2005 right at the death.

    TRIGGERnometry: Early on in life the commentator Peter Hitchens was a Trotskyist and supporter of the Labour Party. But he found himself becoming more conservative during the 1990s, even joining the Conservative Party in 1997 (though he then left in 2003). From then on he has been deeply critical of the party, which he views as the "biggest obstacle to true conservatism in the UK". Quite the political trajectory, recounted to the TRIGGERnometry team here.

    Holyrood Sources: Just how much influence can Scottish MPs play in a (potentially) Labour government, ask hosts Andy Maciver, Geoff Aberdein and Calum Macdonald. And how much is voter disillusionment going to be the theme of the election? They also discuss what it is like to be a candidate on election night, plus, they give their Scottish seat predictions. 

    Political Currency: Ed Balls and George Osborne question whether Mel Stride conceding that Labour has already won will just serve to put even more potential Tory voters off. But even if the winner is considered a foregone conclusion, the details are far from it. Balls has been swotting up on the ones to watch for early indications. If you’re planning an all-nighter, grab your popcorn and make some notes – this is how Balls sees the next 24 hours unfolding. 

    The Daily T: Is Boris Johnson an asset to Rishi Sunak’s campaign, or a reminder of the very reason they’re on the verge of electoral oblivion, asks co-host Kamal Ahmed, who is joined by Sunday Telegraph’s political editor Camilla Turner to pour over Johnson’s surprise intervention. Plus, Sir Anthony Seldon – biographer of every prime minister since John Major – reveals why he believes the Tories will lose and warns them there is only one route to salvation. "Like it or not it is a one nation party", Seldon says. "It is a party that is not going to go away", he says, "because at heart we are a conservative nation".  

    The New Statesman: In a final poll published before the election "things have never looked worse for the Conservatives", say the New Statesman team. Rishi Sunak has even expressed fear that he might lose his seat. So if it goes as badly as everyone is projecting it will, how long will it take for the Tories to come back from this and where will they begin? The magazine's associate editor Hannah Barnes is joined by senior editor George Eaton and David Gauke, who is both a former Conservative MP and New Statesman columnist to discuss life in the political wilderness.

    Page 94: The Private Eye Podcast: What better moment to check in with Private Eye than right now. The venerable satirical publication has used its pre-election special to dive into the "wit and wisdom of Nigel Farage", which here is being channelled by the Eye's Craig Brown and Lewis Macleod. "Find out what Nigel really thinks about good old-fashioned British maths", they say. 

    Oh God, What Now?: This is great. Jonn Elledge and Rob Hutton join Andrew Harrison to imagine a "nightmare parallel reality" where Sunak somehow scrapes a win. What happens? Does Starmer have to quit? Is Reform UK defanged or empowered? And what does a knackered Tory party do with another term it doesn’t really want? A great way to end this whole thing, with a bit of sci-fi fantasy. You know, unless it actually happens! Then this will feel like one of those uncanny Simpsons predicting Trump going down his golden escalator moments. 

    And now for something completely different…

    Move to Live with Akram Khan: The world is about to return to normal and we will no longer have to spend our days (and nights) thinking about which party we should vote for because they offer a slightly less bad future. But with a few more days of electoral results, recriminations, fallout and analysis before us, let's all take a break for one sweet moment with this wonderful show. Akram Khan, regarded as one of the most innovative choreographers in the world, discusses the transformative power of movement with some of the world's greatest movers (note: not shakers). He has already spoken to motion-capture acting legend Andy Serkis, and stage designer Es Devlin. In the most recent episode he talks to actor, filmmaker and activist Khalid Abdalla, who was born in Scotland to Egyptian parents and feels at home in both London and Cairo. The most fascinating bit is where he talks about being in the revolutionary crowd in Cairo’s Tahrir Square and what the human body feels like in those moments. A beautiful description of the feeling any of us who have ever been on a protest march might have felt – but turned up to 11! Great, escapist listening.

    Get Election Daily

    Sign up for our free newsletter

    Stay in touch

    Sign up for our free newsletter