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Election Daily

The People Have Spoken. Loudly.

plus what effect did the newspapers have?

8:25 AM GMT+1 on July 5, 2024

    The people have spoken. And their message was a resounding "Tories out".

    Labour are on course to win 410 seats, securing a massive majority over the Conservatives' projected tally of 154 seats. The Liberal Democrats are looking likely to take 56 seats, the Scottish National party 6, Reform UK four, Plaid Cymru four and the Greens two.

    None of this was a surprise, of course. Unlike 1992 and 2015, when the polls had predicted close contests but each time the Conservatives won, this time around the polls were absolutely spot on. 

    As predicted, Labour has swept to power with a massive majority. And to bear witness to Keir Starmer's rise to the country's top job, the best news podcasters have been up all night recording and rerecording shows as exit polls and then results started coming through. Here is what they made of this historic election and the "massacre" that has brought an end to 14 years of Tory rule.

    The Election Shortcut with Kate McCann: The Times got going early with a snap response to the snap result of the snap election. Kate McCann gave her snap response with Times Radio presenter Callum McDonald and pollster James Johnson. It is "a very good night for Labour, and a result that the Conservatives… will just about be happy with," said Johnson. Wild that this is a seat count the Tories will be pleased with.

    Coffee House Shots: The Spectator also pushed out a show responding to the exit poll. The Tories will be cheering that they are still the second largest party, the team say.

    Today in Focus: The Guardian put together a "how to watch election night" episode. It is still worth a listen given the reflections on previous years' results and how they colour our understanding of tonight. 

    Oh God, What Now?: Like a bunch of shows, OGWN went live on their YouTube channel to provide all-night second-screen coverage of the election results. They did so alongside the hosts of Paper Cuts and The Bunker. Sometimes it was meandering and slow, but when it was good it was very good. And hey, that's election nights, right?

    The News Agents: Emily Maitlis, Jon Sopel and Lewis Goodall also went live throughout the night, but before doing so they also put together a pre-election night Q&A. They sound entirely demob happy in this episode; increasingly weary, unsurprisingly, in their live show. One thoughtful question that is asked is the difference between what the parties tell us their feelings are about the result vs. what their feelings actually are. "Sometimes the most interesting thing is just to watch your guest's face", Maitliss says, with just a hint of the sociologists about her.

    The Edition: On the Spectator's other podcast, they discuss the cover they have run this week. Their headline: the reckoning. The cover piece "brings together the political turmoil facing the West this week: Rishi Sunak, Emmanuel Macron, and Joe Biden all face tough tests with their voters". But, they ask, "what’s driving this instability?" The Spectator’s economics editor Kate Andrews says it is "less to do with left and right, and more a problem of incumbency". That certainly feels right here. Many commentators have suggested that Labour's win wasn't about their own policies, but was more about getting the Tories out.

    Oh God, What Now?: "It’s the end of an error!", say the OGWN folks, as the "whole nightmare Conservative age" comes to a close. What have we learned about Britain, politics, campaigning and the merits of waterproofing Prime Ministers from this campaign they ask? You can forgive a bit of leftie triumphalism after 14 years of hurt. And here it is in spades.

    Novara Media: The problem is, what is Labour inheriting? Asked in a recent poll to summarise Britain in a word, "broken" was the people’s top choice, the Novara Media team note. And this brokenness is "concrete stuff", including "crumbling bridges, sewage-filled rivers, failing computer systems, abandoned rail projects". Host Moya Lothian-McLean talks to Dom Davies, author of The Broken Promise of Infrastructure, who explains how democratic "public works" were replaced by neoliberal "infrastructure", why colonial railways linger in our collective imagination, and whether Labour can get Britain running again. Fascinating discussions all round.

    Media Storm: As this year's election comes to an end, the Media Storm team speak to CEO of independent press regulator Impress, Lexie Kirkconnell-Kawana as well as TikTok journalist Sophia Smith Galer about the party politics of Britain's papers, the cringiest MPs rapping on TikTok to try and sway a Gen-Z vote, and how to actually engage young people in politics. Plus they catch up with the host of Saving Grace podcast GK Barry to talk about her latest project "The Turnout". This is the future of political commentary – have a close listen.

    Media Confidential: There has been some reflection about the role newspapers have or haven't played in shaping the way that nation votes this year. Here, hosts Lionel Barber and Alan Rusbridger are joined by David Yelland, who was once editor of the Sun and now presents the BBC podcast When It Hits The Fan. Yelland believes the Sun has "lost all of its influence". At the last minute, this year the paper decided to back Starmer "only not very passionately". Hearing these top journalists discuss the fading power of the empires they once ran is absolutely fascinating.

    The Bunker: What are the strangest moments from elections past, asks Ros Taylor who is joined by King’s College London Professor of Politics and Contemporary History Andrew Blick. "Some people said at the time that Theresa May's was the worst campaign ever. They probably wouldn't say that anymore," says Blick, entirely accurately.

    And now for something completely different…

    Today in History with The Retrospectors: Yes, it is one last shameless plug for my very own show, which brings you curious moments from this day in history. Every day, Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina and I look into a new weird and wonderful moment that actually, bizarrely happened. Recently we have investigated the rise and fall of hypercolour t-shirts, the real life shark attacks that served as the inspiration for "Jaws", the real Pied Piper who strolled into Hamlin in 1284 and took everyone's kids away, and the disputed origins of the hamburger. Each episode is just ten minutes long, so we are in and out of your ear holes before you even notice. Please do give us a whirl!
    And so that is it from all of us here at Election Daily. Thanks so much for joining us. It has been a fun ride. Or, well, it has been a ride. Thanks to everyone who sent in tips and suggestions along the way – very much appreciated. And if you work somewhere that could use my distinctive (slightly Australian) voice, feel free to get in touch. My regular email is So if you are on the lookout for a host or guest or an all-round problem-solving journalism-adjacent content ninja (ahem), do please drop me a line.

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