BBC Northern Ireland Election Plans Announced

BBC Northern Ireland has announced its plans for coverage of the 2015 Westminster General Elections across television, radio and online, including through-the-night programming, reports from every count centre in Northern Ireland and more digital coverage than ever before.

Over the next five weeks, BBC Northern Ireland will offer the electorate in depth analysis, expert opinion and the views from all the main protagonists to provide a clear picture of the policies and manifestos of the political parties locally. There will also be a range of opportunities for the public to have their voice heard during the campaign and put their concerns, views and opinions to those standing for election.

Television

In the countdown to election night:

  • On BBC One Northern Ireland, The View will host election specials from two key constituencies - Fermanagh South Tyrone and East Belfast.
  • The View and Sunday Politics will feature interviews on key issues with senior figures from all the main political parties.
  • Over the coming weeks, BBC Newsline will be profiling the key constituencies and providing regular election round-ups and features while out on the campaign trail with the political parties.
  • Also on BBC One Northern Ireland on Tuesday 5 May, there will also be a local Leader Debate (more details to follow).

On election night:

  • On election night on Thursday 7 May, Mark Carruthers, Tara Mills and Political Editor Mark Devenport will be live on BBC One NI from 9.55pm through to 6am the following morning. This election special will have reporters coming live from every count centre in Northern Ireland, covering the key developments in all 18 constituencies throughout the night. Mark and Tara will be live in the studio throughout the night and will be joined by politicians and political experts for commentary and analysis as the evening unfolds.
  • The BBC’s pan-UK TV results programme, Election 2015, hosted by David Dimbleby from 10pm on 7 May, supported by Nick Robinson, Jeremy Vine, Emily Maitlis and Andrew Neil will be broadcast on BBC Two Northern Ireland and the BBC News Channel.

BBC Radio Ulster

In the countdown to election night:

  • In Inside Politics, every Friday at 6pm, Mark Devenport will interview party leaders and provide listeners with a round-up of the national picture of the campaign. Repeated every Saturday at 1.35pm.
  • Good Morning Ulster, every Monday-Friday from 6am, will bring listeners profiles of the key constituencies and the latest election news as political parties continue on the campaign trail.
  • The Nolan Show, every Monday-Friday at 9am will be putting the parties and their manifestos under the microscope, with Stephen Nolan interviewing leading politicians in his own distinctive style.
  • On Talkback, every Monday-Friday at 12pm, phone-ins with the party leaders and provide the public with the opportunity to have their say and ask questions on the issues that matter to them.
  • Evening Extra at 5pm every Monday-Friday will look in each of the main political parties’ manifesto launches.

On election night:

  • On Thursday 7 May William Crawley will present an election night special from 10pm-2am when he will be joined by political commentators to discuss the wider implications of the General Election results for Northern Ireland.
  • Then, on Friday 8 May, from 6am-10.30am Noel Thompson and Karen Patterson will bring listeners full reaction and insight to the General Election results hearing from voters, politicians and experts on what the results will mean.

Online

  • BBC News NI Online will provide useful profiles of party leaders and constituencies and breakdowns of the main parties’ views on key issues such as the economy and welfare reform and constituency profiles.
  • On election night, there will be a live page with all the election results and reaction while each constituency will have its own individual live stream on the webpage. Reporters will also be keeping the electorate up-to-date throughout the night on BBC News NI Live and social media.

Kathleen Carragher, Head of BBC News NI, says: “This election promises to be one of the most closely contested for many years with all the polls predicting a hung parliament. BBC News NI reporters will be at every count to bring you the drama and excitement as the local votes are counted. We'll have political reaction and analysis on radio, television and BBC News NI Online and the audience can, of course, join the debate through texting and social media. We'll also be making sure that the NI audience is kept up to date with the national picture with reports from around other parts of the UK.”