BBC 2016 local election rules

The BBC has got in touch with Yorkshire First to let us know how they intend to cover the 2016 local elections - and we can't believe what they've said.

They've published guidelines that outline exactly what a party has to do to get a fair amount of election coverage next year. You can read them here.

What has the BBC told us? We must stand in 445 Council seats in 2016 to be given a reasonable amount of coverage. But there are only 341 Council seats available in Yorkshire in 2016.

The BBC is insisting we'd need to stand in every seat in Yorkshire, along with another 104 seats outside of Yorkshire, just to get fair coverage.

These rules are unfair, undemocratic and absurd.

We're going to write to the national newspapers to highlight how unreasonable the BBC's demands are. But we need your help. Will you sign our letter (text below) to back our call for the BBC to think again?


The BBC has recently published its draft guidelines for the allocation of coverage in the 2016 local elections. These guidelines state that for a party not based in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland to be given fair coverage it must stand in 445 Council seats.

In Yorkshire only 341 seats are up for election.

In the North East only 125 seats are up for election.

In the next Cornish Council elections, in 2017, only 123 seats will be up for election.

This means even if Yorkshire First, the North East Party and Mebyon Kernow contested every single seat in their respective regions, according to the BBC's guidelines none would be deemed worthy of fair coverage.

Does the BBC really expect Yorkshire First to contest over a hundred seats outside of Yorkshire? Or the North East Party to fight 320 seats that aren't in the North East?

Compare this with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, where you need only stand in one sixth of the seats available to be given fair coverage.

We the undersigned believe this disparity is inherently unfair. We call on the BBC to change its rules so regional parties standing in at least one sixth of the seats in their region be granted fair coverage, just as parties in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are.

155 signatures

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