Well, yeah Natalie, but no

Sorry, but this doesn’t fly:

The Green party has written to ITN demanding the TV companies rethink their decision to keep the Greens out of the planned election TV debates but include the UK Independence party (Ukip).

The Greens – who are currently polling at around 6-7%, often taking them above the Liberal Democrats – have met broadcasters to discuss their exclusion. They would like to avoid the courts, but feel under an obligation to step up legal pressure.

As I’ve said before I’ve been in this system and had the basic ground rules (they are only formal at the BBC but others work along the same lines) explained to me.

Who gets into the debates, who is included as a “major” in stories during election season, these are things that depend upon that party’s support at the last election of this type.

So, last euros Ukip was a major on the back of the 2009 result. But last GE Ukip was not on the back of the previous GE result.

Ukip support at the last GE was some 50% or so higher than you’re currently polling now. Thus Ukip is “sorta” a major now but almost certainly won’t be in the actual campaign itself.

You polling 6-8% now doesn’t affect this coming GE. It affects the one after. That’s just what the rules are.

And maybe the rules shouldn’t be that way: it’s fine if you think that. But we’d all have rather more respect if you’d been arguing in 2010 that Ukip should be getting more airtime off the back of that 8-12 % (depending upon who was counting) support. that you didn’t make you know seem guilty of special pleading.

3 thoughts on “Well, yeah Natalie, but no”

  1. bloke (not) in spain

    It’s so hard to work out if inclusion in the TV debates would improve or harm the Greens’ electoral chances. Close call, I’d say.

  2. @bnis

    They’ll be hoping to get the ‘not yet proven to be arseholes’ bounce that the Lib Dems got last time.

    I bet nobody is fighting harder against their inclusion than Labour. It’s tough for them. They can openly attack UKIP, but the Greens are ‘on message’ with the Guardianista. They might be loons, but they’re the right sort of loons for the only friends that Labour has left.

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