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Last Updated: Monday, 11 April, 2005, 14:56 GMT 15:56 UK
Weather or markets? You decide

Peter Barron
Editor, Newsnight

When we introduced Newsnight's new weather report a week ago we never expected that it would create such controversy, anger and, yes, adoration.

Click here to read some of your views

On Newsnight, we'd become a bit disenchanted with the markets information the weather has replaced. In 2005, how many people who need to know what the markets are doing don't have access to a Blackberry, or a computer, teletext or 24-hour news?

An image of Michael Fish
Michael Fish will be the leading advocate of Newsnight weather
Not many we thought, but perhaps we underestimated the many who don't need to know how the FTSE closed but like to know it's there - like the Shipping Forecast or the pips.

Our thinking was that most Newsnight viewers - who perhaps don't pay much attention to formal weather bulletins - would appreciate knowing in a sentence or so what the weather is going to do the next day.

Personally, I never pay much attention to weather reports, but on day two, when Jeremy said simply "take an umbrella", I paid attention, I took precautions - it rained, I didn't get wet.

Newsnight weather worked for me and I'd urge you to give it a try.

But we do recognise the depth of feeling our move from markets to weather has provoked, so we're going to do something about it.

In keeping with the spirit of the times we've decided to call an election among our viewers to decide whether weather or markets should prevail.

The polls are now open and will close at noon on Thursday 14 April. We promise to abide by the result.

An image of Lord Lamont
Lord Lamont will campaign for the return of the markets
And in line with Newsnight's commitment to fairness and impartiality we will from now on exclude ourselves from the debate.

We've asked the legendary weatherman Michael Fish to lead the campaign on behalf of those who support the weather.

Lord Lamont, the former chancellor who presided over Black Wednesday, but has more recently been credited with setting in place the conditions for an unprecedented period of economic growth, will take the lead for those who want to reinstate the markets.

Click here for a taster of their campaign speeches

Most TV polls have little scientific validity as they are self-selecting and don't represent the electorate at large. But this one is different. The constituency is Newsnight viewers. Your vote counts, so use it.

Vote early, but please vote only once.

Click here to watch Newsnight's first week of weather
...and click here for five recent markets segments

The lines are now closed.


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