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BBC Election 2005

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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 April, 2005, 10:29 GMT 11:29 UK
BBC News website and party coverage
The BBC News website has received a number of queries about the policy in linking to, and covering, different political parties. Here, concentrating on the main issues raised, is a point-by-point explanation.

GENERAL POSITION

Our starting position is that we seek to cover all parties fairly and to give our audience all the information they reasonably need to be informed as to the choices they will make on 5 May.

We undertake that as a minimum we will cover and publish copies of the manifestos of all parties who have candidates in at least one sixth of seats - the same qualification as that needed to get a party political broadcast on television.

Once all the nominations are in we will list every candidate standing on our constituency pages. Until then we list as many as we know about:

LINKS TO WEBSITES

Polling station
We link to party websites in a drop-down list of links off all the BBC Election 2005 stories.

This links directly to all parties with representation in Westminster, European Parliament, or the devolved government.

It also includes parties who we know will contest one in six seats at the election.

That dropdown menu also links to a general page of party political websites, where we will link to all parties we know of who are putting up more than one candidate:


All links are subject to the BBC's usual rules on taste and decency.

ISSUES GRID

All parties who have successfully had someone elected to the House of Commons, Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly, Northern Ireland Assemby or European Parliament are included in the issues grid.

PROFILES

All parties who have successfully had someone elected to the House of Commons, Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly, Northern Ireland Assemby or European Parliament are profiled in the party profiles list on the election basics page.

We have done profiles of the leaders of all parties who have successfully had someone elected to the House of Commons.

HOW DO WE SCALE OUR COVERAGE?

We therefore seek to scale our coverage according to the following categories of parties:

1) Parties who have had MPs elected under their banner

2) Parties who have had MEPs or devolved representatives elected under their banner

3) Parties who have not had anyone elected but who will contest at least one sixth of seats

4) Other parties, by number of candidates and/or electoral record.