Earlier this evening, the SKWAWKBOX published information provided by independent electoral analysts Applied I F Limited, which indicates that the process for completing an election lawfully had not been completed properly in the Copeland by-election – and that the vote count was therefore suspect.
In the early hours of Friday morning, after the Stoke Central result had already been announced and discussed, the BBC switched to Tom Bateman, its reporter in the Cumbrian constituency for an update.
Bear in mind that, late on Thursday evening, various commentators – including BBC Question Time’s David Dimbleby, had stated they were hearing that it was ‘looking very much like’ Labour had held Copeland as well as Stoke Central.
Bateman then tells studio host Andrew Neil:
At the time, before the result had been announced, it seemed a little odd but not necessarily significant.
Now, in the wake of a claim by an electoral analyst that the election was not concluded legally and that the count is ‘suspect’, this statement assumes a weighty and potentially sinister significance.
Could the BBC’s Tom Bateman have given away a signifier of vote tampering that was not meant to reach the eyes and ears of viewers – at the time or now?
The results of the forensic analysis currently underway are now awaited even more eagerly.
If you want to watch the key moments on video, you can do so on BBC iPlayer here, starting from 2h55m:12s:
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