General Election 2019 - Folkestone & Hythe
Academy FM covers General Elections as part of the station's speech output. We would like to thank the community for supporting our Election programming, and for the role our staff and volunteers play in making it possible. From the 2019 General Election, highlights included reporting from the Election Count on the night of the 12th December, and two dedicated Academy Reports programmes on Weds 4th Dec at 6pm, and Weds 11th December at 5:30pm. The following information (written shortly before the election) demonstrates the care we take on our political coverage:
The Academy Reports Election 2019 programmes have two aspects:
1. The Features: Across both Academy Reports programmes we're broadcasting feature pieces with every candidate where each will give a 2 minute pitch, followed by a 10 minute Q&A session based around questions from members of the local community.
2. The Debate: On the 11th December we're also hosting a live studio debate with 4 candidates, hosted by Academy FM's Sarah Hagues & Dave Sharp.
Hear each candidate's Feature pieces here:
Academy FM's Election programming - Overview & reasoning
Academy FM's election broadcasts are governed by Ofcom's Broadcasting Code (Section 6). See:
We aim to meet (or exceed) Ofcom's requirements for fairness, meaning that we give 'due weight' and 'appropriate coverage' to candidates and parties standing in the Constituency where we are based and broadcast to on FM - the Folkestone & Hythe Constituency.
We are broadcasting sections of programming (see links above) with every candidate, with identical themes of questioning for each. In these, candidates are given equal time to give an opening statement, and equal time to answer a series of questions chosen from those posted on our Facebook page by members of the community. Candidates do not have to use all the set time to answer questions.
We are also hosting an election debate on Weds 11th Dec with the following 4 candidates: Damian Collins (Con), Georgina Treloar (Grn), Laura Davison (Lab), Simon Bishop (LibDem). For this debate, we have chosen these 4 and not selected the remaining candidates for the following reasons:
Our studio space is limited. It is designed for 3 people - fitting in 4 guests and 2 presenter/producers is already stretching its capacity.
We have allocated 30mins for this debate, to fit around our broadcast schedule and allow time for Feature pieces with all 8 candidates. Having more than 4 guests in the Debate would limit the contributions from all (including of course those who, based on past party performance, are likely to gain significant proportions of the vote locally).
We have selected Damian Collins because he is the incumbent MP, and belongs to the party recently in Government.
We have selected Laura Davison (Lab) because in the 2017 General Election she came second in our constituency, and is from the second largest party in Parliament.
We have selected Simon Bishop (LibDem) because in the 2017 General Election the Liberal Democrats came third here, and they are the third largest party represented in Parliament out of the English parties (i.e. excluding SNP).
We have selected Georgina Treloar (Grn) because the Green Party came 5th here in the 2017 and 2015 General Elections, beating all independent candidates and also the Young People's Party and Socialist (GB) Party when they stood in 2015. Note that the Green Party has been beaten by UKIP in recent elections here, but there is not a UKIP candidate standing for this election here. Other reasoning is that the Green Party has demonstrated a strong following in local elections recently - for example on the District Council they have 6 Councillors, equal to the number of Labour Councillors, and more than UKIP (2), LibDem (2), and Ind (1), with only the Conservatives having more with 13.
We have not selected Henry Bolton because he has never previously stood in this Constituency. In addition to this, no Independent candidate has finished higher than 6th place in at least the last 4 General Elections here. While Mr Bolton briefly led the UKIP party which had previously polled well here, recent polling (last checked 11/12/19) places his ex-party nationally below all 4 parties selected above. See https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-49798197 for polling source.
We have not selected Rohan Kapur, Colin Menniss, or Andy Thomas because if they or their parties have stood previously during the last 4 General Elections here, they have placed below all four of the chosen candidates above. Also, if they represent parties, none of those parties currently have a seat in Parliament.