The Electoral Commission has responded today to a report that BBC reporter Laura Kuenssberg has broken electoral policy.
On the BBC’s Political Live programme, Kuenssberg said: “The forecast is that it’s going to be wet and cold tomorrow. The postal votes, of course, have already arrived. The parties – they’re not meant to look at it, but they do kind of get a hint.”
She then suggested that some parties were doing better than others due to the votes.
This caused outrage on social media with people wondering how she would have access to figures which should be kept secret until votes are counted later tonight.
According to the Electoral Commission’s website: “Anyone attending a postal vote opening session has a duty to maintain secrecy. Ballot papers will be kept face down throughout a postal vote opening session. Anyone attending an opening session must not attempt to see how individual ballot papers have been marked and must not keep a tally of how ballot papers have been marked.”
It may be an offence to communicate any information obtained at postal vote opening sessions, including about votes cast, before a poll has closed. Anyone with information to suggest this has happened should report it immediately to the police.
— Electoral Commission (@ElectoralCommUK) December 11, 2019
Media outlets are also not allowed to report on how people have voted until after polls close at 10pm tonight.
The BBC have denied that Kuenssberg has done anything wrong and do not believe she has broken electoral policy.