EU Referendum Polling Day: How Election Reporting by Media Is Restricted While Polls Are Open
Strict reporting restrictions on polling dayPosted at 07:08
You will have noticed that our coverage of the EU referendum is limited today. That’s because the BBC - like other broadcasters - is not allowed to report on the campaigning while the polls are open.
That’s to ensure that the BBC’s output cannot be seen as influencing the ballot while the polls are open.
* The restrictions started today at 00:30 BST and will end at 22:00 BST when voting closes.
* Between 00:30 BST and 22:00 BST there will be no coverage of any of the issues relating to the referendum campaign on TV, radio or bbc.co.uk.
* Subjects which have been contested or are part of the campaign in any way - or other controversial matters relating to the EU or the referendum - must not be covered on polling day.
What can the BBC report?
* Uncontroversial factual accounts such as the appearance of politicians and others at polling stations or the weather.
* The practicalities such as when the polls are open, the wording of the question and expectations of when the result may be known are allowed.
* The BBC’s online sites will not have to remove archived reports.
What can’t the BBC report?
* The BBC stops short of actually encouraging people to vote.
* While the polls are open, it is a criminal offence for anyone, not just broadcasters, to publish anything about the way in which people have voted in the referendum, where that is based on information given by voters after they have voted.
* The BBC can’t report anything emerging from exit polls (which, by definition, are asking people how they actually voted), although the broadcasters have not commissioned any exit polls for the referendum.
* No opinion poll on any issue relating to the referendum can be published by broadcasters until after the polls have closed.