NEP Bow Tie prepares for the London Mayoral Elections

NEP Bow Tie prepares for the London Mayoral Elections

May 1, 2016 12:00 pm

Thursday May 5th 2016 – the day City Hall host the Mayoral and Assembly Elections – these elections decide who will be the London Mayor and who will be our London Assembly Members for the next four years – https://www.londonelects.org.uk/ . For the third time NEP Bow Tie will be key to the broadcasting and Audio Visual requirements of City Hall during the Election period.

Whilst the Election is on the Thursday 5th May, the actual count for these elections is taken on Friday 6th May. The ballot papers are e-counted by an incredibly complex and secure computer system designed to deal with a count that is a mixture of proportional representation, first past the post and second choice preference processes. The results are expected Friday evening and the NEP Bow Tie team will be on hand to ensure everything is in place so they can be broadcast to the waiting public as soon as possible.

The election announcements for both Assembly Members and the Mayor will be delivered by the broadcast and webcast systems in City Hall and directed and operated by the NEP Bow Tie in-house broadcasting team. In addition NEP Bow Tie will help to facilitate broadcasters such as BBC, Sky, ITV, and ITN who will be broadcasting live to air from City Hall. There is a mixture of analogue, digital and fibre optic technologies present in the building which leads to some unusual and interesting challenges for our technical team, as each broadcaster has a different take on how they wish to transmit their signals. We have staff with the relevant skillsets on hand, to deal with a wide range of requests. Sky and BBC usually produce live programs for their news channels for several hours – anchoring their news coverage for the day from City Hall. Whereas other broadcasters simply want to dip in and out of the coverage.

Last time the election took place in 2012 and the final count was not ready for many hours – indeed NEP Bow Tie were still offering pool feed coverage and broadcaster support at half past midnight on that occasion as there had been issues with the e-count and power failure at count centres. After a long day the team had to then repurpose the studio known as London’s Living Room’ in readiness for a Mayoral press conference first thing on the Saturday morning.

For the 2016 election there will be a new Mayor at City Hall so there will definitely be an appetite for a Mayoral pool fed press conference on the Saturday with many broadcasters requiring feeds out of the building again. NEP Bow Tie have developed staffing and technical plans for both the count and the ensuing days, in close collaboration with the key stakeholders at City Hall – the Assembly Press team, Facilities Management, Sky, ITV, BBC.

In addition to the broadcast systems our small team at City Hall also ensure all AV systems, RF feeds, screens, PA systems and communication systems to the three count centers – are all operational and optimal on the three day election jamboree. Our systems are critical for the smooth running of the election.

NEP Bow Tie have been involved in many high level meetings at City Hall in the past, however the elections are special and we are particularly excited to meet this challenge once every four years.

The results will be webcast live on Friday 6th May 2016, followed by the Mayoral Press Conference expected on Saturday 7th May :- http://www.london.gov.uk/media-centre

Up to the minute count information and info on the count systems can be seen here: – https://www.londonelects.org.uk/