On This Day: General Election televised for first time

Chris Parsons
British Pathé
On This Day: General Election televised for first time

February 23 1950: A technology landmark was reached on this day 63 years ago, when the General Election results were televised for the first time across Britain.

The results programme began at 10.45 and ran until 1am, as viewers tuned in to see Labour claim victory under the leadership of Clement Attlee.

The programme ran much later than the usual television service, which usually ended at around 10.30pm each night.

On This Day: US buys Florida from Spain

Although an historic broadcast, the election programme did not gain huge viewing figures, as only 350,000 television licences were held at the time.

The scope of the programme was restricted, as there were worries about BBC impartiality, and there was no coverage of the campaign up until election day.

Analysis of the results was allowed on the night, but political forecasting was banned.

On This Day: Astronaut John Glenn becomes first American to orbit Earth

Mr Attlee beat Winston Churchill in the campaign, who would become Prime Minister for a second time in 1951.

Three years after the election, the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II would pull in a much bigger TV audience, as television became a hugely powerful medium nationwide.

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes