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13th May 2010, 3:55pm
Lincoln students show their passion for politics
An elector voting Staff and students at the University of Lincoln showed their passion for politics by immersing themselves in the drama of the 2010 General Election.

Academics and students stayed up until the small hours watching the General Election results roll in on a big screen erected in the Atrium communal area of the main Brayford campus.

Meanwhile, staff from the Lincoln School of Journalism were on the other side of the fence - joining the media scrum to provide results direct from the election counts for BBC Networks. The information provided fed into the BBC's live election coverage, watched by a peak of 6.6 million viewers.

The University's big screen Election Special was organised by Dr Jacqui Briggs, Principal Lecturer in Politics in the School of Social Sciences.

Dr Briggs said: “Many students took time out and joined their lecturers in the Atrium to follow the election results: proof, if any is needed, that young people are passionate about politics.
“Eventful from the offset, the exit poll gave us immediate food for thought and, as the evening progressed, we noted how accurate that poll proved to be. Scenes of people queuing to cast their vote, especially when we discovered that some electors had been denied that opportunity, constituted a real talking point among staff and students.”

Several experienced journalists from the Lincoln School of Journalism were recruited by BBC Networks to cover election counts at Lincolnshire constituencies.

Deborah Wilson, Principal Lecturer in the LSJ, was covering the Lincoln constituency count, a key marginal where Labour's Gillian Merron lost her seat to Conservative Karl McCartney.

Deborah said: "The time flew past. It was the most exciting count I have ever been at; gripping and emotionally charged. The result was so close, until they called it we really didn't know who had won."

Elsewhere post-graduate students Geoff Adams and Gina Davies were at Newark and Scunthorpe respectively and the LSJ’s Samantha Pidoux was at Gainsborough.

The University’s community radio station, Siren FM, held a marathon eight-hour live broadcast featuring local results and expert analysis.

Interest in the election was not confined to 6 May either - the University also hosted a debate on environmental issues involving Lincoln's main parliamentary candidates in the weeks before polling day and Siren FM quizzed three of Lincolnshire’s candidates in a pre-election ‘Question Time’ style programme.

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