This report assesses whether coverage of UKIP by the BBC Radio 4 programme Today – the corporation’s flagship news programme – in the build-up and immediate aftermath of the elections to the European parliament on June 10, 2004, was fair, impartial and accurate.
The election was a remarkable result for UKIP. Although opinions vary about whether or not support will be replicated in other elections, the party attracted a 16.1% share of the poll, registering a 252% increase in votes over 1999 and coming both ahead of the Liberal Democrats in the constituencies they both contested, and within 6% of the overall
share of the governing Labour party.
Labour was reduced to its lowest share of a national poll for 80 years, and the Conservatives to their lowest proportion since 1832.