Moments from election media coverage grabbing attention online

Live coverage of the General Election has generated stand-out moments circulating widely on social media.

BBC One, ITV, Sky News, Channel 4 and GB News each have a team of established broadcasters leading the live coverage of the election throughout the night.

Here, the PA news agency looks at a number of moments which are gaining popularity online:

The exit poll predicting a Labour landslide4
The exit poll predicting a Labour landslide (Jeff Overs/BBC)

– Exit poll

When the exit poll was announced, GB News appeared to broadcast the wrong figures on screen.

The poll suggested that Labour was on course for 410 seats, with the Conservative Party reduced to 131.

However, the statistics portrayed on the bottom of the screen on GB News had the Labour and Conservative figures the wrong way round, before they were swiftly removed.

– Nadine Dorries and Alastair Campbell

Nadine Dorries
Nadine Dorries got into a heated debate with Alastair Campbell on Channel 4 (Jeff Overs/BBC)

Former Labour communications chief Mr Campbell appeared on Channel 4 to serve as a presenter alongside his The Rest Is Politics podcast co-host Rory Stewart, with coverage headed up by Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Emily Maitlis.

Former Tory MP Ms Dorries, who served as culture secretary under former prime minister Boris Johnson, got into a heated debate with Mr Campbell as she appeared as a guest on the programme.

Ms Dorries asked Mr Campbell if she could finish her point, saying “I don’t think I interrupted you”, as she outlined reasons why the Conservative Party were not performing well.

Earlier during her appearance on the show, Ms Dorries accused Mr Campbell of sexism.

Mr Campbell said “honestly Nadine, you’ve got to get over Boris Johnson”, before Dorries said: “Actually, I find that quite a sexist comment.”

– Shocking sounds

The Sky News programme had a live countdown to the exit poll results during its coverage.

However when they were announced, forecasting the Labour Party to win a landslide 170-seat majority, only noises could be heard from the studio.

Shocked noises from the team, led by Kay Burley, continued for 10 seconds before she was heard jumping back in to analyse the results.

Words including “oh my God” and “woah” could also be heard from the team, which included political editor Beth Rigby, Sunday breakfast show presenter Sir Trevor Phillips, and data and economics editor Ed Conway.

– Larry The Cat

The Sky News studio created a virtual Downing Street with a digital version of “special guest” Larry The Cat.

Larry lives in Number 10 and is known as “Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office”.

An account on X said the 16-year-old tabby is “living with my fifth (soon to be sixth) Prime Minister”.

– Big hat energy

Lucia Bridgeman, the High Sheriff of Northumberland, announced the results in the Blyth and Ashington constituency amd gained attention on social media because she wore a large brimmed hat adorned with feathers, with a matching ruffled white collar.

Labour secured 20,030 votes while Reform UK gained 10,857 votes and the Tories came third with 6,121 votes in the constituency.

Annie Brewster, the High Sheriff of Hertfordshire, also gained recognition after announcing the results in Welwyn Hatfield wearing a similarly large hat with feathers and a ruffle collar.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps lost to Labour in the constituency.

General Election 2024
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer shakes hands with Nick the Incredible Flying Brick and Bobby ‘Elmo’ Smith (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

– Elmo congratulates Sir Keir Starmer

After Sir Keir was re-elected as MP for Holborn and St Pancras, he was congratulated on his win by independent candidate Bobby “Elmo” Smith.

Mr Smith was dressed as the red Sesame Street character and shook the hand of the Labour leader in pictures circulating online.

– Mogg-xit

After Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg was defeated by Labour’s Dan Norris in the new North East Somerset and Hanham constituency, he quoted a character from an Ian Fleming novel.

Jacob Rees-Mogg’s State of The Nation
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Signing off his speech, Sir Jacob said: “And one final thought, from Caractacus Potts, and that is from the ashes of disaster grow the roses of success. So thank you very much everybody, and good night.”

Caractacus Potts is one of the main characters in Fleming’s novel and is played by Dick Van Dyke in the 1968 film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

The song, The Roses Of Success by Robert B Sherman and Richard M Shermanis, also features in the film.

Mr Norris described defeating Sir Jacob as “Mogg-xit”.

– What kind of chickens?

Early on in the BBC’s coverage, Clive Myrie quizzed Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner about the exit poll results, in which she replied saying she did not want to “count the chickens” before they are hatched, referring to the election results not having come in yet.

Responding, Myrie asked: “You say you are not counting your chickens. What kind of chickens might they be? What kind of chickens would you like to see?”

– Trending

Despite the attention on the ballot boxes, Love Island remained the number one trending topic on X, formerly Twitter, an hour after the exit poll was released late on Thursday evening.

The poll predicted Sir Keir was on course for a landslide Labour victory, and he became the Prime Minister on Friday.