Election results night just got interesting – very interesting. ITV has signed disaffected ex-Chancellor George Osborne to its panel of experts analysing how the nation has voted. And adding even more political heft to the studio discussion on 8th June will be his former opposite number on the Labour benches Ed Balls.
Osborne was sacked by Theresa May last year in one of her first acts as Prime Minister. In his new role as editor of the London Evening Standard, he has been scathing about the election performance of the Tories.
A recent leader column bellowed: “The Conservative campaign has meandered from an abortive attempt to launch a personality cult around Mrs May to the self-inflicted wound of the most disastrous manifesto in recent history.”
On his appointment to the ITV team he was rather more measured. He said: “I’m looking forward to sharing my analysis of events and hope Ed and I will bring a different perspective on what’s happening and how all the main characters might be feeling.”
You can hear the sound of knives being sharpened already.
Balls chipped in: “It’s the first time in over 20 years that neither George Osborne nor I will be actively involved for one of the two main parties. But hopefully, as the results come in, we will be able to add some interesting perspective and analysis on what has been a most unusual campaign.”
Both are expected to be in the studio – with host Tom Bradby and political editor Robert Peston – from the close of polls at 10pm until the early hours of the morning.
Also putting in an appearance – for one night only – will be Allegra Stratton, who last month (May) gave birth to her second child, daughter Xanthe, and is currently on maternity leave from her role as national editor of ITV News.
The BBC results team is led by David Dimbleby and he’ll be joined by Mishal Husain, Emily Maitlis and Jeremy Vine.
ITV’s election night coverage begins at 9:55pm on Thursday 8th June