Elections Past is a compilation programme of all known YSTV election night footage, first compiled in March 2005 for screening during Elections 2005.
The piece was born when production of the fillers VTs for the main show had stalled, and the producers requested a short Small Screen feature on past election night programmes to be expanded to a full-length filler that would be run on election night itself. However once all the clips had been assembled there were too many good clips to leave out, meaning it became something of a monster at around half an hour long. This meant that it was screened during Elections 2005 (and subsequent long-form programmes) in two parts.
Made very quickly in March 2005 Jonathan Bufton spent a few days trawling through the archives attempting to extract as many clips from YUSU Election Nights as he could find. As well as the dedicated tapes of the programmes (such as 1984, 1994 and 1997), other sources such as Review of the Year VTs, Closure and Open Day programmes were also used, as in many cases the short clips of election night programmes used in these are the only elements of the programme left today. These include 1996 (only thought to exist in a highlights VT in an Open Day), 1987 (on the end of the 1994 tape for some reason!) and 1989 (very brief clip in a random compilation from the period). Other years, such as 1992 and 2002, were either not recorded at the time or appeared to be lost from the archive.
The music used was a piece of unknown origins culled from an earlier, far shorter elections retrospective from Election Night 2000 by John Biltcliffe. The use of music proved quite handy to use in the background of clips from other compilations with different soundtracks, and those that were accidentally recorded with no sound!
Although on first broadcast it was meant to nominally mark 21 years since the earliest known footage of election night, no title was given so it could be repeated in it's own right after the occasion. However the generic title "Elections Past" seemed to stick in the years that followed, despite never appearing on-screen.
It has since been updated to cover 2005 and 2006's Election Night programmes, with the new sections edited by Jonathan again and Sarah Leese repspectively. It has also been re-screened during the Webstream Launch, Elections 2006 and during the warm-up to Elections 2007, as well as many times on the station in it's own right. It also proved to be a valuable source for clips used in the "40 Years of YSTV" compilation screened at the YSTV40 Birthday Party.
The efforts at expanding the archive as part of the YSTV40 celebrations have unearther further Election Night footage in ex-members' private collections (for example John Cornley owns a significant portion of 1988's programme, thought to be lost forever when Elections Past was first assembled). This raises the possibility of the programme being expanded significantly when it next comes to be re-edited...
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