How To Win An Election podcast tops one million listens

The How To Win An Election podcast, produced by The Times and The Sunday Times, has reached a major milestone of one million listens.

This comes ahead of a special live episode in front of a live audience of Times readers the morning after polling day to analyse the election result.

Launched in October 2023, the podcast features three of the most experienced political strategists of the past four decades – Peter Mandelson, Daniel Finkelstein, and Polly Mackenzie – with Times Radio presenter Matt Chorley guiding the conversation.

The podcast is now twice-weekly and has become an insider’s guide to every twist and turn of the campaign – with highlights including Danny’s accurate prediction that a snap election was on the way, Peter’s advice to Keir Starmer ending up in Jeremy Hunt’s Budget speech, and Polly sparking a debate by arguing that babies should be given the vote.

Matt Chorley said: “I always knew we’d hit a million downloads – which is why I put a bet on when we were at 999,000. What I didn’t know was how much fun it would be, or how much I would learn, from Danny, Polly and Peter.

“It has been a must listen for anyone wanting to know how to win an election, although current evidence suggests some parties have been listening more intently than others.”

Daniel Finkelstein said: “Doing How to Win has been a joy. One part of it has been sharing the studio with Matt, Peter and Polly. I’ve learnt so much and it has deepened my understanding of politics. I’ve also laughed a lot.

“Another part of the joy has been meeting so many listeners who tell me how much they are enjoying the podcast. It’s a real privilege to meet them and a real privilege to record How to Win.”

Polly Mackenzie said: “Peter and Danny are brilliant and hilarious in equal measure. I have massively enjoyed teaching Peter about the patriarchy and reminding Danny that politicians are rarely as rational as he is.

“We also have by far the best and most creative listeners: what other political podcast has incorporated poetry, head-tapping and pop-art from its fans? Long may it continue.”

Peter Mandelson said: “Every aspect of this pivotal election has been under our microscope, from candidate selection and manifesto pledges. As UK politics stands at a crossroads of change, this podcast is the insider guide to the election.

Andrew Alexander, Executive Producer, said: “When we launched the podcast, we knew we’d learn a lot about politics from Peter, Polly, Danny and Matt. But we didn’t know quite how much they’d make us laugh – even when they fundamentally disagree with each other.

“It’s been a privilege helping them build such a passionate audience as they’ve made sense of this election campaign, and I know their conversations will continue to be unmissable.”

Subscribers can enter the ballot to be in the live audience to attend the How to Win an Election – results special. The event takes place at Times HQ at 11am on Friday, 5 July the morning after the election for more details and to enter the ballot visit the Times+ website

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