Five years ago: Election fever grips the Web

Election fever hit the Web today with a general election Web site, a Labour Party election Web site and political forums from both Yahoo! UK and CompuServe

First published 21 March, 1997

Yahoo! has teamed-up with Online Magic, PA Newswire and CompuServe to provide a UK Polling Booth at the general election site, enabling people to air their opinions on a range of issues.

CompuServe has its own debating forum and UK election site while OnlIne Magic's general election site offers political news from PA Newswire as well as forums and political comment.

Under the banner, 'All Roads Lead to Labour', the Labour Party launched its site on the back of the Stevenson Report, an independent study commissioned by Labour into the state of IT in UK education.

The report revealed alarming holes in the use and knowledge of IT in schools in both teachers and pupils. Labour leader Tony Blair and shadow education and employment secretary David Blunkett accused the Government of a "piecemeal approach" to education IT policy.

"We will develop a national grid for learning," said Blunkett, "to ensure that schools and colleges have access to materials on the Internet relevant to the national curriculum and by developing a programme of training for classroom teachers, using the teacher training days and funded from the National Lottery. We have reached agreement with BT and the cable companies to ensure that every school in the land is connected to the Internet."

Over 100,000 UK schools are already connected and are participating in a High-Tech schools election. The election has been engineered by Data and Research Services (DRS) and has asked students to vote for one of the political parties as well as give opinions on topics such as Europe, the Monarchy and taxation. Polling day was yesterday and results are imminent.

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