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Podcast celebrates milestone

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

Podcast celebrates milestone
Matt Chorley: “I always knew we’d hit a million downloads.”

Launched in October 2023, The Times and The Sunday Times say the podcast brings together three experienced political strategists from the past four decades - Peter Mandelson, Daniel Finkelstein, and Polly Mackenzie - with Times Radio presenter Matt Chorley guiding the conversation.

How To Win An Election is now twice-weekly and has become a guide to every twist and turn of the campaign - with highlights including Danny’s 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.

They says they will be building on this success with a special episode of the podcast in front of a live audience of Times readers the morning after polling day to analyse the historic election result.

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.”

The Times and The Sunday Times say 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, July 5 the morning after the election for more details and to enter the ballot visit the Times+ website here.

The Times and The Sunday Times say they are growing their portfolio of podcasts. It recently announced the launch of Cocaine Inc., an eight-part investigative series into the global cocaine trade and The Royals with Roya and Kate, presented by the royal editors of The Sunday Times and Times, Roya Nikkhah and Kate Mansey.

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