General election 2024, fact checked

5 July 2024 | Full Fact

What does it take to fact check an election?

Over the past six weeks, the Full Fact team has been fact checking the general election at a scale never seen before. And now that it’s all over, it’s time to tell you how we did it.

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Fact checking is all about considering a claim, but before you can consider a claim, you have to find it. So we upped our monitoring capacity for the duration of the election, to cover as much ground as possible.

We did this with the help of 18 expert volunteers who temporarily joined Full Fact from partner organisations (and to whom we’re extremely grateful). 

We estimate our fact checkers and volunteers carried out over 450 hours of monitoring over the course of the election, scouring the media, social media, online ads, manifestos and more looking for checkable claims.

And we had help doing this from Full Fact’s AI tools, which allowed us to cover far more ground than it would ever have been possible to with human eyes alone. Those tools monitored over 136 million words in an astonishing 142,909 articles, transcripts and social media posts.

Claims checked

There are different ways to count this, but over the course of the election we reckon we published 217 verdicts on claims or repeated claims. That includes everything from the most prominent claims from the major parties (the Conservatives’ ‘£2,000 tax rise’ claim and Labour’s ‘£4,800 mortgage increase’ claim) to more specific claims buried in manifestos (such as Plaid Cymru’s claim about the cost of Trident). 

And then there were some things we never expected to be fact checking—are there more potholes in Britain than craters on the moon, and why is VAT charged on suncream but not caviar?

Overall, we published over 150 pieces of website and video content, including 78 updates and other posts on our Election Live blog, 35 fact checks and explainers on everything from Net Zero to postal voting

Our fact checking became a round-the-clock exercise too, with one member of the team starting work at 6am each day to monitor the morning broadcast round, and some of our late-night debate coverage running into the early hours of the next day.

Live fact checking

‘Live fact checking’—analysing politicians’ claims in close-to-real time—is one of the trickiest things we do, and we did it a lot in this election campaign. We live fact checked nine different debates or TV events—from the big head-to-head debates on ITV and the BBC to seven-party debates, leaders’ interviews and BBC Scotland’s leaders’ debate.The secret to live fact checking is preparation—lots and lots of it.

The pre-scoping document we use to analyse and prepare to cover likely claims ended up being 22,785 words long


We analysed (with the help of our AI tools) and published round-ups on seven manifestos: the Conservatives, Labour, SNP, Liberal Democrats, Reform UK, Green party and Plaid Cymru.

And we also assessed them against Full Fact’s calls for change, finding there were some positive signs but also some serious shortcomings. 

Media mentions

An important part of our election coverage is ensuring that our fact checking reaches a much wider audience via the media, and we had great success in doing that this year, with a total of 3,754 media mentions. This included agenda-setting commentary on Sky News, Newsnight, BBC News, ITV News, Politico’s Playbook, and many of the papers including the FT, Evening Standard, and Daily Mirror. We wrote 20 daily round-ups for the PA news agency which were circulated widely, reaching around 170 outlets daily ranging from nationals like the Daily Mail to local papers such as the Northern Echo and Manchester Evening News.

Interventions and a manifesto correction

An important part of what we do at Full Fact is taking action after we’ve published a fact check, and that continued during the election campaign. In total we made 14 interventions, writing to four different political parties about false or misleading claims. In some cases, when the claims were made in a televised debate, we wrote to the parties within minutes of the claim having been made. 

And we had one very notable success with the Green party correcting its manifesto after we wrote to them about their waiting lists claim.

Separately we also had corrections from two Labour candidates and MailOnline corrected a Richard Littlejohn column

And finally…

That, then, was our 2024 election campaign, and we’re hugely grateful to everyone who took part, whether supporters, donors, volunteers or simply readers who’ve shared our work. 

Over the next few days, we’ll be catching our breath, but of course there’s much more to do in the weeks ahead—not least a new government to hold to account and a US election on the horizon. To follow our work you can sign up to our newsletter here. Thank you for your support. 

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