In England, Wales and Scotland, pilot schemes can be approved for any local authority elections, including parish council elections and by-elections.
Electoral pilot schemes can involve changes to when, where, and how voting at local government elections is to take place, how votes are to be counted, or candidates sending election communications free of postage charges.
Approval for pilot schemes in England and Wales must be given by the UK Government. In Scotland, approval must be given by the Scottish Government.
There are currently no legal provisions permitting pilot schemes at any elections in Northern Ireland.
We have a statutory duty to evaluate any electoral pilot scheme in England and Wales approved by the relevant Secretary of State. We have also agreed to evaluate pilot schemes in Scotland at the request of the Scottish Government.
We must consider whether the pilot scheme:
- helped to make voting or counting the votes easier
- helped to improve turnout
- helped to facilitate voting
- led to a reduction or increase in electoral fraud
- led to a reduction or increase in the cost of the elections
We are required to publish evaluation reports on individual pilot schemes within three months of the elections taking place.
May 2007 pilot schemes
Twelve electoral schemes took place at the May 2007 local government elections. Further details can be found on our 2007 pilot scheme page.
Pre-2007 pilot schemes
Our evaluations of pre-2007 pilot schemes can be found at the links below: