The Electoral Commission

The independent body which oversees elections and regulates political finance in the UK

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2017 local elections campaign in Great Britain

In this section you can find the evaluation of our public awareness campaign ahead of the May 2017 local elections.

On 4 May 2017, local council elections were held in Scotland, Wales and in parts of England.

We ran a four-week communications campaign from 20 March, aimed at encouraging eligible adults to register to vote by the deadlines, with a particular focus on under-registered groups: home movers, students, 18- to 34-year olds in England and Wales, 16- to 34-year-olds in Scotland, and armed forces personnel. View our report on the December 2015 electoral registers for more information.

Our strategy included using mass awareness advertising to ensure our message reached as many people as possible, complemented by specific messaging and activities to reach those under-registered groups. We also worked in partnership with other organisations to extend the reach of our campaign and used campaign activities to generate press coverage.

Our target was to add 484,000 people to the electoral register in Great Britain. We achieved 75% of this target, with 362,000 additions. We also aimed to achieve 68% campaign recognition, as measured by our campaign tracking research. We exceeded this target with 72% of people recognising one or more elements of the campaign.

In Scotland, where the single transferable vote (STV) voting system was used, we had the additional aim of raising awareness of how to vote, specifically the requirement to rank candidates in order of preference using numbers. Our target was for 75% of people to correctly identify how to complete their ballot paper. We exceeded this with a result of 80%.