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


  1. Advertising
  2. Partnerships and public relations
  3. What we did to promote the voting system in Scotland
  4. What others did to promote voter registration
  5. Campaign performance


#ReadyToVote campaign in Scotland

16- and 17-year-olds were eligible to vote in the Scottish council elections for the first time. To raise awareness of this, we worked with schools across Scotland to encourage them to deliver voter registration sessions during class time throughout March 2017. We developed resources to make it as easy as possible for them to participate.

To run our #ReadyToVote campaign, we worked with the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives, Education Scotland, School Leaders Scotland and the Scottish Government Learning Directorate. The campaign was also supported by the Scottish Youth Parliament, NUS Scotland and Young Scot.

293 secondary schools signed up to take part, representing more than 80% of all local authority secondary schools in Scotland.

Image of a school taking part in our ReadyToVote campaign

Social media platforms

We worked with Facebook to include a registration reminder in the newsfeeds of their users across Great Britain from 7 April for four days.

We also worked with Snapchat to produce a unique filter that reminded users in Scotland to register to vote. Snapchat is popular with teenagers so was a valuable additional route to reach 16- and 17-year-olds.

We also worked with hyper-local social network Nextdoor, which posted registration reminders to all of their users across the country.

UK government

We worked with the Cabinet Office, which facilitated social media support for our campaign across government departments and arms-length bodies.

They were encouraged to share our resources and voter registration messages including those tailored to specific audiences such as armed forces personnel.

They were also encouraged to reach out directly through their stakeholder networks to communicate the importance of registering to vote in time.

Image of Ministry of Defence tweet about the local electionsImage of Cabinet Office tweet about the local elections


We worked with a range of charities to produce resources for people with disabilities, including: Easy Read guides to voting with Mencap UK, Mencap Cymru, Learning Disability Wales and Enable Scotland; guides for people supporting someone with a disability with Enable Scotland; and factsheets outlining what help is available to people with sight loss with RNIB Cymru.

Public relations

We sought earned media around key activities and milestones in our campaign.

Our #ReadyToVote campaign achieved coverage on seven radio stations, and in five regional and three national newspaper titles in Scotland, as well as on Scottish Television (STV).

The Head of the Electoral Commission in Scotland, Andy O’Neill, appeared on BBC Radio Scotland to promote a month to go until the local elections.

Our Snapchat partnership achieved coverage across Scottish and UK media, including The Scotsman, BBC News and i.

We also achieved significant coverage around the voter registration deadlines, including quotes from senior staff in local press and radio across Great Britain, as well as on BBC News.

We secured further coverage in armed forces media – The Soldier and RAF News.

Screenshot of Marketing Week aticle about our partership with SnapchatScreenshot of an article in The Scotsman about our Ready to Vote campaign

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