We have a statutory duty to collect data and publish reports about elections that take place across the UK. We also choose to report on other elections.
What we report on
We have a statutory duty to report on the administration of :
UK Parliament elections
Police and Crime Commissioner elections
council elections in Scotland
Scottish Parliament elections
Northern Ireland Assembly elections
referendums (if they’re held under the Political Parties Elections & Referendums Act (PPERA) 2000)
In the past, we have chosen to report on:
local council elections in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
local and combined authority mayoral elections
Greater London Authority (GLA) elections
What our reports include
Our reports aim to look at the experience of people voting and campaigning at elections, and of people delivering the elections.
We carry out a public opinion survey to find out voters’ views about elections, including whether they thought it was well run and how confident they felt about it.
We also ask candidates and campaigners to give us feedback, and we send them a survey after the election.
Councils, who are responsible for the running the elections, have to provide data to us about electoral registration, postal voting and turnout. We ask them to fill out a survey, and also ask for feedback from people who worked at the election, such as polling station staff.
We usually aim to publish our reports on elections within six months of polling day.
Reporting on the May 2023 elections
At the local elections in England on 4 May, voters will need to show photo ID to vote at a polling station.
In the weeks following polling day, we will carry out research with the public to collect data about the experience of voters. We will also collect data from the local councils who had elections in their area.
This will inform an initial analysis of the implementation of voter ID, which we will publish as quickly as possible in the weeks after the elections, subject to data being available. We expect this initial analysis will include:
top line data from our public opinion survey on the awareness and experience of voters
data from polling stations on the proportion of people turned away from polling places or refused a ballot paper, and those who returned and were able to vote
data about the number of Voter Authority Certificates or Anonymous Elector’s Documents issued
In September, we will publish our full report on the May 2023 elections. This report will feature additional data, including the reasons people were turned away (such as having the wrong or no identification) as well as turnout, postal voting and rejected ballots. It will also provide analysis on other aspects of the elections, including accessibility support that was provided for voters in polling stations for example.
We will also publish a separate report about the local elections taking place on 18 May in Northern Ireland in September.
Greeters at polling stations
We're aware that staff acting as greeters may be used in some polling stations to welcome voters, remind them about the need to show photographic ID, and help speed up the voting process. The Elections Act and the Voter Identification Regulations 2022 require polling station staff to collect data on the people that cannot be issued with a ballot paper because they were unable to provide an accepted form of ID. This includes data on people who are turned away and later return to the polling station with accepted ID. This information can only be recorded at the ballot issuing desk, and not gathered by a greeter at the entrance.The presence of a greeter at a polling station is likely to affect the data recorded at the desk. For this reason, local authorities will need to separate out data for polling stations with and without greeters when submitting data after the polls.
We're experienced at using wider survey work to supplement quantitative data to assess the overall impact of changes to elections. In our reporting on the elections, we will make an assessment of the wider impact of the ID requirements using other types of research. Importantly this will include public opinion surveying across England, asking about people’s experiences of voting or trying to vote on 4 May. We will also, as we do each year, survey electoral administrators, campaigners and electoral observers.