This advisory details our coverage of English, Scottish and Welsh council election nominations and results, focusing on messages sent on the wire.
For details of messages in XML format for digital products, please see the page on XML format under Message specifications
Key dates and times:
- Nominations close:
- In Scotland – Wednesday March 29 at 1600.
- In England and Wales – Tuesday April 4 at 1600.
- Polling day: Thursday May 4.
- Declarations: from the early hours of Friday May 5 but most during the day.
Elections will take place at 88 councils altogether.
Councils polling in England: 34 in total, full council elections (all seats up):
- 27 county councils
- 6 unitary authorities
- 1 metropolitan district
Councils polling in Scotland: all 32, full.
Councils polling in Wales: all 22, full.
There are some mayoral elections in England including in new devolved super-regions – see separate advisory.
Councils with local boundary changes coming into effect for the May 4 polls, subject to confirmation, are expected to be as follows:
England: Cambridgeshire, Devon, Dorset, East Sussex, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Warwickshire, West Sussex.
Scotland: Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Clackmannanshire, Dumfries & Galloway, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian, East Renfrewshire, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Fife, Glasgow, Highland, Inverclyde, Midlothian, Moray, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Perth & Kinross, Renfrewshire, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Stirling, West Dunbartonshire.
Rushes Rushes will be sent immediately after final declarations for a council where that council has changed control. These will be catchlined POLL England for county councils, POLL Metro for the single metropolitan borough (Doncaster), POLL Unitary for unitary authorities, POLL Scotland for Scottish councils, and POLL Wales for Welsh councils – with the council name appearing in the third field. For example, POLL England Devon.
They will have the category code: XTJ
Example text for rush messages:
- C lose Worcester to no overall control
- C gain Peterborough from no overall control
If it becomes clear in advance of final declarations that a council has changed control, a rush will be sent in the general news service under the usual editorial category code: HHH
Results will be sent immediately after final declarations for a council, catchlined POLL England for county councils, POLL Metro for the single metropolitan borough (Doncaster), POLL Unitary for unitary authorities, POLL Scotland for Scottish councils, and POLL Wales for Welsh councils – with the council name appearing in the third field. For example, POLL England Devon.
They will be category-coded:
- XLD for data format
- XLR for plain text (TTY).
Collated runs of all council election results in so far will be sent using the same category codes on Friday May 5 at about 0430, 0630, 0930, 1800 and later when all results are in. They will be catchlined POLL England, POLL Metro, POLL Unitary, POLL Scotland, and POLL Wales – followed by the keyword, Collated.
Examples of a "full council" result (catchlined POLL Non-met Westborough) in plain text (TTY) and data format:
In the case of a council where there have been boundary changes, the result will include the text “Boundary change” below the council name and changes in the numbers of seats held by parties as a result of the poll will be shown as “up” and “down” rather than “gain” or “lose”.
If a result has to be corrected, the catchline will be styled POLL Correction followed by the council type and the council name. Example: POLL Correction England Devon. Where there is a change to the winning party a rush correction will be sent, catchlined POLL Council.
We will be transmitting during the declarations up-to-date details of nationwide party seats and control changes. They will be catchlined POLL State of Parties Council under the category code: XTH
Example of SoP gains and losses table:
We will also send similar versions of this statistic with up-to-date details of party seats and council control changes separately for England, Scotland and Wales. They will be catchlined POLL State of Parties Council England, POLL State of Parties Council Scotland and POLL State of Parties Council Wales, under the category code: XTH
We will send out lists of councils gained and lost by parties, catchlined POLL Statistics, category code: XTH
Example of council changes list:
We will send out lists of councils gained and lost by parties separately for England, Scotland and Wales. They will be catchlined POLL Statistics England, POLL Statistics Scotland and POLL Statistics Wales, under the category code: XTH
- Conservative (C)
- Labour (Lab)
- Liberal Democrat (LD)
- Green Party (Green)
- Plaid Cymru (PC)
- Scottish National Party (SNP)
- United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP)
- Independent/Other (Ind)
- Independent Community and Health Concern and Residents (Ind CHC)
- Llais Gwynedd - Voice of Gwynedd (Llais)
- Liberal (Lib)
- Mebyon Kernow (Meb Ker)
- Ratepayers or Residents (R)
- Vacant (Vac)
Quick Reference Table
Catchlines and category codes:
|Message||Catchline||Text category||Data category|
|Rush||POLL (followed by council type and council name)||XTJ|
|Rush correction||POLL Correction (followed by council type and council name)||XTJ|
|Result||POLL (followed by council type and council name)||XLR||XLD|
|Result correction||POLL Correction (followed by council type and council name)||XLR||XLD|
|Collated results||POLL (followed by council type and council name) Collated Result||XLR||XLD|
|State of parties||POLL State of Parties Council||XTH|
|State of parties - by region||POLL State of Parties Council England / Scotland / Wales||XTH|
|Councils gained and lost by parties||POLL Statistics||XTH|
|Councils gained and lost by parties - by region||POLL Statistics England / Scotland / Wales||XTH|
Elections Live Coverage
All narrative copy, claims/pointers (giving indications for key councils in advance of final declarations), reaction and analysis, will run in the general news service using the usual editorial code: HHH
We will be sending test results ahead of the election, with voting figures generated at random by computer. Please see separate advisory for the test programme.
All test material will be marked clearly as "PA Test".
You MUST check before polling day that any test material has been cleared from your systems.
Speak to Elections Editor Roger Smith on 020 7963 7992 or email via the Contact us page. During nominations or election events, phone the Elections Desk on 020 7963 7992, Newsdesk on 020 7963 7146 or Customer Services on 01430 455337.
Customers, especially digital-only customers who do not see PA wire advisories, may wish to follow @pressassocpolls on twitter for technical and operational updates from the Elections Desk.