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Forthcoming polls – test programme

Revised on 19/04/2017: addition of snap General Election tests

Revised on 24/01/2017: deletion of proposed March 15 test

The Press Association conducts extensive tests in advance of elections. The test programme so far this year covers:

  • The snap General Election on June 8
  • The council and mayoral elections on May 4
  • The Northern Ireland Assembly snap election that took place on March 2.

Customers are urged to make use of the tests to ensure their systems are correctly set up to handle the election event.

The tests for the snap General Election (GE) and the mayoral and Northern Ireland elections use fictitious candidate names, and results and figures will be randomised. The council election tests use fictitious figures.

All test material is marked clearly as "PA Test" and the word "Test" appears in fictional candidate names.

The provisional test programme is as follows:

(Note: small = 5-10 results; medium = a third to a half of results / 100-150 results in the case of a GE test; full = all results.)

January 2017

Thurs Jan 26 at 1400: Councils and mayorals (full test, over about three hours) plus Northern Ireland (small test)


Wed Feb 8 at 1300: Northern Ireland nominations close

Thurs February 16 at 1810: Northern Ireland election test (small test)

Thurs February 23 at 1810: Northern Ireland test (small)

Mon February 27 at 1810: Northern Ireland test (small)


Thurs March 2-Sat March 5+: Live event: Northern Ireland Assembly snap election

Thurs Mar 23 at 1810: Councils and mayorals (medium)

Wed Mar 29 at 1600: Scottish council nominations close

Wed Mar 29 at 1810: Councils and mayorals (medium)


Tues Apr 4 at 1600: Mayoral nominations and English and Welsh council nominations close

Wed Apr 12 at 1810: Councils and mayorals, first to be based on real noms (full, over about two hours)

Fri-Mon Apr 14-17: Easter

Wed Apr 19 at 1810: Councils and mayorals (medium)

Wed Apr 26 at 1810: Councils and mayorals (full) plus GE test (medium) – over about two hours


Mon May 1: bank holiday

Wed May 3 at 1810: Councils and mayorals (medium)

Thurs May 4-Fri May 5+: Live event: council and mayoral elections

Thurs May 11: expected date of close of GE nominations

Tues May 16 from around 0930: GE test (full, computer-generated, over about at least six hours)

Thurs May 18 at 1810: GE (medium)

Tues May 23 at 1810: GE (medium)

Mon May 29: bank holiday

Wed May 31 at 1810: GE (full, over about three hours)


Tues June 6 at 1810: GE (medium)

Thurs June 8-Fri June 9: GE live event.

The start and end of tests will be notified through wire advisories and on twitter @pressassocpolls.

Dates and times are subject to change. Additional tests will take place as needed.

Customers MUST ensure all test data is cleared from their systems before polling day.


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.

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