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Forthcoming polls – test programme

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

The Press Association will be conducting an extensive test programme ahead of the Northern Ireland Assembly snap election on March 2 and the council and mayoral elections on May 4.

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

The Northern Ireland Assembly and the mayoral elections’ tests will use fictitious candidate names and results and figures will be randomised. The council election tests will use fictitious figures.

All test material will be marked clearly as "PA Test" and the word "Test" will appear in fictional candidate names.

The provisional test programme is as follows:

(Note: small = 5-10 results; medium = a third to a half of results; 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, 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

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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