05 Sep Elections data test: September 10
11/09/2019 – updated following completion of successful test
09/09/2019 – updated with new guidance about the Speaker’s seat at a general election.
PA ran a UK general election data test on Tuesday, September 10, with the aim of providing customers with a fresh, full set of test nominations and results, particularly in XML format for digital, in advance of a possible snap general election.
We sent live test results for all 650 Commons constituencies, as well as corrections, recount messages, State of Parties statistics and some wire statistics.
This test should assist customers with preparations for the eventuality of another snap general election. A similar test took place in January.
The XML files from these tests can be found in downloadable ZIP folders on the Example XML page.
The latest test used the spread of parties and candidates from the general election in June 2017 but with the addition of the Brexit and Change parties and some adjustments to take account of more recent suspensions and defections.
Note that fictitious candidate names and randomly-generated figures are used in PA’s general election tests.
It was reported before the latest test that the Conservatives intended to break convention and put up a candidate to oppose Commons Speaker John Bercow in his Buckingham seat at the next general election. However, Mr Bercow later announced he would stand down on October 31 and that his replacement should be in place before dissolution.
For one of the main parties to oppose the Speaker at a general election would have significant implications for the way PA normally calculates its key State of Parties statistics, under which the Speaker’s seat is always counted with those of the main party for which he or she previously was elected. We would have to consider how best to deal with this situation, should it arise in future. This scenario was not covered in the September 10 test, which ran with the Speaker’s Buckingham seat included with the Conservatives in the SoP, as before.
See XML format for information about the format, structure and delivery of PA’s general election (first-past-the-post) data messages in XML format, as well as the description of XML messages for general elections at First-past-the-post and PR Top-up XML.
IMPORTANT NOTE FOR XML USERS: The IDs of entities provided in the election tests are NOT the same as those provided in the real data, such as for parties. Please do NOT configure your system for a real election event using the IDs provided in the test data. THEY WILL NOT BE THE SAME. See the guidance at XML format
A detailed advisory covering content, process and timing for PA’s elections data will be provided on this website once a general election is called.
The advisory will include information on elections messages sent on the wire in plain text (TTY) and data format, along with catchlines and category codes. General information about wire format can be found in the document downloadable from the Wire format page on this site.
A test programme, giving the dates and times of tests in the run-up to polling day, would be made available.
Estimated declaration times would be added at a later stage, once information has been gathered from all councils running the poll in their areas.
Downloadable zip files with sets of test and historical nominations and results messages in XML format are available in Example XML.
IMPORTANT: Customers are reminded to clear out any test material from their systems before polling day.