25 Feb London elections 2021
This advisory details our coverage of London Assembly election nominations and results, focusing on process and scheduling, and messages sent on the wire.
For details of messages in XML format for digital products, please see the page on XML format under Delivery Methods.
For information on the London Mayor election taking place at the same time, see the separate advisory on Mayoral elections.
Key dates and times:
- Nominations close: Wednesday March 31 at 1600; publication due on Thursday April 1
- Polling Day: Thursday May 6 – polling from 0700 to 2200
- Declarations: Friday May 7 and Saturday May 8 from about 1500.
There are two types of constituency in the London Assembly elections:
- 14 Members will be elected on the traditional first-past-the-post system
- A further 11 will be elected on a “top-up” London-wide proportional representation party list system.
Nominations, Thursday April 1
The nominations will be sent in collated lists on the wire in a format enabling customers to not only publish but also set up dummy results pages and in XML format via the FTP servers for publication by customers and for use in setting up for results.
We will seek to transmit all available nominations at a time to be advised on Friday evening but we could be delayed if authorities have difficulties publishing them.
We will send a full run of nominations as soon as they are all in – if not on the Friday then if possible on the Saturday or Monday. A revised run will be sent later in the week, resolving any issues and providing differentiation in cases where more than one independent candidate is standing in a particular seat.
Further runs will be sent as necessary with a final run in the afternoon of Wednesday May 5, the day before polling day. Note that in exceptional circumstances it may be necessary to amend nominations data for a particular constituency at any time up until the result for that seat is sent.
When a collated run is sent on the wire there will be a page for the first-past-the-post constituencies followed by a page for the top-up constituency.
Pages will be numbered and will be catchlined with the topic, ELECTION, and keywords, Nominations London.
Category codes for nominations messages:
- XDA for data format
- XTA for plain text (TTY).
Candidates will be given in the following party order: Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, Green, followed by minor party candidates in alphabetical order of party description.
Candidate details will give an indication if there is a sitting Member using symbols:
- * = in the same seat
- + = previously sat in another constituency.
Details will include: titles (except for Mr, Mrs, Miss or Ms), first name, surname and party abbreviation.
In the London-wide top-up constituency, the candidates will be given in the order they appear on their party lists.
Independent or No description candidates will be listed initially with the abbreviation “Ind” or “ND”.
However, to allow the system to differentiate between more than one Independent or ND standing in the same constituency, we will amend the party title of some of them to Independent or No description followed by the candidate’s first and second names – for example, “Independent John Smith”. But the abbreviation will remain as “Ind”.
Constituency details will include:
- The constituency’s PA serial number, 1-14 for first-past-the-post constituencies and 15 for the London-wide top-up seat
- A summary of the 2016 result and any intervening by-election result.
Our early nominations transmissions will include historical electorate figures but there will be a re-run as soon as the final figures PA will use for the event become available. NB This may not be until the final collated run on the afternoon of Wednesday May 5.
Fictional examples of nominations in a first-past-the-post constituency in data format and plain text (TTY) format:
Nominations for the London-wide PR constituency in data format and plain text (TTY) format will be in the same style as these examples for a Scottish top-up PR constituency:
The list of party abbreviations will be sent on the wire as needed, catchlined ELECTION Abbreviations London and category coded: XTH
Any re-run of party abbreviations after 2200 hours on polling day will be catchlined POLL Abreviations London. Category code: XTH
The list will also be provided on this page.
Wednesday May 6
We will re-send all the nominations, including the final electorate figures PA will use for the event, at about 1500.
Declarations, Friday May 8
The first results are expected at about 3pm on Friday May 8, the VE Day bank holiday.
If news is received of an official recount, a rush message will be sent on the wire and in XML format
On the wire, the rush will be catchlined POLL Recount London followed by the constituency serial number. Example: POLL Recount London 9.
Category code will be: XTJ for plain text (TTY).
- Recount at Barnet & Camden
- 3rd Recount at Croydon & Sutton
Rushes will be sent on the wire and in XML format for all first-past-the-post constituency results.
On the wire, these will be catchlined POLL London followed by the constituency serial number. Example: POLL London 3.
Category code will be: XTJ
Rushes for first-past-the-post seats will say that a party has held a constituency or gained it from another party but in the case of well-known personalities – particularly ministers – it will include their names.
Fictional examples of rushes for FPTP constituencies:
- Conservative win City & East – Conservative hold
- Labour gain from Conservative in Greenwich & Lewisham
- Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime John Smith holds West Central – Conservative hold
Rushes will also be sent for the London-wide top-up constituency result, using the same catchline and category code as for first-past-the-post rushes.
The text will give the constituency name, followed by “Elected”, followed by party abbreviations and the number of seats won in the constituency for each.
- London – Elected: C three, Lab four, LD two, Green two
Results in detail for each first-past-the-post seat will be catchlined POLL London followed by the constituency serial number. Example: POLL London 3.
Category codes for FPTP results messages will be:
- XDB for data format
- XTB for plain text (TTY)
First-past-the-post results will give details of party hold or gain from another party, followed by candidates in votes order, giving their votes, percentage share, percentage share change since the 2016 elections, plus majority, percentage majority, swing from the 2016 election, turnout, percentage turnout and turnout percentage change since 2016.
The swing will be between the winning party and the losing party where constituencies change hands and between first and second candidates where there is no change.
Example of a first-past-the-post constituency result in data format and plain text (TTY) format:
Results for the London-wide PR constituency in data format and plain text (TTY) format will be in the same style as these examples for a Scottish top-up PR constituency:
If a result has to be corrected, the wire catchline will be styled POLL Correction London followed by the constituency number. Example: POLL Correction London 4. Where there is a change to the winning party a rush correction will be sent, catchlined in the same way, POLL Correction London followed by the constituency number.
Runs of collated results for the first-past-the-post constituencies will be sent on the wire at around 1800 on the Friday and later when all the first-past-the-post constituency results are in. NB These will not include the result of the London-wide proportional representation top-up seat, expected later.
The first-past-the-post collated results will be carried on a single page and will be catchlined POLL Collated London.
They will be category-coded:
- XDC for data format
- XTC for plain text (TTY).
Immediately after the first result, we will start sending State of Parties statistics, including numbers of seats and votes won so far for parties, gains and losses, vote share and percentage change compared with the 2016 election.
These SoP statistics for the first-past-the-post seats will be catchlined POLL Parties London.
Initially the statistics will list major parties and those who have won seats with minor ones totalled under others. When the final first-past-the-post results are in, the SoP statistic will be sent showing details for all parties.
As soon as the result for the London-wide PR top-up constituency has been sent, we will send the following two statistics:
- An SoP statistic showing seat changes within the top-up constituency, catchlined POLL PR London (NB This statistic was catchlined POLL Changes London in 2011)
- A combined SoP statistic giving the total FPTP seats won by parties, the total for PR seats and a grand total. This will be catchlined Poll Seats London.
All wire statistics will be sent in plain text (TTY) and will be coded: XTH
Example of a State of Parties (FPTP seats) statistic message (note that formatting on this web page is out and will be fixed):
Example of a seat changes (PR constituency) statistic message:
Example of a combined SoP statistic message (note that formatting on this web page is out and will be fixed):
Additional statistics will be provided in the same wire format. These will include:
- Turnout so far (valid votes cast) – sent frequently
- Elected MLAs (list) – at end
- Elected women MLAs (list) – at end
- New MLAs (list) – at end.
Quick Reference Table
Catchlines and category codes on the wire:
Elections Live Coverage
All narrative copy, claims/pointers (giving indications in key seats in advance of 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. The candidate names and the voting figures will be generated at random by computer. Please see separate advisory for the provisional test programme.
All test material will be marked clearly as “PA Test” and the word “Test” will appear in fictional candidate names.
You MUST check before polling day that any test material has been cleared from your systems.
Constituency serial numbers
The constituency serial numbers which will be used by PA during these elections are:
1 Barnet & Camden
2 Bexley & Bromley
3 Brent & Harrow
4 City & East
5 Croydon & Sutton
6 Ealing & Hillingdon
7 Enfield & Haringey
8 Greenwich & Lewisham
9 Havering & Redbridge
10 Lambeth & Southwark
11 Merton & Wandsworth
12 North East
13 South West
14 West End
15 London (This is the London-wide PR top-up constituency)