25 Feb Scottish and Welsh parliamentary and London assembly elections 2021
This advisory details our data coverage of Scottish Parliament, Welsh Senedd/Parliament and 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.
These parliamentary and assembly elections are grouped together in this advisory because they use the same type of voting system involving a mix of first-past-the-post constituencies and regional proportional representation top-up seats. For information on the London Mayor election taking place at the same time, which uses the Supplementary Vote system, see the separate advisory on Mayoral elections.
Key dates and times:
- Nominations closed: Thursday April 1 for the Scottish and London polls; Thursday April 8 for the Welsh ones
- Polling Day: Thursday May 6 – polling from 0700 to 2200
- Declarations: Friday May 7 and Saturday May 8.
There are two types of constituency in these elections:
Scottish Parliament –
- 73 Members elected using the first-past-the-post system in their constituencies
- A further 56 elected using a proportional representation party list system in eight regional top-up seats (each elects seven MSPs).
Welsh Senedd/Parliament –
- 40 Members elected using the FPTP system in their constituencies
- A further 20 elected using a PR party list system in five regional top-up seats (each elects four MSs).
London Assembly –
- 14 Members will be elected using FPTP in their areas
- A further 11 will be elected using a PR party list system in a single London-wide top-up seat.
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 the 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 Scotland, Nominations Wales and 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, Scottish National Party or Plaid Cymru, 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 regional PR top-up top-up constituencies, 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: 1-73 for Scottish FPTP constituencies and 101-108 for Scottish PR regional top-up seats; 1-40 for Welsh FPTP seats and 101-105 for Welsh PR regional top-up seats; and 1-14 for London FPTP constituencies and 15 for the London-wide top-up seat
- A summary of the previous main election 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 a PR regional top-up seat, with candidates in party list order, in data format and plain text (TTY) format:
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 5
We will re-send all the nominations, including the final electorate figures PA will use for the event, at about 1500.
Declarations, from Friday May 7
The first results are expected during the day on Friday May 7.
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 Scotland / Wales / London followed by the constituency serial number. Example: POLL Recount Scotland 9.
Category code will be: XTJ for plain text (TTY).
- Recount at Rhondda
- 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 Scotland / Wales / London followed by the constituency serial number. Example: POLL Wales 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:
- SNP win Fife Mid & Glenrothes – SNP hold
- Conservative gain from Liberal Democrat in Brecon & Radnorshire
- Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime John Smith holds Ealing & Hillingdon – Labour hold
Rushes will also be sent for the regional PR top-up constituency results, using the same catchline and category code as for FPTP results 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.
- Highlands & Islands – Elected: C three, Lab two, SNP one, Green one
- South Wales West – Elected: C one, PC two, LD one
- London – Elected: C three, Lab four, LD two, Green two
Results in detail for each first-past-the-post seat will be catchlined POLL Scotland / Wales / London followed by the constituency serial number. Example: POLL Wales 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 previous main election, plus majority, percentage majority, swing from the previous main election, turnout, percentage turnout and turnout percentage change since the previous main election.
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 a PR regional top-up seat in data format and plain text (TTY) format:
If a result has to be corrected, the wire catchline will be styled POLL Correction Scotland / Wales / 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 Scotland / Wales / 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. Collated results for PR regional seats will follow later.
Collated results will be carried on pages with no more than 30 results per page and will be catchlined POLL Collated Scotland / Wales / 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 previous main election.
These SoP statistics for the first-past-the-post seats will be catchlined POLL Parties Scotland / Wales / 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, an additional SoP All statistic will be sent showing details for all parties.
As soon as the result for a regional 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 Scotland / Wales / London
- 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 Scotland / Wales / 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 does not render as in the actual message):
Example of a seat changes (PR constituency) statistic message:
Example of a combined SoP statistic message (note that formatting on this web page does not render as in the actual message):
Additional statistics will be provided in the same wire format. These will include:
- Turnout so far (valid votes cast) – sent frequently
- Elected Members (list) – at end
- Elected women Members (list) – at end
- New Members (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 Scotland constituency serial numbers that will be used by PA during these elections are:
1 Aberdeen Central
2 Aberdeen Donside
3 Aberdeen South & Kincardine North
4 Aberdeenshire East
5 Aberdeenshire West
6 Airdrie & Shotts
7 Almond Valley
8 Angus North & Mearns
9 Angus South
10 Argyll & Bute
12 Banffshire & Buchan Coast
13 Caithness, Sutherland & Ross
14 Carrick, Cumnock & Doon Valley
15 Clackmannanshire & Dunblane
16 Clydebank & Milngavie
18 Coatbridge & Chryston
20 Cumbernauld & Kilsyth
21 Cunninghame North
22 Cunninghame South
25 Dundee City East
26 Dundee City West
28 East Kilbride
29 East Lothian
31 Edinburgh Central
32 Edinburgh Eastern
33 Edinburgh Northern & Leith
34 Edinburgh Pentlands
35 Edinburgh Southern
36 Edinburgh Western
37 Ettrick, Roxburgh & Berwickshire
38 Falkirk East
39 Falkirk West
40 Fife Mid & Glenrothes
41 Fife North East
42 Galloway & Dumfries West
43 Glasgow Anniesland
44 Glasgow Cathcart
45 Glasgow Kelvin
46 Glasgow Maryhill & Springburn
47 Glasgow Pollok
48 Glasgow Provan
49 Glasgow Shettleston
50 Glasgow Southside
51 Greenock & Inverclyde
52 Hamilton, Larkhall & Stonehouse
53 Inverness & Nairn
54 Kilmarnock & Irvine Valley
57 Midlothian North & Musselburgh
58 Midlothian South, Tweeddale & Lauderdale
60 Motherwell & Wishaw
61 Na h-Eileanan an Iar
62 Orkney Islands
64 Perthshire North
65 Perthshire South & Kinross-shire
66 Renfrewshire North & West
67 Renfrewshire South
69 Shetland Islands
70 Skye, Lochaber & Badenoch
72 Strathkelvin & Bearsden
73 Uddingston & Bellshill
102 Highlands & Islands
104 Scotland Central
105 Scotland Mid & Fife
106 Scotland North East
107 Scotland South
108 Scotland West
The Wales constituency serial numbers that will be used by PA during these elections are:
3 Alyn & Deeside
5 Blaenau Gwent
6 Brecon & Radnorshire
9 Cardiff Central
10 Cardiff North
11 Cardiff South & Penarth
12 Cardiff West
13 Carmarthen East & Dinefwr
14 Carmarthen West & Pembrokeshire South
16 Clwyd South
17 Clwyd West
18 Cynon Valley
20 Dwyfor Meirionnydd
24 Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney
28 Newport East
29 Newport West
32 Preseli Pembrokeshire
34 Swansea East
35 Swansea West
37 Vale of Clwyd
38 Vale of Glamorgan
40 Ynys Mon
101 South Wales Central
102 South Wales East
103 South Wales West
104 Wales Mid & West
105 Wales North
The London constituency serial numbers that 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)