Test programme for May 2020 elections – CANCELLED


PA conducts extensive tests in advance of elections. The test programme in 2020 will focus on the polls scheduled for May 7.

Customers are urged to make use of the tests to ensure their systems are correctly set up to handle PA’s elections data.

Tests for the mayoral, police commissioner and London Assembly elections use fictitious candidate names and the results and figures will be randomised. The council election tests use fictitious figures with fairly random council control changes.

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

Users of PA’s elections data in XML format for digital products, accessed via the FTP servers, should note that XML files from tests may be cleared from the test folders a while after the test but will be made available in downloadable zip files on the Example XML page in case still needed.

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

Note that tests may be: small = as few as a dozen test results for some if not all polls; medium = test results for about half the authorities/areas/constituencies in all polls; or full = test results for all authorities/areas/constituencies in all polls.

Tests will include recount messages (where provided), corrections and State of Parties statistics.

The provisional test programme is as follows:


Tuesday March 10, from 1100: full test over about three hours

Thursday March 19, from 1810: medium test over about an hour

Thursday March 26, from 1810: medium test over about an hour


Wednesday April 1, at 1600: London Mayor and Assembly nominations close

Friday April 3: London Mayor and Assembly nominations due for publication

Wednesday April 8, at 1600: Nominations close for other elections.

[Easter April 10-13]

Thursday April 16, from 1810: full test over about two hours (the first test based on real nominations data)

Wednesday April 22, from 1810: medium test over about an hour

Wednesday April 29, from 1810: full test over about two hours


Tuesday May 5, from 1810: medium test over about an hour

Thursday May 7: polling day

Live event: from 2200 on Thursday May 7 through to late Monday May 11, possibly Tuesday May 12.

The start and end of tests will be notified through alerts on PA Now, 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.