Towards a common standard for publishing consistent election results

The  Local Government Association (LGA), Cabinet Office, the Electoral Commission and a number of other partners are working together to develop a common data standard for reporting election results in the UK in a consistent and open form. The vision is to publish consistent data from all Election Services departments that can be easily discovered and combined with other election results into regional and national registers. This has the benefit that the data is immediately available for use in apps and other online tools and analytics.

Similar initiatives have been started in the past but have foundered – largely due to plans that were too ambitious for local authorities to publish the data to common standards.  Significant progress has been made in recent years with the advancement of the transparency agenda and more widespread data publishing. We therefore want to work with electoral administrators to develop a plan to publish election result data to a common standard.

In August 2016, the LGA has started a second round consultation process for any interested parties to consider a second draft data specification and publishing process. We encourage you to review this consultation and add your views and ideas.

This inititaive was launched by the Prime Minister on 12th May 2016 as commitment 7 in the National Action Plan for open government 2016-2018

The intention is not to add further burden on local authorities, but merely to take data currently published and present it in a simple, consistent open data form.  This can be secondary to the methods that you currently use for elections online publishing

The second stage consultation document that sets out the background and a suggested data specification is available online here http://e-sd.org/dmKwu.  This builds on the first consultation which ran between mid March and end-April 2016.  A revised second draft schema specification has been prepared, following review from this first round and by developers and suppliers of Election Management Systems (EMS).  The latest version of the schema specification (which is the subject of this consultation) is online for download as a PDF document here: http://e-sd.org/vgTJ3.  

This consultation period concludes on 14th October 2016.

You are encouraged to join the Local Open Data Community Group pages on local government’s Knowledge Hub here http://e-sd.org/LjFJj and feedback your ideas and take part in the online discussions.  The LGA will also take feedback by email at transparency@local.gov.uk but does reserve the right to feed useful comments and ideas on to the Knowledge Group to encourage wider debate and discussion.

posted by LGA Transparency Programme Team on 21st March 2016

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