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The results are in – but how do people find out the results of local elections?

In Dan Slee’s article ‘POLL CLOSED: Why is it so hard to find out election results?’ he explains his frustration at how difficult it is to find election results from local authorities once the results are in.

Social media can provide pretty much real-time results for local elections but, as Dan says, ward results can easily get lost in timelines – especially if, like most, you’re following lots of accounts.

Of course you should be able to visit a council’s website to find results – some make it easy by having a prominent feature on the homepage that links to a result page but, as Dan found out – 45% of council homepages that he checked had no mention of election results. If you do find a results page, you’ll have to keep coming back to it check to see if anything has changed (keep pressing that F5 key!).

Using email to notify people about election results

It seems like a no-brainer to set up email alerts to let those interested know the outcomes as soon as the results are in – is your council doing this?

Just set up a topic for Election Results that people can easily subscribe to and you’ve got an audience ready to receive the information when it’s available. Alternatively, you can send out the information in an Election Results special bulletin to your News subscribers.

There are different ways you can send the results out using email. If you’ve someone at the count, or have someone working remotely, they can easily curate a special bulletin to send out – like Telford & Wrekin Council did.

If you’re updating your website as wards are declared you can totally automate the process via a HTML pagewatch feature or via RSS/Atom so that messages are sent out as soon as the website is updated.

Telford & Wrekin sent their recent elections results bulletin out at 5.51am to over 15,000 subscribers with an Open Rate of 35% and a Click Rate of 16%. Both of these engagement rates are well above the average UK public sector rates.

It’s all pretty quick and simple to set up (well, it is with govDelivery) and, as the Telford and Wrekin stats show, there’s a keen interest in receiving results via email.

Bradford Council had their highest ever click rate of 44% from their last election results bulletin – with over 6,000 clicks to the full results from one short and simple email.

Bradford's engagement report data showing a 44% click rate

Bradford Council’s email engagement data

If you’d like to chat more about how to let people know about your election results by email just drop me a line.