Democracy Club produces the most comprehensive election data in the UK.
Our vision is of a country with the digital foundations to support everyone's participation in democratic life.
Established in 2010 to collect information on the candidates running in that year's general election, Democracy Club was registered as a Community Interest Company in 2015. Since then we have covered every major UK election, and now run the national online polling station finder and candidate database. A data supplier to the Electoral Commission since 2017, we have also worked with local and national government across all four UK nations.
In our short history we have transformed the accessibility of UK elections. We've opened up the online civic space, providing non-partisan platforms which enable citizens to scrutinise, evaluate, and engage directly with their politicians and candidates. We've delivered personalised election information to well over ten million people since 2018. In a world which is increasingly concerned about the effect of the internet on democracy, we're using digital and data to inform and empower. Read our current organisational strategy.
Working alongside other organisations is at the core of what we do. Our tools are used widely across UK civil society, from student unions and civic education organisations, through to technology and social and traditional media companies. During 2019 we sent 218m notifications in partnership with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and SnapChat to remind people to vote. We've also enabled groups supporting the most marginalised to get their members engaged and voting, such as migrants, Roma and Travellers, and people with learning disabilities and autism. Furthermore, by making data on elections more freely available we've enabled high-quality research and journalism - for example, The Times and the Fawcett Society have recently used our data to shine a light on the 'glacial' progress of gender and age diversity among election candidates.
Democracy Club is widely regarded as a core infrastructure project within the UK democracy sector.
How we work
Democracy Club consists of a small core team of full-time software developers, data specialists, geospatial engineers and election experts. The team is supported by an online network of hundreds of volunteers who assist with compiling and maintaining our databases.
Much of our work focuses on collecting data from the UK's approximately 400 local authorities, either via communicating with them directly or taking information from their websites using our unique infrastructure of web 'scrapers'. Working with our amazing volunteers, we aggregate this data and publish it for use by anyone. We are committed to open data. We believe that making the data that we collect available to everyone is the best way of empowering the most people to vote.
We believe that we make our greatest impact when we work in partnership with other organisations. In the past we've collaborated with other civic organisations, charities, and media to reach millions more people with information and research.
Community and volunteers
Democracy Club's election candidate database is compiled and maintained by volunteers. Our volunteers are non-partisan, either interested in democracy, open source technology, or both. Around elections, we're supported by a network of supporters who crowdsource publicly available information like candidate manifestos. We also host an online community of 1,000 members and a mailing list with tens of thousands of subscribers.
The focus of this work occurs every year in March and April, when candidate lists are published for the May local elections. We rely on our volunteers to collect these (mainly PDF) documents and enter the information into our database, with a little help from our automation software. In 2022, which was a relatively quiet election, 1,500 volunteers made 64,000 edits to our database, collecting details on over 21,000 individual candidates.
Want to take part? To get involved, head over to our database to create an account. We also recommend joining our mailing list (see form at footer) to keep updated.
What people say about us
Our data has reached millions of people since 2015. Here's what some of them say:
“Amazing accessible website that encourages people to vote by its sheer simplicity.”
“This was a very quick and precise answer to my question. Well Done!”
“Exactly what I was looking for. I appreciate the work of democracyclub and its supporters in providing this resource.”
People who work in democracy trust us
“We've been impressed by Democracy Club's attention to detail and ability to make things work. We have complete trust in the data they provide and are highly supportive of their efforts to help voters get more information about elections.”
— Stuart Harrison, Senior Communication Officer, The Electoral Commission
“This is great - you offer a fantastic service, it is a real help to us and our electors. We really appreciate it.”
— Seth Alker, Head of Electoral Services, London Borough of Croydon
“Democracy Club provide reliable, vital and timely election-related data that is a great boon for democracy in the UK.”
— Patrick Dunleavy, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, London School of Economics
“I was pleased to hear that Democracy Club, working with the Electoral Commission, will be strengthening their work to provide direct polling station and candidate information to the public online, where we know they expect to find it. Over time, I believe that making this information available centrally will become an invaluable service for citizens.”
“a heroic crowd-sourcing effort.”