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Looking back, looking ahead

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Reviewing May 2016

one of the open space sessions Results of one of the open space sessions from our 2016 Review event earlier this week.

City Hall beckoned on Tuesday! No sightings of the new Mayor of London, but thanks to our friends at Greater London Assembly who provided a great space to launch our review of the 2016 elections. It’s full of delicious thoughts about what we did for May 2016, such as how many we reached and what we want to do next.

Many thanks to Jill Rutter for chairing and Matt Warman MP for providing the thoughts of a successful candidate. And to all who took part in the open space session!

The report is still in beta, so comments and questions are very welcome. We’ll produce a nice-looking short version soon for you to give out as gifts to friends and loved ones.

Who do I call to speak to Europe?”

For the last six months, while we’ve been killing ourselves over the 5 May elections, the helpful question everyone has asked is ‘what are you doing for the EU Referendum?’. Argh.

But with work on 5 May largely complete — we still need to sort the verifier tool on results so we can finalise the results data — we have been able to think more about the referendum.

We’ve partnered with London First on a non-partisan project to increase voter registration and turnout among young folks in London (and anywhere else is good too). This is new territory for Democracy Club, though we’ve often pondered fun things we could do with good data and digital services around these areas.

In order not to start crashing headlong into a space in which lots of others have deeper experience, we’ve had Alex Blandford trying to spot the gaps where we can add most value. He’s read all the papers and interviewed everyone we can find to talk to about voter registration in particular. We’ll be publishing the results of this research so that others can learn from this - or add stuff we’ve missed.

Then next week we’ll go into a product design sprint, seeing what we can cleverly do with data, digital design or perhaps something more traditional to help boost registration before the 7 June deadline.

On turnout, our particular effort will focus on pushing the Polling Station Finder. LondonElects had excellent coverage of London for 5 May, but it’s been turned off. Sad face. But we’re hoping they can help us make it happen again for 23 June.

london polling station finder

If you work in a council, or have friends that do, and feel passionately superinspired that YES, PEOPLE SHOULD BE ABLE TO FIND THEIR POLLING STATION ONLINE, get in touch: hello@. The guidance for how councils can provide data to us is here. This is something very low cost you can do that could help more people vote!

If you don’t work in a council, nor know anyone in a council, don’t worry! We may be able to crowdsource some of the data too. Watch your inboxes for tasks appearing soon.

What about that report though?

So yeah, we wrote and presented a report. Have we really understood it all? Have we really thought about what it means? Have we digested some of the critical feedback? Are we better placed to evaluate impact? More to come. But it’s a first step.

Forward.