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Where Do 131,474 people vote?

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The polls have closed, there isn’t an exit poll, the live coverage is struggling to know what do say for the next few hours.

Closer to home, Joe is wallowing in glorious mud at Glastonbury and Sym is sleep deprived and trying to find the Blog-Post-Style-Guide that Joe told him to read months ago (two space, right?).

You’ll have to forgive my attempt to fill Joe’s blogging shoes this week…

London Polling Stations

The big news this week in DemoClub land has been polling stations. Thanks to our friends at London First we’ve been able to get 99% coverage of London, plus a few other councils across the country.

To be able to tell people where their polling station is, we need councils to give us data (we can’t crowd source it), and it’s been a huge amount of work to get them all imported in to the system, but we didn’t get them all this time.

Having this much data for London has allowed us to promote the site a bit more than we have before, including getting AboutMyVote to link to it for London postcodes.

Demand

We’ve found out that a lot of people want to look up their polling station online. We’ve had sustained traffic on the site from about mid-day yesterday. Busy times were first thing this morning (maybe people voting before work) and just after 5 where we had over 900 people at once on the site.

In total we had 131,474 postcode lookups on the site, of those, 67,231 people couldn’t find their polling station, because councils didn’t provide the data and 64,256 managed to find their polling station.

Here’s the top 5 councils we had data for:

Name Searches
Islington Borough Council 3,262
Haringey Borough Council 2,869
Coventry City Council 2,793
Hounslow Borough Council 2,730
Camden Borough Council 2,717

And, interestingly the top 5 councils we don’t have data for:

Name Searches
Birmingham City Council 1,677
Manchester City Council 1,333
Leeds City Council 1,185
Sheffield City Council 710
Brighton and Hove City Council 705

We had 109,130 sessions on the site, 97,066 users and 269,694 pageviews. 63.88% were on a mobile device, 30.26% desktop and 5.86% tablet.

What’s next?

We have a 4 year plan for this project, so we’re in it for the long run. Not getting all the data today was disappointing, but we will get better each election.

To do this we need your help. See how we plan to make it happen, and please let us know if you can get involved in any way.

We’ve proven the need beyond a doubt. For #GE2015 “Where’s my polling station” was one of the most googled terms. Mixed with the traffic we’ve had today, we can tell that a lot of people – for whatever reason – want to be able to find their polling station online.

Our next big goal is the 2017 council elections. We want to get 100% coverage of all the councils that have elections in 2017.

Buckinghamshire get the credit for leading the way, by hosting a meeting with us about it a few weeks ago.

If you’re in, or know someone who is in a council, please get in touch with us to talk about how we get help people find their polling staton.

Thanks

A lot of people helped make this site, from people in councils sticking their neck out and trusting us, to the people who helped promote us on Twitter and other ares.

Chris Shaw, Andy Lulham and Ash Berlin must get a special mention for their hard work in making the site happen – without them, none of this would have been possible.

As Joe would say, onwards…