GE2019 Election Tech Handbook
✏️ Edit this document to make it better ✏️
A crowdsourced resource for technologists building things for the general election
blame this on The London College of Political Technology at Newspeak House
Signal Group ↗️
www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/who-runs-london/general-election/2019 - also available as an embeddable map, contact [email protected]
http://ge2019.electoral-reform.org.uk/ Election results UK wide, regions and nations and constituency level
https://drive.google.com/file/d/127SY1at9oEc-wD-fJqHqtg6HXrO-Tidm/view?usp=sharing - plot of Con v Lab v LD (England only) - [email protected] or @sjorford on Democracy Club Slack
https://flourish.studio/2019/11/26/charts-for-the-uk-elections-2019/ from Flourish - these are based on the live results collection done by Democracy Club volunteers. (You can also see a visualisation of when results were recorded by the top contributing volunteers over election night.)
democracyclub.org.uk - we are a community that produces useful datasets for UK elections; candidates, polling station locations, hustings, manifestos, and more! If you want to help out, join us on slack.democracyclub.org.uk and check out democracyclub.org.uk/quests
mysociety.org - we are a not-for-profit social enterprise that provides technology, research and data to help people to be active citizens, including:
twittelection.co.uk - we’re creating 650 Twitter lists, each of which will contain the candidates for a constituency (using Democracy Club data to build these lists). Allowing people to easily follow the candidates.
tweetyourCandidate.com - postcode lookup to find list of candidates social media accounts - includes option for pre-filled tweet campaigns and lists previous MP and their majority.
https://www.polimonitor.com/ - PoliMonitor tracks all 10,000+ Parliamentarians in Europe - and hopefully soon all the 5,000+ in North America - as well as 15,000+ UK Journalists. fWe also added lists of around 2,000+ candidates for the 2017 GE and also the European Parliament election this year to our system (that was 4 months of research!) This means anyone can search what candidates have said over the past few and get a free alert each day if they talk about areas of interest. A useful campaign tool during an election, if you’re trying to get GE candidates to make a pledge on a certain issue. Visit the site to create a free account, a free alert, and also start a free trial of our premium tools. Or email [email protected] if you have a question, idea or would like to work with us. We hope to have completed our GE Candidate research by 12th November. Please get in touch if you’d like access to it to create other tools and services or conduct research. UPDATE - We have 1133 Candidate Handles so far.
https://openaccess.transparency.org.uk/ Who is meeting government, when and for what purpose? Search by Minister, Department, organisation and more. Data from UK Gov website and up-to-date with Q2 2019, downloadable in CSV format.
http://whoslobbying.com/ - Who's Lobbying is a place to access data about lobbying activity in the UK without having to navigate; dense, difficult-to-navigate websites and hard to find PDF documents.
https://voteforpolicies.org.uk/ Non partisan website that shows policies and gives information on which parties best match your policy preferences. Party’s policies are presented anonymously.
Many more data projects like this at electiontechhandbook.uk/data
https://www.gov.uk/performance/register-to-vote - How many people have registered to vote today? Official stats from gov.uk
https://mcvoteface.org.uk - Just 2% of boaters are registered to vote. Voter registration tool for boaters suggesting where and how to register to vote, in order to vote most effectively against Conservative candidates in marginals, based on location.
https://puppy.rodeo/ - There's no time for a puppy rodeo, but there is time to register to vote!
https://votebot.uk/- facebook chat bot that helps you register to vote and encourage friends to register and vote
https://www.onlinepostalvote.uk/ - General tool. Currently in beta
https://www.postalvote.labour.org.uk - Tool to walk through registering for a postal vote, run by the Labour Party.
https://www.postalvote.conservatives.com - Tool to walk through registering for a postal vote, run by the Conservative Party.
https://votetracker.co.uk/index.html - track how many people have registered to vote across different electoral cycles
https://votereminder.uk/ - a simple way to add a calendarndex.html - trac invite / reminder to your Apple, Google, Yahoo! or Outlook calendar. Uses Democracy Club data where available to include polling station location based on postcode.
http://www.voteearly.org.uk - A rebranding of postal voting. Why spend time queuing up on the day when you could vote early? Non partisan - can be used by any organisation. Facebook Ads/ messaging/ assets to promote are here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/17BFbhhOwrYy61Qq4CNqke8HqxSd0ylCm8I8ao_oIpGE/edit?usp=sharing
https://www.everyone.vote - a printable poster to help people register to vote.
Teachers for Turnout
https://www.teachersforturnout.org.uk/ Inspired by the US campaign a website with information and resources to help teachers and lecturers help their students to turnout and vote. Non-partisan.
https://democracyclub.org.uk/reports/whos_missing/ or Google Doc version for comments
An overview of existing research on underrepresentation in voter registration, candidacy, informedness and turnout.
This Commons Library Briefing Paper provides information about which groups in the UK are considered to be politically disengaged, and why. The Commons Library is a great source for lots of election-related desk research!
https://webrootsdemocracy.org/online-voting/ - Our research has found that an online voting option for elections in the UK could have a number of significant benefits and that the reform enjoys broad support across the population.
A tool by Democracy Club enabling people to find their polling station. Twitter featured this on 9th December 2019:
whotargets.me - We’re working out which demographics political campaigns online are targeting with ads, and what messages they’re using in their communication. Our browser extension detects campaign ads on Facebook. We’re aggregating the data to build maps of where specific campaigns are targeting. Opportunity to expand to YT/Twitter/Email campaigns if time allows. Particularly looking for ways to recruit users to the project in 100 key marginals (ideas/opportunities about how to do that v. welcome): https://whotargets.me/en/get-in-touch/
https://adsp.al7charts/uk-politics/ - How are the UK’s political organisations targeting Facebook users? We’ve used data from the Facebook Ad Library API to build 7 charts that describe the target audience and topics of the advertising.
https://electionleaflets.org/ - This is people-powered election monitoring! Get out your phone and photograph any political leaflets that come through your door. Currently accepting photos of any printed election leaflets.
h- Sky News is launching a new series 'Under the Radar' to monitor and investigate the political activity online and on social media during the 2019 UK election.
https://www.illuminocracy.uk - Dashboard of Facebook Political Advertising data, pulled from the Facebook Ad Library API daily and visualised in Google Data Studio via BigQuery. Shows how much each party is spending each day, and how many views their ads are getting, which are their biggest ads, which ads are new etc. Contact via twitter: https://twitter.com/illuminocracyuk
https://ad.watch/ - breaks open the machine of political advertisements on Facebook and Instagram with data of more than 300 parties in 37 countries. Through our interfaces, you can understand targeting and optimisation, compare monetary investment, and trace the timelines of ads. Browse our stories, or ask your own questions
Political Party Subject Access Request Tool
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Politics_of_the_United_Kingdom - a community working to improve Wikipedia’s coverage of UK Politics. Create, revise and refurbish articles on all aspects of Politics and Government within the United Kingdom. Please feel free to help out!
Some key articles:
If you’d never edited Wikipedia before, don’t worry! It’s quite straightforward - this introduction is helpful: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Contributing_to_Wikipedia
https://canivote.org.uk - It’s not just British citizens who can vote in UK elections.
ElectionHandbook.uk - Compare the meerkat for politicians
Compare parties and candidates side-by-side. Search and upvote the pledges you want them to prioritise. Candidates and journalists can post public questions to candidates. Journalists and verified voters can add local videos and give reasons for and against.
Arranged on swipeable cards that you can compare side-by-side like top-trumps - ElectionHandbook is designed for the a-political voter to use on the way to (or in) the polling booth - and as a record to refer back to at the next election of pledges delivered.
http://simplepolitics.co.uk/ - Simplifying the world of UK politics and helping you stay on top of it. Current laws, debates and processes - we break them all down for you.
jonworth.eu/brexitdiagram-series-4/ - Flowcharts that try to plot what will happen on the UK side from now until the new Brexit deadline in October. For each diagram there are four documents released: the draw.io XML file, a high resolution PNG file, a scalable PDF file, and the .ods file used to calculate the odds.
Votingcounts.org.uk - a politically neutral website that helps young adults learn about the importance of their vote, and provides the information they need to make informed decisions at the ballot box.
https://public.tableau.com/profile/christabel.cooper#!/vizhome/GE2019Constituencydata/START - Electoral results and demographic data visualised by https://twitter.com/ChristabelCoops
voterpower.org.uk - shows people how powerful their vote is compared to the UK average. No obvious API exposed yet, but if that could be done, maybe it would be helpful for building tactical voting sites on top.
Do your #GE2019 candidates support Proportional Representation?
The map below lists every candidate who is standing to be an MP in the 2019 general election. Coloured entries indicate that a candidate has given their personal view on PR. Where personal views are not known we have listed parties' positions on PR instead.
voteforpolicies.org.uk - a non-partisan service to help more people vote, and make an informed decision.
Enables a direct comparison of each party’s manifesto policies (but without knowing which party they belong to).
Integrates with: Democracy Club’s WhoCanIVoteFor, mySociety’s TheyWorkForYou
https://uk.isidewith.com - detailed voter advice tool.
www.whogetsmyvoteuk.com — university-coalition led vote quiz thingy
whoshouldyouvotefor.com - Simple quick Voter Advice tool.
clearthelobby.co.uk/ - The laws MPs are voting on this week, explained in plain English. Landing in your inbox every Sunday.
represent.me - Vote on issues you care about. Find out how you compare to parties, candidates and others.
mpsontwitter.co.uk - A tool that shows how MPs use Twitter
http://designdemocracy.ac.nz/ - A New Zealand research unit aiming to ignite a passion for democracy in young people through user-centred design— contributed to a 6%+ rise in youth vote at the last general election with http://onthefence.co.nz/, for which it is best known, but has produced a range of design-led civic education/participation tools. nb. New Zealand (a constitutional monarchy) has a Westminster-model parliament, but German-style MMP electoral system.
https://thepoliticsproject.org.uk/educatege - EducateGE is a collaboration between 24 democratic engagement organisations who have come together to support schools and educators to engage young people in the 2019 General Election.
https://lordashcroftpolls.com/category/elections/ - Each week until the election I will publish my General Election Dashboard, showing the results of my weekly 4,000-sample surveys tracking the intensity of each party’s support among different kinds of voters, crucial measures like best Prime Minister, preference of government, best party on Brexit and what people have noticed in the news, as well as the reaction to topical questions as they arise. Together with my weekly focus groups of different kinds of seats throughout the country, this will help explain the dynamics of the campaign and the factors that will determine the outcome on 12 December.
https://datalobo.com/mp-earnings/ - Neat aggregation of the declared external income of MPs
https://www.ifinformed.com/results/ - Who would people vote for if they were well-informed?
https://fullfact.org/ - U.K’s fact checking charity. Fact-checks & clarifies misinformation or disinformation being promoted.
https://firstdraftnews.org/training/ - Training and resources for journalists and anyone else working in an age of disinformation, including tools and techniques for monitoring online conversations, verifying pictures and images, responsible reporting and more.
Sign up for real-time alerts about disinformation and media manipulation around the general election by emailing [email protected]
https://github.com/glitchdigital/glitched.news - A tool for automatically extracting and analysing trust indicators from news articles.
ISD election monitoring online
ISD will be monitoring major social media platforms and alt tech spaces for disinformation, extremist mobilisation and illegal activity throughout the election. See our previous publications for the range of methods, tools and findings (https://www.isdglobal.org/isd-publications/). We’ll be expanding to YouTube and Instagram monitoring for GE2019 as well.
A game that puts you in the mindset of propagandists and agents promoting fake news, propaganda and hate-speech to help the user understand how fake news is made and promoted https://getbadnews.com/#intro
Guardian Literacy programme aimed at school aged children. Covers media literacy on how to engage with news critically.
https://civictech.guide/listing-category/fight-disinformation/ directory of mostly US focused projects
https://swapmyvote.uk - Platform that allows voting partners to make their votes count in a different constituency, where each voter’s first preference has a better chance of winning a seat. Non-partisan platform. Build your own tactical (partisan) front end https://swapmyvote.uk/api
www.mycampaignmap.com - previously http://mynearestmarginal.com/, first used in 2017 and received lots of press, it’s a tool for distributed election campaigning that is now being developed further, for use even after the next election is over.
Get in contact with [email protected] if you’d like to collaborate on integrating School Cuts-style data into the ‘issues map’ section, or other cool data science / decentralised digital organising things you think we could be doing.
campaigntogether.org - a project to mobilise/coordinate people who want to stop Conservative govt but aren’t necessarily party activists. Identifies and targets marginal seats.
https://getvoting.org - run by Best for Britain, does not give recommendations for Scotland/NI, prioritises pro-EU candidates[d][e][f], though treating Labour candidates as pro-EU unless otherwise advised. Some information is provided about how it calculates its advice, eg “Based on a 46,000-strong polling sample ... using multi-level regression and post-stratification (MRP), the only polling methodology that correctly predicted Trump’s 2016 election win [but why is BFB implying it should take any credit for this US polling success?], and the 2017 hung parliament including individual ‘freak’ constituency results such as Kensington and Canterbury”, but other than hints like this, the model is not transparent and consistently reports implausible results (see Hanretty data below). Currently uses polling conducted in October 2019, ie before the election was announced, and will apparently be updated with one further poll. A further ‘Beta’ version of the website is currently under development. Does not publish a list of recommendations for all constituencies, but gives constituency-by-constituency results for England and Wales. No recommendations for Scotland, because apparently Scotland doesn’t need tactical voting (??). Organisers (Best for Britain) have transparency around funding.
A Vice investigation showed this site is run by Lib Dem donors.
Extracted data (3/11) - https://twitter.com/chrishanretty/status/1191349029550080000
https://campaigntogether.org/ for targeted campaigning
Candidate endorsements for more civilised politics https://moreunited.org.uk/
Tactical voting advice - may be Avvaz’s own or based on another tactical voting site?
A non-partisan initiative that guides students registered in multiple constituencies towards maximising the importance of their vote for their preferred party.
We are currently building the tool; anyone with advice or tips please email [email protected]
https://studentvoter.info/ - There’s a general election on December 12. Every vote counts. And if you're a student your vote is especially powerful. That’s because students can choose whether to vote at your home address, or where you live when you're at university or college. By choosing wisely, and voting in a seat which is more likely to change hands, you can make sure your vote has maximum impact.
TacticalVote.co.uk student voter tool
https://tacticalvote.co.uk/where-to-vote/ - If you're registered to vote in two constituencies (for example if you're a student) and have the option of where to cast your vote, this tool helps you decide where your vote will be most effective in keeping the Tories out.
The folks behind https://ge2017.org/students are also planning something. No further details yet.
https://www.livefrombrexit.com/tacticals/ - aggregates data from tactical voting sites
The Times Tactical Voting Guide (may need registration or paywall)
The Telegraph Tactical Voting Guide (may need registration or paywall)
This is a ⅓ A4 print out to give to people offline to get them to tactical voting information . - follow guide in the first page to ensure you have an imprint updated correctly. Links to tactical.vote and other information sites largely taken from the electiontechhandbook (thanks)
(old version - pre- close of registration to give it to people together with a copy of the postal voting form)
www.facebook.com/listenrconnect - Omegle meets politics. Listenr connects people with opposing political views anonymously through existing messengers (currently FB messenger).
Needs a helping hand! The project was started as an experiment in 2016 and needs volunteers to help revive it. If you’re a PHP developer or a designer interested in contributing to a non-partisan experiment this election, please get in touch!
https://onesub.io - Startup news aggregator using machine learning, and analysis of human language (NLP), to help people read normal newspapers while breaking their filter bubble.
https://www.talkingeurope.eu/ "Talking Europe connects citizens having an opposing political view - and living in a different country! Our mission is to create a European public sphere. We want to foster democracy and cohesion in Europe."
More Filter Bubble Breakers on the Civic Tech Field Guide.
schoolcuts.org.uk - Tool that makes gov formula on school cuts transparent, and shows what they mean for the 93% of cuts that schools will receive. User journey: search postcode/school → budget breakdown, /pupil and /teacher shown on individual school card for the 93% of schools that will receive cuts. [g][h][i]
https://twitter.com/PhoneInBot - Tweets every time Farage, Ferrari, O'Brien, Mair, Dale, Frei, Rees-Mogg or Boris appear on LBC 📻 or Any Answers? is on BBC Radio 4 so you can 📞
https://dont-vote-conservative-uk.neocities.org/ - Contains quotes and facts for posting on social media. Deliberately partisan - the purpose of this site is to try and dissuade people from voting for the Conservatives or the Brexit party.
tweetyourMP.com will be running tweetyourCandidate.com again - offering the ability for campaigns to send pre-filled tweets to candidates.
www.policymogul.com - Free platform for organisations to see what's happening in parliament, manage their public affairs and campaigning work in one place, and to identify and collaborate with other organisations who share the same objectives.
Public campaigns are made visible to parliamentarians, so they can approach you rather than you having to approach them.
Advote.org - crowd-funded billboard adverts. This is a new service and we're looking for campaigns with strong communities behind them but with scant funds for advertising. If you have a campaign that needs an innovative way to cut through get in touch!
www.speechifai.tech: is a digital campaign suite for word-of-mouth marketing. With SpeechifAI organizations enable their community members to easily compose high quality messages and share them in synchronized posting campaigns on social media. A control dashboard enables campaign coordinators to provide guidance to community members and coordinate what they post. A post-editing assistant helps community members to compose individualized posts that incorporate the campaign’s instructions and the user's personal writing style. With only a few clicks, community members can create impactful social media communication and share it across various platforms in a coordinated way.
You know those “write to MP” forms? They’re a bit outdated nowadays, right? Looking a bit rusty, and not really taking advantage of modern technology. Loudspeek brings a fresh approach to writing to MPs, MSPs, Welsh Assembly members, or any custom targets you define across the country from a single form, allowing you to tailor your campaign’s message to make sure decision makes pay attention the first time round.
Find out more about the revolution in digital lobbying on the loudspeek website, or pop over an email to [email protected].
New/Mode’s affordable and easy-to-use platform can empower your supporters to find their local candidates, and contact them with just one click. We have a comprehensive dataset of all 2019 parliamentary candidates available to use with our email and tweetstorm tools. The tools can be embedded on any website or used as a stand alone action page, and styled in any way you like. (We also have a powerful Letter to the Editor tool to help your supporters get published in local and national newspapers, and click-to-call which can be used with any custom targets.) These tools are available on a month to month (no long term lock in) agreement. Get in touch via email or Whatsapp.
cobudget.co - Tool for collectively managing budgets and resources.
loomio.org - Powerful tool to help groups make decisions together; deliberation, voting, etc.
This doc is a compilation of useful tools and resources we have found on a topic that was requested by our audience community of campaigners. If you have more to contribute on this topic, please write us at: [email protected]
https://beautifulrising.org - Inspired by the concept of a “pattern language,” Beautiful Rising teases out the key elements of creative activism:
https://dogooder.co/ Digital advocacy toolbox: Petitions, Email Politicians, Email Decision Makers, Call Politicians, Call Decision Makers, Email w/ Custom Data, Raise Money, Call w/ Custom Data, Surveys, Selfie Walls, Events, Facebook profiles
https://nationbuilder.com/europe - Software platform for community organising, groups and campaigns of all sizes - enables you to engage with and mobilise your community of supporters. One integrated platform including easy to create websites and action pages, email system, CRM, and donations.
Specific candidate website themes also available on the theme marketplace: https://themes.nationbuilder.com/
https://www.onefiftyone.run - We’ve created a system that enables NGOs or political campaigns to run a large and scalable volunteer network focused not just on volunteer tracking but volunteer engagement. OneFiftyOne has built-in ways of smartly delegating GOTV efforts to volunteers, connecting people who want yard-signs with volunteers who can get them, and phone-banking. While giving these abilities out of the box, many more volunteer engagement workflows can be created by the campaign for their specific needs. Since we’re in beta, reach out to me personally at [email protected]
Idea and prototype for a tool to manage members using flexible group-based permissions.
Tool for creating small online group discussions around an issue, originally created for political campaigning in the US. The code is open source: https://github.com/davidgljay/nametag, it’s finished and functional, just needs someone to resurrect it.
It creates a shareable link which puts people in a chat rooms capped at a certain size, creating new ones as more people join.
More organizing tools -- including some of those listed here -- in the Civic Tech Field Guide's Organize Campaigns section.
If you’re using SES for email sending, SES Templates (https://sestemplates.com) makes it easier to manage and edit your email templates without having to use the AWS api.
https://www.fundsurfer.com/crowdfunding - Reward, donation and crypto crowdfunding platform.
Bring your crowd and get donations for your campaign, e.g leaflet printing, billboard advertising, banners, tshirts, legal fees, and so on. Email [email protected] with any questions. Here are some of our election projects https://www.fundsurfer.com/search-projects?query=election
Kickstarter, but for subscription. Once a certain number of people subscribe everyone gets charged and the subscriptions begun.
Just a prototype - would be great if someone could run with this.
Constituency Hex Maps - prior to the 2017 General Election, we created a ‘hex map’ of the UK to allow impartial visualisations of data. By removing the visual weighting seen on geographical maps (physically small constituencies with huge populations, or physically large constituencies with a low population), you get a more balanced map. The hex maps are available openly via GitHub if you want to make your own visualisations. Brought to you by ODI Leeds
R-based hex maps and constituency data, including census data and past election results, are available in the parlitools package.
A curated list of tools for processing, fetching, and visualising data https://datajournalism.tools/
Deprivation by Constituency
Election Maps UK
Current polling showed in an attractive way.
Simple infographics providing people with perspective on the figures being thrown around during this general election.
Candidate Gender Balance
Visual representation of all the ballots’ gender balance (2019 and 2017).
Predicts election results given polls and % of tactical voting.
Prediction market on election outcomes including all seats.
Poll the They Work For You API for issues and then ask how people would vote on them. Then compare that to how their constituency MP voted. Then find some way of helping them see if they should change/try and recall their party’s MP.
How much money do the political parties have? This resource might be useful - https://www.facebook.com/ads/library/report - Who Targets me are trying to make some of this kind of data accessible
How could these be crowdsourced/error checked?
SomethingNew crowdsource theirs https://somethingnew.org.uk/faqs.html#manifesto - @joshr
Website for sale - message @joshbal4 on twitter for a better price!
Message @peymanity on twitter
If anybody gets a website ready to go and is only missing a snappy primary domain to go with it, feel free to ask and I will be open to donating or selling cheap (approx covering costs) for the right cause. Or commercially for the other causes 🤷♂️
VAA (e.g. updated version of GE2017), GOTV, Labour-friendly stuff, or progressive causes (but not remain ones), are welcome to apply for either the ge19 pair or the vote19 pair.
Various other election domains for sale:
http://bit.ly/GE2017TechHandbook - we made a handbook for the 2017 election as well!
https://participedia.net/ - A global community sharing knowledge and stories about public participation and democratic innovations.
Converts non-standard NGP VAN Votebuilder [Connect] .xls exports to JSON. These are the exports from screens like Counts and Crosstabs, which are actually in a form of HTML but have an XLS extension, to ensure they are associated with XLS in Windows.
Metomic.io -- startup building products to handle user data ethically. Current product is an alternative to your standard intrusive cookie banner; gives users granular control over over cookie preferences. Going beyond cookies, we are working on tools to help users perform subject access requests more easily, and for organisations to deliver those more easily too.
https://ourworldindata.org/ - Research and data to make progress against the world’s largest problems. To work towards a better future, we need to understand how and why the world has changed up to now.
OWID would love your help improving their visualisation tooling - https://github.com/owid/owid-grapher/issues
https://play.twidaq.com/-/uk-politics/ -- an (old) Twitter stock exchange game, potentially being resurrected. When running with > ~2,500 players it should start to generate some interesting, public, real-time, political sentiment analysis -- think second-screening while watching BBCQT.
Could use help from TweetyourMP, TwittElection & TweetMinster to build & maintain indices. Planning to clear out and rebuild with just UK political twitter handles for now. ( [email protected] / @jimbomorrison for contact - same chap/team as OneSub, above )
https://github.com/generalelection - A collection of GitHub repos that have to do with elections. Some are code, some are data.
Voter information campaign
Really well put together video explaining common issues people have with voting
Voter information tool
Election administration best practises
Tracks postal votes
National Vote File
Crowdsourced voter data which is usually expensive and hard to obtain
Track Issues Voters Care About
Voters get emailed on bills they care about and can email their representatives
Help voters get to polling station
Maps for Change
Mapping important elements
Every Public Meeting
Showing a list of… every public (political) meeting.
Anti Gerrymandering tool
Platform for activists to interact with normal people
Text your campaign supporters
On the Fence
A Voter Advice Application aimed at young New Zealanders for the 2017 General Election.
https://2020campaigntracker.com/ - tracking adverts across the campaign