On Thursday 3 May, 181 councils will be holding local elections, as well as 10 mayoral referendums and the election in London.
LGiU will be producing comprehensive coverage and local government insight during the day, and into 4 May as well.
Further to our recent local elections Operational Information bulletin – which included Andy Sawford’s ’50 councils to watch’ and a dataset on all seats being contested – this post outlines some of the ways we are going to be covering – and how you can get involved with – the events of 3 May and 4 May with expert views and insight from across the country.
Election Count: when is yours?
LGiU has collected information from over 150 authorities as to when they will be counting their ballot papers and when they expect to declare. For those not counting until the day after – around 40% – we have also gathered their reasons why.
Note: all counting for the Scottish Unitaries is being done on 4 May.
We currently have about 40 councillors or local government officers signed up to act as Count Correspondents. These are spread out around the UK and will be feeding us information from the counts: how things look to be shaping up, when declarations look likely and general mood and atmosphere in the building.
This information will be coming in through tweets, texts, emails and phone calls. With their local expertise we expect to be able to share highly accurate and insightful information.
Telling the story
On election day last year many national journalists commented that @LGiU and @AndySawford were the twitter accounts to watch. This year we aim to collect more information, faster, from more sources, so that we are telling a colourful story of the 2012 elections.
Working with Storify and a high profile media organisation we will be looking to pull in all kinds of content – from the formal BBC announcements to informal photos tweeted – to tell the definitive local government story to the 2012 elections.
We will also be sending out hourly bulletins featuring the latest news to break – you can sign up to these here.
We believe that web technology now allows local government to tell its own story on 3 May – and not just be viewed through a national prism.
To do this we need as many people talking and tweeting to us and with each other as possible.
If you are going to a count then there please do consider being one of our Count Correspondents.
However, if you are planning to watch the election unfold from the comfort of your sofa, you can still get involved by tweeting with the hash tags #3may and/or #le2012.
If you direct your tweet to us at @LGiU then we can retweet you and bring your message in to our Storify – the more pictures and early information the better.
The Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) is a local democracy think tank and membership organisation. We have 150 local authorities in our membership.
To arrange interviews with Andy Sawford, Chief Executive of the LGiU, please contact Rob Dale on 07825 746 388 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.