REISSUED: Twelve per cent increase in Warwickshire local election turnout after social media push

On Thursday 4 May, residents of Warwickshire took to the polling stations in their thousands to cast their votes in the 2017 Warwickshire County Council (WCC) election, following a successful digital awareness campaign which began in February.

A total of 428,735 Warwickshire people were registered to vote in time for the election, and 155,743 votes were cast, whether in person, by post or by proxy. That represents a turnout of 36.33%.

Turnout in 2013, the last year a county council election was held in Warwickshire, was 32.37%, meaning there has been a percentage increase of 12%. This increase comes following a digital awareness campaign targeted at Warwickshire people with the goal of furthering WCC’s commitment to engage residents in the democratic process.

The campaign, a new initiative introduced this year in an attempt to boost voter turnout, included adverts and organic content on Facebook and Twitter with information on how to register to vote, when the election was, and why voting is important. These reached almost 120,000 people on Facebook and over 160,000 on Twitter.

A selection of democratically engaged residents also took a starring role in a video about participating in local elections which has been praised by the Electoral Commission.

David Carter, Joint Managing Director at Warwickshire County Council and the authority’s Returning Officer for the election, said: “Ensuring people are informed about elections and engaged with the democratic process is a key priority for any council. I am pleased that the council’s efforts to involve residents with the election has seen such a positive result.”