2014 May Elections Campaign Tracking Research

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1 2014 May Elections Campaign Tracking Research Report for: Controlled document - Issue 4 TNS JN Controlled document - Issue 5

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3 Contents Executive Summary Background and objectives Methodology Context Registration campaign Impact of the registration campaign on key measures Voter information campaign (Northern Ireland only) Impact of voter information campaign on key measures KPM Review TNS Point of View Appendix A: Pre-wave and Post-wave 1 questionnaire (UK) Appendix B: Post-wave 2 questionnaire (Northern Ireland) Appendix C: Additional Results Appendix D: Weighting Targets i 2014 May Elections Campaign Tracking Research TNS 2014

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5 Executive Summary Background and objectives On 22 nd May 2014, European elections took place across the whole of the UK as well as local government and mayoral elections in some parts of England, and local government elections in Northern Ireland. The Electoral Commission ran a multi-media voter registration campaign across the UK from 1 st April to 15 th May 2014, which aimed to: Increase the number of eligible people registered to vote and encourage them to do so before 6 th May deadline; Generate awareness among electors that they needed to be registered in order to participate in the elections; Increase awareness that the elections were taking place on 22 nd May; and Ensure electors knew where to go for more information. A multi-media voter information campaign also ran in Northern Ireland from 7 th May until 22 nd May. The voter information campaign aimed to: Ensure all eligible electors knew to take an acceptable form of photographic identification with them to vote; Ensure electors wishing to participate understood how to vote using the single transferable vote (STV) system; Ensure voters had all the information needed to vote with confidence; Remind electors of the date of the election; Increase awareness that polling stations were open from 7am until 10pm; and Ensure electors knew where to go for more information. TNS was commissioned by The Electoral Commission to conduct tracking research among adults eligible to vote, to evaluate the effectiveness of both the registration campaign across the UK and the voter information campaign in Northern Ireland. Methodology In order to meet the research objectives, three waves of research were conducted to evaluate the two campaigns: A pre advertising wave across the UK to provide a benchmark before either campaign launched; A post wave across the UK (immediately after the registration campaign) to provide post campaign measures for the registration campaign and mid campaign measures for the voter information campaign, which was on air during fieldwork; and A final wave in Northern Ireland only, conducted after the voter information campaign had run and the elections had taken place, to provide post campaign measures for the voter information campaign May Elections Campaign Tracking Research TNS 2014

6 All interviewing took place in-home, face-to-face, using TNS CAPI (Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing) omnibus services. The omnibus utilises a random location quota sampling approach to ensure that the resulting sample is geographically and demographically representative of the population. In order to achieve the required sample sizes for this study at the pre wave, questions were asked of the full UK sample for one wave of the omnibus, with a second omnibus wave used to boost numbers in Scotland and Wales, and the Millward Brown Ulster omnibus used to boost numbers in Northern Ireland. For the post wave, a similar approach was taken although the second wave of the TNS omnibus also included Northern Ireland, and then additional interviews were conducted using an ad-hoc boost in Northern Ireland. For the final post wave in Northern Ireland, questions were again placed on two waves of the TNS omnibus with additional interviews conducted via an adhoc boost. Interviews were conducted with adults aged 18 and over who were eligible to vote in the elections. Full details of fieldwork dates and sample sizes (i.e. adults aged 18+ eligible to vote) for each county at each wave can be found in the table that follows. Table 2.1: Fieldwork dates and achieved sample sizes by country per wave Wave Fieldwork dates Country Sample size (Adults aged 18+ and eligible to vote) UK 2155 England 1646 PRE 19th March 2nd April 2014 POST 1 7th 21st May 2014 POST 2 23rd May 3rd June 2014 Wales 153 Scotland 332 Northern Ireland boost UK 2302 England 1672 Wales 175 Scotland 344 Northern Ireland Northern Ireland boost boost To ensure that the sample was fully representative of the adult population aged 18+ demographically and geographically, both overall and within each country, weighting was applied to the data at each wave. Key learnings Both the registration campaign and the voter information campaign have worked well, with good levels of spontaneous awareness and cut through, high levels of campaign recognition which met the KPMs set for the campaign, good recall of campaign messages and positive impressions of the advertising May Elections Campaign Tracking Research TNS

7 The media mix employed by each campaign has been effective in ensuring most demographic groups were reached, and in spite of the absence of TV from the voter information campaign it has achieved very good levels of recognition among most groups, with radio and outdoor working well. Both campaigns generated good levels of campaign integration and the impact of this is evident in the results. There have been significant increases in most key knowledge and awareness measures pre to post, including an increase in claimed registration at a UK level and increased awareness of aboutmyvote.co.uk. Whilst there are also changes in knowledge in Northern Ireland, these are more limited as a result of the already high levels of knowledge recorded prior to the campaign. Encouragingly, the registration campaign has performed well among the main unregistered audiences 1 with these key groups more likely to have positive impressions of the advertising and to have taken action as a result of seeing the campaign. Main findings Registration campaign Just under a quarter (23) of eligible adults at a UK level claimed at the pre wave to have seen or heard any advertising, publicity or other information about registering to vote, increasing significantly to just under three fifths (59) at the post wave. The proportion who spontaneously claimed to have seen or heard activity from The Electoral Commission, or sources or channels being used by The Electoral Commission for the registration campaign, increased significantly from 9 pre to 37 post wave. The campaign also appeared to be cutting through other pre-election activity, with 22 spontaneously describing details or messages that could be attributed to the registration campaign at the post wave. The proportion of eligible adults claiming to have seen or heard activity about registering to vote increased significantly in all four countries over the course of the campaign, and the campaign appeared to cut through well in all countries with between one in five and a quarter spontaneously describing details or messages that could be attributed to it. Among the key unregistered groups, while there were significant increases in spontaneous awareness of activity pre to post, these groups had lower levels of spontaneous awareness and cut through of the campaign than overall. Seven in ten (69) eligible adults in the UK claimed to recognise at least one element of the registration campaign after prompting with the advertising, specifically: 55 claimed to have seen the TV ad; 26 recognised the radio ad (or had heard a similar ad aimed at students); 13 recognised the video on demand ad; 1 Those groups which are less likely to be registered and therefore of more importance for the campaign are: 18-24s, private renters, recent movers and BMEs (Black and Minority Ethnic May Elections Campaign Tracking Research TNS 2014

8 10 were aware of the online display ad; and 25 of eligible adults in Northern Ireland recognised the press/poster ad. Wales and Northern Ireland had the highest levels of total recognition (75 and 78 respectively) with lower levels in England and Scotland (67). A KPM had been set for the campaign to achieve a recognition level of of the population of GB and Northern Ireland having seen at least one element of the campaign. Total recognition of 69 in GB and 78 in Northern Ireland means this KPM was exceeded. The campaign also recorded the highest level of recognition of any recent Electoral Commission campaigns. The most appropriate comparison - the 2012 GB registration campaign which utilised the same creative - was recognised by 66. Total campaign recognition was generally similar at around seven in ten for most demographic sub-groups at a UK level. It was highest among 18-24s (76) and C2s (77) and so the campaign was successful in reaching those groups where levels of registration tend to be lower. The age group recorded average or higher than average recognition for all types of media, which is a particularly positive result given that this group is often hard to target. Furthermore, the media mix also worked well among the other key unregistered groups, with recognition of non-tv channels helping to increase campaign recognition among these groups, particularly among recent movers and BMEs. The main messages of the registration campaign were communicated clearly, with four fifths (80) spontaneously mentioning a campaign message. The vast majority of those mentions related to registration, specifically register to vote (38 at a UK level), (you) have to be registered to vote/can t just turn up (21) and make sure you are registered (). Similar levels of message take out of around four fifths were recorded among all countries and unregistered groups, though mentions of campaign messages were slightly lower in Northern Ireland (72). Overall, perceptions of the advertising were very positive, with particularly high levels of agreement that the ads made it clear that you have to register to be able to vote (90 agreed) and made it clear where to go for information about how to register (80 agreed). Encouragingly, the campaign appeared to be more positively received among unregistered groups, with all groups more likely to agree that the ads were aimed at people like you, told you something you didn t know and made you think about checking if you are registered. The campaign also generated action, with one in ten of those who recognised the campaign claiming to have done something as a result. Levels of claimed action were higher than the UK level among key unregistered groups. Impact of the registration campaign on key measures At the pre wave around three quarters (74) of eligible adults at a UK level claimed to be definitely registered to vote, increasing significantly to nearly four fifths (79) at the post wave. Claimed registration increased in all four countries, with significant increases pre to post wave in England (74 pre to 78 post wave) and in Northern Ireland ( May Elections Campaign Tracking Research TNS

9 pre and 88 post wave). There were also increases over the course of the campaign among all four key unregistered groups, though these increases were not significant. At a UK level, there were significant increases in a number of knowledge measures over the course of the campaign. In terms of awareness of elections, overall 67 were spontaneously aware of any correct elections taking place in their area 2 on 22 nd May at the post wave (vs. 33 at pre wave), with prompted awareness of correct elections of 78 (vs. 48 pre wave). When asked to name the date on which elections were being held, 43 correctly answered 22 nd May at the post wave compared with just 7 at the pre wave. There was also a significant increase in the already high proportion claiming to know that only those who register in advance can vote, rising from 75 pre to 80 post wave. Respondents were also asked when the deadline was for registering to vote in the elections on 22 nd May. Just under one in ten (9) eligible adults at the pre wave were aware of the 6 th May deadline, increasing only marginally to just over one in ten () following the campaign. At a country level, there were significant increases in all four countries over the course of the campaign in spontaneous and prompted awareness of the elections taking place on 22 nd May and in awareness of the election date. In all four countries around four fifths of eligible adults were aware of the need to register in advance to be able to vote, though significant increases in this measure were recorded in England and in Northern Ireland. As at a UK level, awareness of the 6 th May registration deadline in each country was low in relation to the other measures. Improvements in knowledge were also recorded among the key unregistered groups, with significant increases in relation to spontaneous/prompted awareness of elections and awareness of the election date for all key groups in the run up to the elections. Despite these improvements, however, awareness levels among these groups remained lower than average, particularly among 18-24s, highlighting the need to continue to target these groups. After the campaign 57 agreed that they had enough information about the elections and what they had to do to register, a significant increase from 36 at the pre wave. Encouragingly, similar increases were also evident across the four countries, particularly in Northern Ireland where at the post wave nearly half (47) strongly agreed they had enough information. Whilst there were also increases among the key groups, it is worth noting that nearly four in ten (38) 18-24s at the post wave disagreed they had enough information; further evidence that The Electoral Commission needs to continue focusing on this and the other key unregistered groups. When asked where they would go or look to find information on voting systems and how to vote, the internet was the most common source of information mentioned spontaneously (47). Overall around one in five (18) said they didn t know where they would go for information, so this is clearly still an issue for some. The key groups 2 Correct elections were defined as: for England, anyone mentioning European, local or Mayoral elections; for Northern Ireland, anyone mentioning European or local elections; for Scotland and Wales, anyone mentioning European elections May Elections Campaign Tracking Research TNS 2014

10 were no more likely than average to say that they didn t know where to go for information, though the internet plays more of a role as an information source for three of the groups 62 of 18-24s, 52 of private renters and 57 of recent movers said they would use the internet, highlighting the importance of an online presence by the Electoral Commission for these groups.. When prompted, awareness of aboutmyvote.co.uk increased significantly over the course of the campaign from to 18 and visits to the website increased from 2 to 4 of eligible voters. It is encouraging to find that awareness levels of aboutmyvote.co.uk rose particularly among the key groups; significant increases were recorded across all four groups to 27 of 18-24s, 21 of private renters, 28 of recent movers and 19 of BMEs. There is also evidence of the campaign directly impacting these knowledge and awareness measures, with campaign recognisers and those seeing multiple campaign media demonstrating higher levels of knowledge. Looking at the multi-media impact in particular, there is clear evidence that the campaign worked to increase awareness where it is lowest, increasing awareness of the deadline date for registering and awareness of aboutmyvote.co.uk. For example, 48 of those who had seen 3 or more of the campaign media were aware of aboutmyvote.co.uk compared with 15 of those who had seen/heard 1 medium. This demonstrates the value of a multi-media approach to communicating key messages, and the importance of continuing with such an approach for future campaigns. Voter information campaign Spontaneous awareness of the voter information campaign in Northern Ireland was lower than that recorded for the registration campaign, with 31 of eligible adults in Northern Ireland claiming to have seen or heard activity about the elections on 22 nd May at post wave 2, compared to 50 who had seen or heard activity about registering to vote at post wave 1. Campaign cut through was also lower 5 at post wave 2 spontaneously described something possibly related to the voter information campaign, compared to 20 who mentioned something related to the registration campaign at post wave 1. These lower levels are likely to be partly due to the lack of TV advertising in the voter information campaign, but potentially also due to the elections being over and therefore the related activity being less top of mind. However, prompted recognition of the voter information was very good, with 69 of eligible adults in Northern Ireland recognising any element of the campaign, specifically: 49 recognised the radio ad; 46 had seen the billboard/bus ads; 19 recognised the press/poster ads; and 13 had seen the online ad. This is a very positive level of recognition, given the absence of TV advertising in the media mix, with radio and outdoor performing particularly well. Indeed, this level of recognition is only 9 percentage points lower than the same measure for the registration campaign in Northern Ireland (78), which included a TV ad May Elections Campaign Tracking Research TNS

11 Campaign recognition among the sub-groups was generally consistent with overall levels although as with the registration campaign recognition was lower among ABs. However, the media-mix employed by the campaign worked well among most other groups, and there were good levels of campaign integration among those who recognised the campaign - half had seen/heard one medium, around a quarter (24) had seen/heard two types of media, while the remaining quarter (26) had seen three or more. Overall the main messages of the voter information campaign were communicated clearly, with around three fifths (62) spontaneously mentioning a campaign message. Around two fifths (41) referred to needing to bring photo identification or what you need to vote and one fifth (19) mentioned the opening/closing times of polling stations. However, just over one fifth (22) simply thought the advertising was telling them to vote and one fifth (19) talked about how to vote/complete the ballot, which were not included in the campaign messages. As such the voter information campaign may not have been as clear in communicating its messages as the registration campaign, but this is often the case when TV advertising is not included in the media mix. Perceptions of this campaign were also very positive when prompted, particularly with regard to the clarity of the messages. Around nine in ten (93) agreed that the ads made it quite clear that you needed to take photo ID with you when you voted on 22 nd May, and 88 agreed that the ads made it quite clear that polling stations were open between 7am and 10pm on 22 nd May. However, just over half (55) agreed that the ads stuck in your mind and a third (33) agreed that the ads told you something that you didn t know before. The relatively low levels of agreement for the last two statements can in part be attributed the elections being in the past and people have already gone through the experience of voting, but if there are any concerns around the campaign it would be that it may not be sticking in people s minds because it was not telling them anything new. The voter information campaign also appeared to play a role in generating action, with one in five (21) of campaign recognisers claiming to have done something as a result. Most (17) made sure that they had the correct photo ID to take to the polling station. Impact of voter information campaign on key measures The vast majority of eligible adults were aware of the need to take photo identification to the polling station in order to vote at all three waves, yet awareness of this requirement still increased to 95 over the course of the campaigns. This was a KPM for the voter information campaign with a target of of eligible adults in Northern Ireland aware of this requirement. With 95 aware by the end of the campaign this KPM was therefore achieved. It is also encouraging to find there were significant increases over the course of the campaign in knowledge of which forms of identification are acceptable to take to the polling station. For example, at post wave 2 90 were aware that a UK, Irish or EU passport is acceptable, up from 79 at the pre wave May Elections Campaign Tracking Research TNS 2014

12 There were only marginal changes in levels of awareness of polling station opening and closing times, with three fifths (60) aware at post stage 2 that they opened at 7am and seven in ten (69) aware that they closed at 10pm. Awareness of the use of the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system increased significantly over the campaign period from 57 at the pre wave, to 75 at post wave 2. Given the importance of this measure to the smooth running of the election, it is very encouraging to see this significant increase in awareness. The proportion saying they knew exactly how to vote also increased significantly over the three waves from 52 at the pre wave to 68 at the post wave. At all three waves, around three quarters agreed they had enough information about the elections and what they had to do. It is encouraging to note that by post wave 2 only 14 disagreed that they had enough information, a decrease from one in five (20) at the pre wave. Insights Overall, the results of the research indicate that both the registration and voter information campaigns performed well. Both have recorded good levels of spontaneous awareness, campaign recognition and campaign integration, and there is clear evidence of the campaigns impacting on the key awareness and knowledge measures specific to each campaign. In addition, both met their Key Performance Measures. The multi-media mix used has worked well in both instances. Whilst TV advertising acted as the lead medium for the registration campaign, other media were particularly effective in increasing recognition among the key unregistered groups, and it is encouraging that years olds were reached at good levels by all media channels. The value of the multi-media mix was also demonstrated in the higher awareness and knowledge measures recorded by those who had seen more campaign media. High levels of recognition of the voter information campaign were achieved in Northern Ireland, in spite of the absence of TV advertising, due to radio and outdoor executions working very well. The main messages of each campaign were communicated clearly and the perceived clarity of the advertising is a key strength. Impressions of the campaigns were also generally positive. Encouragingly, the registration campaign was particularly well received among the key unregistered groups who recognise the ads are relevant, provide new information and encourage them to take action. Actions Given the apparent success of the campaigns, it is important that The Electoral Commission examine both in detail for learnings that can be applied to future campaigns May Elections Campaign Tracking Research TNS

13 While the registration campaign worked well among the key unregistered groups, consideration should be given as to whether the lower levels of spontaneous awareness and cut through among these groups should be addressed, as improving this may help further increase knowledge measures. The media buying should be reviewed for any small changes that may help targeting in the future. Where a particular channel has worked well among a key group, this could perhaps be used more in the future (alongside TV advertising). Recognition among ABs was consistently lower than overall levels, and this could also be increased, if desired. Given the evidence of the impact of the multi-media approach on knowledge, any changes which would further increase campaign integration would be beneficial. Billboards have been particularly effective in Northern Ireland, so perhaps greater outdoor advertising could be added to future registration campaigns. The one concern about the voter information campaign in Northern Ireland would be that for many the campaign is not providing them with any new information. While recognising the need for maintaining the already high knowledge levels in Northern Ireland, consideration should be given to whether the need for photo identification remains the focus of any future voter information campaign. Finally, at this stage there is no evidence of wear out of the registration campaign and as such there is no reason why it should not be used again for future elections (although small changes may be required in order to bring the messaging in line with the introduction of Individual Electoral Registration) May Elections Campaign Tracking Research TNS 2014

14 1. Background and objectives 1.1 Background On 22 nd May 2014, European elections took place across the UK, and local government and mayoral elections were held in some areas of England. In Northern Ireland, as well as the European elections there were local government elections to elect new shadow councils, reflecting a new local government structure and new boundaries. As has been the case in the past, and in line with the corporate objective of achieving well run elections, referendums and electoral registration, The Electoral Commission ran campaigns to support the elections taking place. The public awareness campaigns to support the May elections aimed to address the challenges associated with voter registration across the UK (with a significant minority of the voter population not registered, and increasing over time). Additionally in Northern Ireland, a further campaign ran to provide voters with information on how to vote. The Electoral Commission ran a multi-media voter registration campaign across the UK from 1 st April until 5 th May specifically to target groups that were less likely to be registered. The campaign launched on 1 st April and ran until 5 th May The campaign comprised TV (with different versions for each country and a Welsh language version for Wales) video on demand (VoD) (excluding NI), and digital activity (with three separate executions in GB and a different execution used in Northern Ireland) running from 1 st April to 5 th May, radio advertising across GB from 14 th April to 5 th May, and press activity in Northern Ireland from 14 th April. The voter registration campaign aimed to: Increase the number of eligible people registered to vote and encourage them to do so before 6 th May deadline; Generate awareness among electors that they needed to be registered in order to participate in the elections; Increase awareness that the elections were taking place on 22 nd May; and Ensure electors knew where to go for more information. A multi-media voter information campaign also ran in Northern Ireland from 7 th May until 22 nd May after the registration deadline but before the elections. The campaign utilised radio, digital, press and out-of-home (OOH) advertising and targeted all eligible voters in Northern Ireland. The aims of the voter information campaign were to: Ensure all eligible electors knew to take an acceptable form of photographic identification with them to vote; Ensure electors wishing to participate understood how to vote using the single transferable vote (STV) system; Ensure voters had all the information needed to vote with confidence; Remind electors of the date of the election; 2014 May Elections Campaign Tracking Research TNS

15 Increase awareness that polling stations were open from 7am until 10pm; and Ensure electors knew where to go for more information. 1.2 Research objectives TNS was commissioned to conduct research to evaluate both the registration campaign across the UK and the voter information campaign in Northern Ireland, using tracking research. The specific objectives for the research were to assess whether the campaigns fully met their objectives and to provide guidance on strengths and weaknesses of the campaigns. In addition, Key Performance Measures (KPMs) for the campaign were set against some of the key campaign objectives. There are highlighted and discussed within this report, with a summary of these provided in Chapter May Elections Campaign Tracking Research TNS 2014

16 2. Methodology This chapter provides information about the approach used to conduct the evaluation of the registration and voter information campaigns. 2.1 Tracking research In order to meet the research objectives, three waves of research were conducted to evaluate the UK registration campaign and the Northern Ireland Voter Registration campaign: A pre advertising wave across the UK to provide a benchmark before either campaign launched; A post wave across the UK (immediately after the registration campaign) to provide post campaign measures for the registration campaign and mid campaign measures for the voter information campaign, which was on air during fieldwork; and A final wave in Northern Ireland only, conducted after the voter information campaign had run and the elections had taken place, to provide post campaign measures for the voter information campaign. It should be noted that in Northern Ireland the voter information campaign was running during the first post wave, and this should be borne in mind when reviewing post wave 1 results in Northern Ireland. 2.2 Data collection All interviewing took place in-home, face-to-face, using CAPI (Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing) omnibus services and quota sampling. Across the UK, the TNS UK face-to-face omnibus was used as the means of data collection. It consists of c.2000 interviews carried out twice a week with the option of interviewing across the UK as a whole, in GB only or within more tightly defined geographies only. The TNS omnibus uses a random location quota control methodology with sample points selected across the country. A sophisticated quota methodology is applied, which includes quotas by sex (male, female housewife, female non-housewife); within female housewife, presence of children and working status, and within men, working status. This system is effective in ensuring a balanced sample of adults within contacted addresses is achieved and in sampling the full spread of social grades. The final achieved sample is weighted to known population characteristics to correct any under/over representations and to ensure its representativeness (see below). 2.3 Sample In order to achieve the required sample sizes for this study at the pre wave, questions were asked of the full UK sample for one wave of the omnibus, with a second omnibus 2014 May Elections Campaign Tracking Research TNS

17 wave used to boost numbers in Scotland and Wales, and the Millward Brown Ulster omnibus used to boost numbers in Northern Ireland. For the post wave, a similar approach was taken although the second wave of the TNS omnibus also included Northern Ireland, and then additional interviews were conducted using an ad-hoc boost in Northern Ireland. For the final post wave in Northern Ireland, questions were again placed on two waves of the TNS omnibus with additional interviews conducted via an ad-hoc boost. All data was then combined for analysis apart from the Millward Brown Ulster and ad-hoc boost data for Northern Ireland. The weighting required to adjust for this over-sampling would have been very extreme and therefore, this data was not included in the UK run. Interviews were conducted with adults 18+, with a question included at the start to check citizenship (and by implication, voting eligibility) and non-eu/commonwealth citizens were excluded from the remainder of the survey. Full details of the fieldwork dates and sample sizes (i.e. eligible adults aged 18+) for each country at each wave can be seen in Table 2.1. Table 2.1: Fieldwork dates and achieved sample sizes by country per wave Wave Fieldwork dates Country Sample size (Adults aged 18+ and eligible to vote) UK 2155 England 1646 PRE 19th March 2nd April 2014 POST 1 7th 21st May 2014 POST 2 23rd May 3rd June 2014 Wales 153 Scotland 332 Northern Ireland boost UK 2302 England 1672 Wales 175 Scotland 344 Northern Ireland Northern Ireland boost boost 2.4 Questionnaire The questionnaires were developed by TNS in conjunction with The Electoral Commission. To enable comparisons to be made wave on wave the majority of the questionnaire was standardised across each of the waves, and across each of the different geographies. The questionnaire in Northern Ireland was longer to accommodate the questions relating to the voter information campaign May Elections Campaign Tracking Research TNS 2014

18 Once the questionnaire for the first two waves had been agreed, it was translated into Welsh and provided as a self-completion questionnaire (on CAPI) for those respondents in Wales who wanted to complete the survey in Welsh. All questionnaires are available as separate documents. It should be noted that in addition to the questions included in each questionnaire a full set of demographic questions was asked as standard as part of both omnibus surveys. 2.5 Weighting To ensure that the sample was representative of the adult population aged 18+, weighting was applied to the data at each wave. For the UK run of data, weighting was applied at a total sample level (adults 18+) to ensure that any under/over representations were corrected. Data for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland was weighted at a country level to match population profiles for each country. For Northern Ireland, this run included data collected using the Millward Brown omnibus / ad-hoc boost and the TNS UK omnibus data for Northern Ireland. TNS in-house sampling team produced population profiles for each of the four countries and for the UK as a whole, which were based on profiles from Census 20 and TGI April 2012-March 2013 data. Details of the weighting and the unweighted and weighted sample profiles can be found at the end of each set of tables. A summary of the weighting targets for each country can be found in Appendix D. In addition to the country level weighting, for the combined UK data set, UK weighting targets were applied (see Appendix D), with an additional rim weight applied based on the same sources, in order to correct the over-representation of Wales and Scotland. The weighting targets for this additional rim weight were: England = 83.8 Scotland = 8.5 Wales = 4.9 Northern Ireland = Notes on this report In the data tables and in the charts included throughout this report - denotes 0 and * denotes a proportion of less than half of one percent, but more than 0. Data tables for each country at each wave have been supplied in separate documents. Significance testing Although strictly speaking significance testing should not be applied to quota samples such as this, it is nowadays fairly common practice to use this. The difference in percentage required (at 95 confidence level) to denote a statistically significant change from wave to wave and across sub-groups is as shown overleaf May Elections Campaign Tracking Research TNS

19 Table 2.4. Difference in percentage required (at 95 confidence level) to denote statistically significant changes Sample size Confidence shift assuming a measured a percentage of 50 Confidence shift assuming a measured a percentage of 20/80 Confidence shift assuming a measured a percentage of 10/ / /-.0 +/ / /-7.8 +/ / /-6.4 +/ / /-5.5 +/ / /-3.5 +/ / / / May Elections Campaign Tracking Research TNS 2014

20 3. Context 3.1 Location of elections On 22 nd May 2014, the type of the elections taking place varied across the UK. Whilst European elections took place across the whole of the UK, there were no other elections in Scotland or Wales. In England there were local elections in 32 London Boroughs and 36 Metropolitan Boroughs, and Mayoral elections in some areas. In Northern Ireland, there were local government elections to elect new shadow councils reflecting a new local government structure and new boundaries. As everywhere in the UK had at least one election on 22 nd May, the registration campaign targeted the UK as a whole. The focus of the tracking research and the reporting of the results in this document is therefore primarily at a UK level, while reviewing separate results for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland within this. Where possible and appropriate, results for the 2014 tracking are compared with the evaluation of the GB registration campaign in 2012 as this covered Scotland, Wales and parts of England and as such is the fairest comparison. 3.2 Likelihood of voting All respondents were asked How likely are you to vote in the elections on 22 nd May 2014? The results of this question at each wave of tracking are shown in Figure 3.1, at a total UK level (on the left) and by each country. Figure 3.1: Likelihood of voting in elections on 22 nd May Q20: How likely are you to vote in the elections on 22 nd May 2014? Base: All respondents aged 18+ who are eligible to vote in each country at each wave UK England Wales Scotland NI Certain to vote Quite likely to vote Not very likely to vote Certain not to vote Don't know Post Pre Post Pre (2302) (1646) (1672) (153) Pre (2185) Post (175) Pre (332) Post (344) Pre (613) Total likely () Post (333) At the pre wave around a third overall (35) claimed they were certain to vote on 22 nd May, rising significantly to 46 prior to the election. Across all four countries certainty of voting increased at the post wave, with similar proportions of eligible adults saying they 2014 May Elections Campaign Tracking Research TNS

21 were certain to vote in England, Wales and Scotland (46, 43 and 46 respectively). Respondents in Northern Ireland showed the greatest intention to vote at both waves with two fifths (41) at the pre wave and just over half (52) saying they were certain to do so at the post wave. In Northern Ireland there was a lot of noise around the local government reform involving the reduction in the number of local councils. In addition the information campaign was running during the post wave. These two factors may have helped to generate the higher likelihood of voting in Northern Ireland. It is encouraging to find that more eligible voters appeared to be engaged in the elections as they approached, but the increased interest illustrates the need to ensure The Electoral Commission s campaigns give eligible voters all the information they need to be able to cast their vote May Elections Campaign Tracking Research TNS 2014

22 4. Registration campaign This section of the report covers the registration campaign, starting with an overview of the activity. 4.1 Registration campaign overview As mentioned at the start of this report, The Electoral Commission ran the multi-media registration campaign across the whole of the UK between 1 st April and 5 th May 2014, in the run-up to the registration deadline on 6 th May. The aims of the campaign were to: Increase the number of eligible people registered to vote and encourage them to do so before 6 th May deadline; Generate awareness among electors that they need to be registered in order to participate in the elections; Increase awareness that the elections are taking place on 22 nd May; and Ensure electors know where to go for more information. The campaign comprised the following media, which ran on the following dates: TV (inc. Video on Demand) 1 st April to 5 th May 2014 (14 th 30 th April in NI); Radio 14 th April to 5 th May 2014 (14 th 30 th April in NI); Digital 1 st April to 5 th May 2014 (14 th 30 th April in NI); Print (NI only) 14 th 27 th April; and Outdoor (NI only) 21 st 30 th April. In terms of the tracking research, the pre wave took place before the registration campaign (with fieldwork 19 th March to 2 nd April 2014), and the post wave was conducted in May (7 th 21 st May), following the conclusion of the campaign and after the registration deadline, but before the elections. 4.2 Spontaneous awareness of registration campaign Before prompting eligible adults with the campaign media, a number of questions were asked to assess spontaneous awareness of the campaign, and activity around the elections more generally. This section of the report summarises the results of these questions firstly at UK level, then by country and by key unregistered groups. Firstly, early in the questionnaire, respondents were asked Have you seen or heard any advertising, publicity or other information recently about registering to vote? By this we mean advertising publicity or other information about the elections themselves and what you need to do, rather than information from political parties about who to vote for. This was deliberately designed to be a broad question in order to assess the general noise around the elections. The results are shown at the top of Figure May Elections Campaign Tracking Research TNS

23 Figure 4.1: Spontaneous awareness of advertising about registering to vote and of campaign cut through (UK) Q3: Have you seen or heard any advertising, publicity or other information recently about registering to vote? By this we mean advertising publicity or other information about the elections themselves and what you need to do, rather than information from political parties about who to vote for. Q4: Where did you see or hear this advertising, publicity or information? (spontaneous) Q6: Who do you think was responsible for that advertising, publicity or information? (spontaneous) Q5: Please can you describe exactly what you remember seeing, reading or hearing in any of this advertising, publicity or information about registering to vote and what you need to do? (spontaneous) Base: All respondents aged 18+ who are eligible to vote in at each wave Among all eligible adults 18+ in UK Spontaneous awareness of advertising, publicity or other information recently about registering to vote Registration campaign (GB) spontaneous awareness increased from 17 to 48 Where seen: Spontaneous mentions of EC / sources potentially from EC 9 37 TV advertising most commonly mentioned spontaneously Any spontaneous mentions of EC being responsible for activity seen/heard 2 6 Local councils and political parties most likely to be seen as responsible Cut through: Any spontaneous mentions possibly linked to registration campaign Pre (2185) Post (2302) 2012 Registration campaign (GB) cut through of 9 at post wave Just under a quarter (23) of eligible adults claimed at the pre wave to have seen or heard any activity about registering to vote, increasing significantly to just under three fifths (59) at the post wave. These results are similar, if not better, than those from previous Electoral Commission campaigns: in 2012 just under one in five (17) at the pre wave claimed to have seen or heard any activity, rising to just under half (48) at the post wave. Those who claimed to have seen or heard any advertising, publicity or other information about registering to vote were then asked three further questions about what they had seen or heard. However, as the proportion aware of activity changed pre to post, in order to make a fair comparison the results for these follow-up questions have been rebased on all eligible adults, with the results shown in Figure 4.1. Full results for each of these questions can be found in Appendix C. The first follow-up question asked those aware of activity to say where they had seen or heard the advertising, publicity or other information. The second set of bars in Figure 4.1 shows the proportion at each wave spontaneously mentioning either The Electoral Commission or any advertising channels or sources being used by The Electoral Commission for the registration campaign (that is TV, radio, newspaper or online advertising, and leaflets or flyers from the Electoral Commission). As a result, we are able to assess the proportion who may be aware of The Electoral Commission s activity May Elections Campaign Tracking Research TNS 2014

24 At a UK level, the proportion of respondents who spontaneously mentioned either The Electoral Commission or sources being used by The Electoral Commission increased significantly from 9 pre to 37 post wave. This was driven mainly by a significant increase in mentions of TV advertising, which rose from 4 at the pre wave to 24 following the campaign. Respondents were also asked who they thought was responsible for the advertising, publicity or information they were aware of. As in previous campaigns a small proportion of respondents mentioned The Electoral Commission; however the increase from 2 at the pre wave to 6 at the post wave is significant. As seen previously, political parties and local councils were most likely to be mentioned spontaneously as being responsible (20 and 16 respectively at the post wave). Finally, those who had seen or heard any advertising, publicity or other information about forthcoming elections were asked to describe what they had seen or heard. A wide variety of spontaneous responses were given which were coded into similar mentions or themes. Just over one in five (22) of all eligible adults spontaneously described details or messages which could possibly be attributed to the registration campaign, a significant increase from one in ten (10) at the pre wave. This level of campaign cut through compares well with the 2012 registration campaign, when just under one in ten (9) mentioned something that could be attributed to the campaign at the post wave. It may be that the European elections taking place across the UK helped to make the campaign seem more relevant than previous campaigns where not everyone had an election in their area. Given the above, there is evidence that the registration campaign was cutting through the noise around the election, with significant increases in all four spontaneous awareness measures recorded at a UK level. Figure 4.2 shows the results of the same four questions broken down by country. Again, whilst the follow-up questions were asked of those aware of activity, the results shown here are based on all eligible adults in each country at each wave May Elections Campaign Tracking Research TNS

25 Figure 4.2: Spontaneous awareness of advertising about registering to vote and of campaign cut through (by country) Q3, Q4, Q6, Q5 Base: All respondents aged 18+ who are eligible to vote in sub-group at each wave Among all eligible adults 18+ UK England Wales Scotland NI Spontaneous awareness of advertising, publicity or other information recently about registering to vote Where seen: Spontaneous mentions of mentions of EC/ sources potentially from EC Any spontaneous mentions of EC being responsible for activity seen/heard Cut through: Any spontaneous mentions possibly linked to registration campaign Pre (2185) Post (2302) Pre (1646) Post (1672) Pre (153) Post (175) Pre (332) Post (344) Pre (613) Post (333) Firstly, it should be noted that in Scotland spontaneous awareness was higher than average at the pre wave for all four measures, presumably as a result of the noise around the independence referendum taking place in September The proportion of eligible adults claiming to have seen or heard something about registering to vote increased significantly across all four countries following the campaign. In England, Wales and Scotland around three fifths at the post wave said they had seen or heard something, while in Northern Ireland awareness was slightly lower (50). England, Wales and Northern Ireland recorded similar levels at the post wave of those spontaneously mentioning having seen or heard something from The Electoral Commission or sources being used by The Electoral Commission (36, 38 and 40 respectively), while in Scotland nearly half (47) mentioned a possible Electoral Commission source. In England and Northern Ireland, The Electoral Commission was significantly more likely to be named as being responsible for the activity at the post wave. In Wales those mentioning The Electoral Commission rose slightly, and in Scotland mentions of The Electoral Commission dropped slightly from 9 at the pre wave to 4 at the post wave. The registration campaign appeared to cut through well across the four countries with between one in five and a quarter spontaneously describing details or messages which could be attributed to the campaign at the post wave, and in all countries this was a significant increase from the levels seen at the pre wave May Elections Campaign Tracking Research TNS 2014

26 Figure 4.3 shows the results for these same four measures, in this case broken down by the four key groups most likely to be unregistered year olds, private renters, recent movers (those who have moved in the last year) and BMEs (Black and Minority Ethnic groups). Figure 4.3: Spontaneous awareness of advertising about registering to vote and of campaign cut through (by key group) Q3, Q4, Q6, Q5 Base: All respondents aged 18+ who are eligible to vote in sub-group at each wave Among all eligible adults 18+ Spontaneous awareness of advertising, publicity or other information recently about registering to vote UK s Private renters Recent movers (<1yr) BME Where seen: Spontaneous mentions of mentions of EC/ sources potentially from EC Any spontaneous mentions of EC being responsible for activity seen/heard Cut through: Any spontaneous mentions possibly linked to registration campaign Pre (2185) Post (2302) Pre (315) Post (257) Pre (502) Post (476) Pre (361) Post (322) Pre (249) Post (209) For all key groups spontaneous awareness of activity about registering to vote and mentions of seeing something from the Electoral Commission or on channels/sources used by The Electoral Commission increased significantly following the campaign. Whilst this is encouraging, the increases in levels of awareness were smaller than the changes seen at an overall level. Just over half of private renters (52) and recent movers (55) claimed to have been aware of any activity in relation to registering to vote at the post wave, while awareness was slightly lower among year olds (47) and BMEs (45), compared to the overall UK level of nearly three fifths (59). BMEs were least likely to mention The Electoral Commission sources (26 compared with 37 UK overall). Recent movers and BMEs were more likely at the post wave to spontaneously name The Electoral Commission as being responsible for the activity seen/heard (5 and 6 respectively), while there was no significant change on this measure among year olds and private renters. The registration campaign appeared to cut through to year olds and recent movers with significant increases in the proportion spontaneously mentioning something that could be attributed to it, albeit at a lower level than overall (15 and May Elections Campaign Tracking Research TNS

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