Could electoral reform revitalise democracy? The role of choice and personalisation in voting systems

The EU referendum … the Conservative and Labour Party leadership contests …. ‘voter fatigue’ …. over the last couple of months, politics has been dominating the news. We’ve written before on this blog about low turnout for elections for the Police and Crime Commissioners, and whether the Swiss style of direct democracy could ever catch […]

The land of “neverendums”. For the Swiss, direct democracy is a way of life, but could it work in the UK?

Next week, voters across the UK will finally make their decision on the country remaining in or leaving the European Union. This is only the third UK-wide referendum ever to be held. The first was in 1975, on Britain’s membership of the European Economic Community. The second took place in 2011, on a new voting […]

Idox Elections: delivering modern democracy

by Stacey Dingwall It was impossible to avoid: the UK held a General Election on 7 May 2015. Voting aside, the election experience was somewhat different for myself and a team of colleagues from across the company. This time, we joined the Idox Elections team for the period leading up the election in order to […]

Who’s influencing thinking on democracy and voting in the UK?

Ahead of next week’s general election, the Knowledge Exchange has published its elections white paper, Democracy and voting: key organisations and individuals. The white paper provides an overview of the following key themes in elections research: Accountability and transparency Representative groups Voter participation and engagement It highlights areas of overlap across these themes, and the […]

Living in a democracy, it’s easy to forget how fortunate we are

By Rebecca Riley A week ago I was invited to a private view of “Election! Britain Votes” – a bold and experimental new exhibition developed by the People’s History Museum in Manchester as we prepare to go to the polling station. Having read the recent review by New Statesman, where the exhibition is described as […]

Democracy, at the touch of a button

It’s been described as “astonishing”, “incredible” and “phenomenal.” But perhaps the best word for the 84.5% turnout in the Scottish independence referendum is “historic”. The figure was a record for any election or plebiscite held in the UK since the introduction of universal suffrage in 1918. Various explanations have been offered as to why the […]

Digital Leaders Week: Digital government – looking beyond Britain

  This week, the Knowledge Exchange blog is marking Digital Leaders Week with a look back at some of our digital-themed blog posts from the past, and focusing on more recent digital developments. Our blog has often taken an international view of digital transformation, looking for lessons that might be learned from cities and countries […]

Five challenges facing the people who make elections happen

They’ve been called “the unsung heroes of democracy”, and in the past few years the UK’s electoral administrators have been facing unprecedented challenges that have imposed enormous strains on our voting system. Multiple general and local elections, a new system of electoral registration, and referendums on Scottish independence and UK membership of the European Union […]