Annual Canvass Survey

Annual Canvass Survey

MES design and run online surveys to help organisations better understand their stakeholders.

In partnership with Electoral Reform Services, we conducted an online survey with over 500,000 residents across the UK to evaluate experiences of their council’s Electoral Services Department. An overall nationwide report (as well as localised benchmarking reports) was produced to provide these departments with a detailed analysis of their performance.


Between July and November 2016, UK households were asked to confirm the details of those living at the address who were eligible to vote. Those who did so online were invited to take part in a short survey at the end of the process. It was this survey that asked questions specifically about their local Electoral Services Department.

The findings gave useful insight into electoral departments in the UK: information that proved useful for the individual departments, interested stakeholders, the electoral commission as well as the residents themselves.

We achieved an impressive response rate of 17% with 524,744 respondents over 200 councils taking part, indicating that local residents are keen to share their opinions and experiences with the electoral services.


By appending the survey to a large, statutory activity such as the annual canvass, we were able to a) achieve a much wider, more receptive audience than we would have been able to had the survey been stand-alone and b) make it easier for respondents to participate. This resulted in a high response rate.

The high response rate allowed us to provide real insight at a local level. Our national report (on overall results) was available free of charge, allowing Electoral Departments to see how the UK electorate regarded the election process. Should they wish to delve deeper, we were able to provide departments with a localised benchmarking report, allowing them to compare their efforts against the national average.


The large number of respondents (524,744) enabled us to conduct a robust and statistically significant analysis of the results on a national and an individual authority level with the opportunity to benchmark the scores against the national average.

Following the success of this exercise in 2016, we repeated the survey in 2017 and have plans to do so in subsequent years.

What our client thinks

We found the report to be very insightful and particularly liked the benchmarking against other councils. We were pleased with the positive feedback and were particularly pleased with the level of customer satisfaction of the elections team.

Electoral Services Officer, Borough Council of Wellingborough

The Benchmarking report was useful to help us understand how we are performing. Of particular use was the insight about how and why our customers contact us and how they would prefer to do so in the future.

Electoral Services Manager, Aylesbury Vale District Council

The headline figures are interesting and backup thoughts already in place. It is reassuring to know though that we are within the average for the majority of things.

Electoral and Administration Services Manager, West Lancashire Borough Council