University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Our Voter Insights service gives clients a better understanding of voter engagement, helping them to target their communications more effectively at election time.

In July 2014, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust ran elections to its Council of Governors. Following a relatively low turnout, UCLH sought to improve engagement with its members by first seeking the views of non-voters for these elections; understanding the ‘why’ being key to understanding the ‘how’ to improve.

To support their efforts, UCLH commissioned MES to carry out an independent survey among these non-voting members to obtain their views on their involvement in past and future elections to the Council of Governors.

As the subsidiary of Electoral Reform Services, who administer the Trust’s elections, MES was well-situated to provide an independent analysis of non-voting members, while still preserving these individuals’ anonymity.


Our work included research methodology and questionnaire design; fieldwork (we conducted both an online and telephone survey); data cleansing, processing and analysis; profiling; report writing; and end-to-end project management


Together with UCLH, we designed a survey which could be administered both online and by telephone, which sought to understand non-voting members’ awareness of the election, why they would not have voted, and what could be done to help them take part in future elections to the Trust’s Council of Governors.

Over 3,100 members were invited to participate in our online survey. A further 121 members were telephoned for a more detailed follow-up call.

Over 350 members responded to the survey with a good and robust spread of responses from public, patient, and patient/carer members.

Following the fieldwork, all data was cleansed and processed by our data analysis team. Our research team then produced a detailed report highlighting key findings from the survey. Anonymised verbatim comments were also provided to the Trust, enabling UCLH to have full, in-depth insight into their members’ views.

MES also provided the Trust with our unique voter insight report to back-up the non-voter research, giving insight on demographic composition of voting members; and therefore which groups could be targeted to boost voter turnout and provide a more representative electorate in the future.


Following our work, UCLH were able to enter their next election cycle armed with better information about which groups they should engage with to build awareness, and ultimately boost turnout in a fair, representative way.

What our client thinks

This was a fascinating piece of work, and what we found really impressive was the number of responses from the members and their commitment to vote in our future elections. It’s really helped us understand some of the reasons why people didn’t vote, which will help us tailor our election communications to members in a better way.

We will hold a ‘UCLH election special’ event for members where they can understand more about the importance of voting; that everyone can vote, and are encouraged to; and explain more about the role of Governors and how they represent the members.

We were pleased with the high response rate and the work that MES did in this important area.

University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust