Cheltenham Borough Council

Outcome of Expression of Interest: Not shortlisted

Virtual mock election to positively engage young people

Young voters are often less engaged in the political process and increasing youth election participation is a priority. One key tool in priming participation in those under 18 has been the running of mock elections. This has developed into a well-established practice, as evidenced by the efforts of the Parliament Educational Service.

The US has advanced online platforms for such activities and UK providers lead research into use of online technology and actual voting in elections.

Few activities in the UK target 14-17 year olds and utilises the ubiquity of mobile devices and gaming to develop engagement with voting. There is evidence that these approaches can raise interest and create engagement within the youth segment and beyond (Foxman & Forelle 2014; Masser & Mory 2018).

As part of the research a platform will be developed where election candidates are generated (or actual people could stand); campaign material can be disseminated: using game mechanics to deliver messages; content co-created and shared; influence generated, tracked and reported; and finally elections held through online voting.

The project would aim to understand whether participation in the game increases engagement in the voting process in real life.

  • Digital leadership training (for council leaders, service managers or senior executives)
  • Introduction to user research
  • Introduction to service design
  • Introduction to digital business analysis