New MSQ campaign encourages voter registration amongst newly enfranchised groups

The Electoral Commission is encouraging young people and foreign nationals in Wales and Scotland to register to vote, through a new marketing campaign by MSQ. 

Changes to regulations has seen the age of voting eligibility for Senedd elections lowered to 16 in Wales, as well as opening up vote eligibility to all nationalities, having previously limited it to British, Irish, qualifying Commonwealth and EU citizens. Citizens of all nationalities aged 16 and over will be eligible to vote in Scottish Parliament and local elections when the legislation comes into force there from August.

The new campaign uses black and white photography of people who represent the newly enfranchised groups, brought to life with contemporary typographical animations. It launches across social media, digital audio and digital display in Wales this week, and expresses a welcoming message to each audience while highlighting the benefits that voting can bring to them and encouraging them to register.

MSQ developed the campaign media strategy using ex-pat behaviour and foreign language targeting to reach relatively specific groups in Wales and Scotland. An additional resource pack has also been developed and supplied to external stakeholders to share with their audiences to further extend the reach.

Emma Hartley, Head of Campaigns at the Electoral Commission, said: “This is a big change to the voting franchise, so it is vital that all audiences are aware of their new right to vote and know they need to register online. MSQ worked diligently to understand our audiences, enabling a campaign that will reach, and resonate with, new voters.”

Peter Reid, CEO at MSQ Partners, said: “We’re very proud of the effective work we have done with the Electoral Commission over the years. This is a big step to engage new and harder to reach audiences, in an effort to ensure that everyone understands their voting rights.”

MSQ Partners has already begun working on the second phase of the campaign, extending the message into educational resources to be circulated within formal and informal education environments across Scotland and Wales.