Local government elections 2022: candidate diversity survey

Everyone standing for election to Scotland’s councils in May 2022 is being invited to fill out a survey, to help build a better picture of who stands for election. Find out more, including how to take part if you are a candidate.

Survey overview

We're looking for candidates standing for election at the May 2022 local government elections to help us build the most complete picture to date of who stands for election to Scotland’s councils.

Everyone standing for election, whether you are a new candidate or existing councillor, is being invited to fill out a survey asking about:

  • who you are and what you do
  • your previous experience
  • any caring responsibilities you have

Taking part is voluntary, and you don't need to answer every question if you don't want to.

Why we need your help

Data on who stands for election to Scotland's councils is currently very patchy. 

We want to gain more insight into who stands and who is elected so we can:

  • better understand how representative our candidates and elected members are of the communities they serve
  • provide organisations working to increase access to elected office with accurate data 
  • help organisations to have more information on the characteristics and range of experiences and responsibilities of councillors, so they can better support them

How to take part 

If you are standing for election in the 2022 local government elections, you can:

  • fill out the survey online, or
  • fill out the paper survey given out with your nomination pack and return it in the pre-paid envelope provided, or
  • print off and fill out the printable version of the paper survey in the supporting documents section on this page and send it to:
    • 2022 SG DDP
      APS Group
      21 Tennant Street
      EH6 5NA

How we will protect your data

Your response will be kept confidential and stored securely, to be used only for statistical and research purposes.

Your name will be stored separately to your responses, which will only be linked to your name by a unique identifier.

Both names and responses will be stored securely in accordance with data protection laws. Names will be deleted within 30 days of the local government elections, and only aggregated data will be published with the survey findings. 

Read more on how we will handle your data.

Who is running the survey

Analysts in the Scottish Government have been working with the Electoral Management Board for Scotland (EMB), the Electoral Commission (EC), COSLA and the Improvement Service to organise the survey. The EMB and EC are helping to ensure the survey reaches all candidates. The report of aggregated findings will be published by the Scottish Government on this website.

Information about the questions

The survey has been developed with input from stakeholders and academics, and most of the questions mirror questions in the 2022 Census and/or the Scottish Household Survey so that we can compare data from the survey to the national picture.

You can get more information in the leaflet in the 'supporting documents' section on this page. 


If you have any queries or would like to request this questionnaire in any other format:


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