Electoral Doctrine: Thirty-nine maps of voting

The 2015 UK general election is history and many stories have been told about the unexpected victory of the Conservative party. But the picture of the election is far more diverse than it seems and the political landscapes are more polarised than a conventional map of the first votes can show.
This poster, submitted as an entry to the joint BCS-SoC ‘Mapping Together’ Conference starting tomorrow in York, presents the electoral doctrine of the 2015 election. It is a cartographic roundup of the beliefs of the electorate in thirty-nine images that tell the full story of a shift in political paradigms that will shape the debates for the elections to come:

Poster: Electoral Doctrine - 39 Maps of Voting
(click for larger version)

These new perspectives of the elections provide a comprehensive overview of the voting patterns for the main parties that shaped the debate before and after the election.
The maps always show three different perspectives: A conventional map showing the land area, a gridded population cartogram showing an equal-population projection, and a hexagon cartogram in which the parliamentary seats are represented by hexagons. Any labels for place names are deliberately omitted to allow for a visual interpretation and comparison of the overall patterns that appear in these maps.
All three representations tell very different stories and are therefore useful to obtain a complete picture of the political landscapes of Britain. While most people will find it easiest to relate to the normal land area map, the population cartogram shows where people live and what they vote for – a much more correct picture when looking at the representation of people in democratic terms – and the hexagons provide the most accurate picture of how parliament is constituted, which not fully relates to the distribution of people as constituencies vary in size (ranging from just over 20,000 to over 110,000 people).

Map series of the 2015 UK General Election
(click for larger version)

The three largest maps of the poster show how the parties scored in terms of winning the election compared to the previous 2010 election. These are followed with a map series of the winning and the second placed parties, complemented by an overview of the turnout which was at 66.1% at national level but – as the maps show – with high geographical variation.
The following two rows in the poster take a closer look at the two main parties, the Conservative (with 36.9% of the vote share, and 331 of the seats in Parliament) and the Labour party (30.4%, 232 seats) and how their votes changed since the 2010 election. The last column in these rows shows the vote shares of the national parties for Wales (Plaid Cymru, 0.6%, 3 seats) and Scotland (Scottish National Party, 4.7%, 56 seats). In the last row is a look at the distribution of votes of the remaining main parties which are UKIP (12.6%, 1 seat), the Green party (3.8%, 1 seat) and the Liberal Democrats (7.9%, 8 seats).
Dissecting the vote share of each of the individual parties gives an insight into how diverse but also how polarised the electorate in the United Kingdom has become in their political views which are no longer only represented by the two main parties. As these maps also show, Labour’s significant loss of votes in Scotland has resulted in losing a quite significant number of seats, while the vote share in the rest of the country did go up in many places, even thought this did not translate into parliamentary seats – yet another proof for the much more polarised voting patterns in this election.
Here are all remaining maps featured on the poster – the full cartographic roundup of the 2015 election in the United Kingdom:

Winning Party
Map series of the 2015 UK General Election
(click for larger version)

Second-placed Party
Map series of the 2015 UK General Election
(click for larger version)

Turnout
Map series of the 2015 UK General Election
(click for larger version)

Vote share Conservative Party
Map series of the 2015 UK General Election
(click for larger version)

Vote share Labour Party
Map series of the 2015 UK General Election
(click for larger version)

Vote share change Conservative Party
Map series of the 2015 UK General Election
(click for larger version)

Vote share change Labour Party
Map series of the 2015 UK General Election
(click for larger version)

Vote share Scottish National Party
Map series of the 2015 UK General Election
(click for larger version)

Vote share Plaid Cymru
Map series of the 2015 UK General Election
(click for larger version)

Vote share UKIP
Map series of the 2015 UK General Election
(click for larger version)

Vote share Liberal Democrats
Map series of the 2015 UK General Election
(click for larger version)

Vote share Green Party
Map series of the 2015 UK General Election
(click for larger version)

The Thirty-Nine Maps of Voting are the defining statement of doctrines of the general election with respect to the controversies of the British political system.

The content on this page has been created by Benjamin Hennig. Please contact me for further details on the terms of use.

(Visited 2,178 times since December 2015, 12 visits today)

One thought on “Electoral Doctrine: Thirty-nine maps of voting

  1. Pingback: In Focus: May 2015 – A Climate Change in UK Politics | Views of the World