German election 2009 – Part III

In the last series of maps we are now doing a more indepth look at the German general election results. The following maps are all based on the second vote (Zweitstimme) and map these in various ways. To get a more precise view on what the majority of people decided for on the ballot, this time more than one party is mapped. This makes the maps more complex, but with the distinct colour scheme they remain understandable and show the results in a more differentiated manner. Click each map to get a closer view (in these maps quite important as colours might appear blurry in the shrinked maps shown on this page).
Except for the last two, all maps use the previously introduced population cartogram as their main projection, so that the proportions show the real population distribution.
On the first map, the largest parties in each constituency are included up to at least 50% of the votes. Usually these are the 1st and 2nd largest party – only few exceptions can be seen in the south, where CSU managed to get more than 50% of the votes in some areas:

Bundestagswahl: Erster und Zweiter Sieger (equal symbol)

This map already gives an idea of the political variation in Germany, although the map can be criticised for simplifying or even distorting reality, as equal proportions for the 1st and 2nd do not reflect the real distribution. Therefore, the first map is a compromise between the maps showing only the winning party (and thus being even more simplified and less meaningful), and the following map, where more detailed on the difference between the first two parties is drawn.
This map uses patterns to reflect the ration between the main parties that together add up to at least 50% of the votes. The proportions are explained in the map – the basic scheme relates to whether the 1st and 2nd ranked party are almost equal (less than 5% from each other) or whether they are differing considerably (>5% apart), reflected in the amount a party gets the colour in the pattern. It appears more complex, but the pattern reveals the distribution quite well when one got used to it. Understanding the complexity of this map is rewarded with a more indepth view of the political patterns that emerged from this election:

Bundestagswahl: Erster und Zweiter Sieger (gradually differentiated)

Both maps demostrate ways to show election results in a different way than usual, to make them more understandable without having to analyse complicated spreadsheets. Combined with a new projection that focuses on the real population distribution we can show a more realistic view of such data, as higher population densities are given more space (and rural areas do no longer dominate and distort the view on the data). With these maps politicians can hardly pretend their results to be better than they really are, because here the people who voted are put in perspective.
The following map shows the previous two in comparison, this time with the constituencies put in as pale lines (instead of the population grid that has been used for the calculation of the cartogram projection):

Bundestagswahl: 1st2nd Cartogram compared with constituencies

Last, not least, these visualisations should also be seen on a conventional map to demonstrate the differences:

Bundestagswahl 2009: Zweitstimmenanalysekarte (1st and 2nd)
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