By-election slopegraphs

Thursday saw two by-elections, in the constituencies of Clacton and Heywood and Middleton. I think the slopegraphs below provide a nice way of showing how voting compared with the last general election in 2010. (Data for 2010 comes from the Electoral Comission website.) Click on the image to switch between percentage and absolute views.

0% 50% (53%) Conservative (25%) Labour (13%) Liberal Democrats (1%) Green (0%) UKIP (8%) Other 2010 Conservative (25%) Labour (11%) Liberal Democrats (1%) Green (2%) UKIP (60%) Other (1%) 2014 Clacton 0 20,000 (22,867) Conservative (10,799) Labour (5,577) Liberal Democrats (535) Green (0) UKIP (3,345) Other 2010 Conservative (8,709) Labour (3,957) Liberal Democrats (483) Green (688) UKIP (21,113) Other (388) 2014 Clacton 0% 50% (40%) Labour (27%) Conservative (23%) Liberal Democrats (3%) UKIP (0%) Green (7%) Other 2010 Labour (41%) Conservative (12%) Liberal Democrats (5%) UKIP (39%) Green (3%) Other (0%) 2014 Heywood and Middleton 0 20,000 (18,499) Labour (12,528) Conservative (10,474) Liberal Democrats (1,215) UKIP (0) Green (3,409) Other 2010 Labour (11,633) Conservative (3,496) Liberal Democrats (1,457) UKIP (11,016) Green (870) Other (0) 2014 Heywood and Middleton

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It always interests me how politicians and activists can put a positive or negative spin on results data. For example, one could claim that Labour had a good day at Heywood and Middleton, winning the seat and maintaining their proportion of the vote whilst the Conservatives’ plummeted. Alternatively, Labour lost 40% of its voters and barely held its previously safe seat. While UKIP  clearly had a very good day, I even read it suggested that because the Clacton election was won by a Tory defector, UKIP had effectively lost 1,700 votes!

Update (21/11/14): Slopegraphs for the results of the Rochester and Strood byelection: percentage, absolute.

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