2001 Election Map of the UK

Detail of Election Map appletOkay, this is going to probably destroy my bandwidth allocation, but what the hell.

After last year’s elections in the US, the folks at Princeton came up with some splendid maps of the US, using shades of colour to represent the balance of support the two parties have – rather than a simplistic view of an America divided between red and blue, it shows the spectrum of political views within the nation.

Well, I thought that was quite nice, and mused on whether a UK equivalent was available. There wasn’t. So I made one. And I made it in Flash, so it was zoomable and interactive-ish.

So, have a look and play with it (if you don’t want it in a popup window, use this link instead).

It uses the data from the most recent UK general election in 2001. The map and data together are 120kB or so, so dialup users will have to drum their fingers a lot. Hovering over a constituency will show the actual count for the three big parties.

There are some FAQs and help beneath the main Flash movie. It’s a bit flawed, admittedly – it only displays the three main parties (so sorry to the nationalists). Northern Ireland is ignored, and the Lib Dems are green rather than yellow thanks to the nature of light, and I have made it slightly too big for most screens, sorry.

But..I hope it’s handy, or at least of interest, as an illustration of the state of the political climate in the country. Let me know what you think.

21 thoughts on “2001 Election Map of the UK

  1. Gorgeous. However, living in Wales, I am bound to suggest that instead of adopting a rigid Lab/Con/LD hiearachy, wouldn’t it be “truer” to adopt a Lab/Con/3rd opposition thing? Which would then suit the nationalistic parties in Scotland and Wales?

    Still, this is something the BBC ought to be doing!

  2. One problem with would be what to do about the welsh Lib Dem seats – how would you easily distinguish between them and the Plaid Cymru ones?

  3. …and there was me suggesting to Chris a few days back that it would be extremely cool if, as you mouse over each constituency, there was also a link to the TheyWorkForYou page for the currently sitting MP (e.g.).

    I don’t think that quite came under the heading of “little tweaks to improve it”, however. I believe that, even from Cornwall, I could faintly hear the sound of Chris weeping plaintively at the thought of re-doing it all again…

  4. May I be the first of doubtless many commentors to say, “that’s great, but how about…”? I’d love to see a version using a population-scaled map.

    Seriously, though, that is really good. You should be proud.

  5. if you need more bandwidth for this, i’ll gladly help (you can find me in IRC in the evenings, irc.phrenzy.org #twoblock, or catch me via email). I found you though linkbunnies, btw.

  6. BTW, despite not actually affiliating with any major political party (proof of this can be found on my Unison membership), rather self-indulgently, I’d like to point to the green colours, on the mainland, just above the Isle of Wight. They are Eastleigh, Winchester and Romsey & Waterside. Despite boundary shifts they’ve changed from Tory safe seats to strong LibDem ones. This heartens me for 2 main reasons:

    1) Romsey went halfway through Labour’s first term; an unheard of loss for an opposition party at such a time.

    2) Winchester (after Gerry Malone demanded a recount) went from a LIbDem majority of 2 to a Lib Dem majority of approx 22500 (currently), making it their strongest seat.

    The New Forest must be next to fall (not literally, obviously).

    Ok, a little pleased now and far too egostistical.

  7. Raoul – although there have been by-elections and defections since the 2001 election, I think it would be misrepresentative somewhat to show the few consituencies that reflect, say, the 2004 post-Iraq war political climate like Brent East does, amongst all the others that still remain the same from 2001.

    Come the next election there’ll be a full update though, of course.

  8. Absolutely lovely work, I have one suggestion. A measure of the safety of the seat for each party would be good.

    ie a way of identifying the marginal seats, weakest Labour seat, 2nd weakest etc…

  9. excellent..!

    On a tech note.. it might be useful for flash newbee’s like myself , if you can write up a short process note for this.


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