UK Election Results Maps

First written for Intuita LinkedIn post

It’s election day here in the UK and amidst the political drama, pollster predictions and conundrums over voting choices, data visualisations will be in abundance. This prompts me to consider the different ways of presenting the same data, and the relationship between presentation and interpretation. Take this example from the 2019 General Election showing three differing views of the same data:

The Geographic view is the most easily recognisable as a map of the UK, which makes it easy for the reader to understand the context of what is being represented. However, there is noticeably more blue in this view than the other versions.

The Population view gives a true representation of the number of votes so is arguably the most representative of the raw data. However, it’s not the most appealing of visuals.

The Constituency view aims to strike a better balance, being more representative than the geographic view but still very clear in its layout. It has the added bonus of being aligned with how votes affect the parliamentary seats which is the direct outcome of the vote.

This particular article shows all 3 versions, leaving it to the reader to interpret in either way and choose for themselves how to best digest the information. To help a reader further, these charts could be shown alongside more charts showing the overall totals. The legend doesn’t particularly stand out so a simple visual instead would go a long way. Some good examples can be seen here:

Overall, when creating a visualisation, there is an art to finding the right balance between a clear, visually appealing view while maintaining a true representation of the information held within the data itself. After all, I know which viz would get my vote!