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Posted by on May 18, 2010 in Featured Maps, Visualisation | 4 comments

UK Election Map: What colour is your constituency?


The 2010 UK election results have been visualised in hundreds of different ways. The map below is another contribution. We have used the RGB Colour Model to create the colours. The colour model works by mixing Red, Green and Blue to produce the final colour (more details below).We have given the Conservatives blue, Labour red and all other parties (incl. Liberal Democrats, Scottish National Party, Plaid Cymru, Green Party etc) green. How red, green or blue the constituency is depends on the proportion of the vote won by each of the three groups. So dark blue’s are very Conservative, purples are Conservative/ Labour, turquoise is Conservative/ Lib Dem (and others), yellows are others/ Labour and greys represent an even split between all three groups. It is a reasonably intuitive way of getting a general impression of the views of the people of the UK, and crucially includes all the votes that get ignored when a single colour is assigned to each constituency based on the party to win the seat. It is a shame that we have to group the Lib Dems. and smaller parties together so if you are interested in the exact break down of results you can see it here.

The Details

The proportion of each colour to go into the mix is controlled by a saturation value of between 0-255. To produce this value we re-scaled the percentage of the vote won by each of the groups to a value of between 0-255. So if Labour won 100% of the vote the red value would be 255 and the green and blue values would be assigned 0. If Labour (red) won approx 50% of the vote, the other parties (green) 10 % and conservatives (blue) 40% the rgb value would be (128, 25, 102) to produce a purple colour. A three way split (85, 85, 85) would be grey. To enhance the range of colours we have stretched them out a little to make the differences a little clearer. We know there are limitations of the RGB colour model but the UK elections is one of the few examples where there are generally three possible outcomes for each constituency, so the results lend themselves to this type of visualisation.

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  1. Could you go a 4-way election with CMYK? That way it would be perfect for print!

    • I’ll have a go…no promises though…

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