Something For the Weekend…30 May 2014
A couple of little gems here on the European election results.
First, the Election Data Blog has produced a series of maps, showing the European election vote by area for each of the main parties (a category that still, just about, includes the Liberal Democrats). You can find them here:
For the Welsh maps, scroll down the page (though I’m sure that many of you will find the English maps interesting as well). The maps re-produce the results by local authority area, although they also then have the constituency boundaries drawn in.
Second, Ian Clarke has produced an Excel spreadsheet containing all the results for each party: both in terms of numbers of votes and percentage share. Unfortunately, the system hosting this Blog doesn’t seem to allow me to post Excel files, so I have converted it into a PDF here. It’s certainly interesting to look at the percentages for each party; a few points I pulled out were:
- The sheer consistency of the UKIP vote share: their lowest percentage was the 19.75% in Gwynedd (the only LA in which their vote share was below 20%) and their highest the 33.8% in Merthyr. Of course, from the viewpoint of winning constituency seats in a future general election, such even support is not helpful. As the SDP-Liberal Alliance proved years ago, even quite high levels of support can win you few seats if you do not concentrate your support effectively.
- Labour scored the highest vote share in any LA, with 46.5% in Blaenau Gwent. They also, along with UKIP, were the only party to score in double-figures for vote share everywhere; their lowest share was the 10.3% in Ceredigion.
- Plaid Cymru did well in four LAs, coming first in vote share in Ynys Mon, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Gwynedd. Aside from that, though, they failed even to reach 20% anywhere.
- The only places where the Liberal Democrats got into double figures (or even close to it) on vote share were Ceredigion and Powys.
- The Greens’ highest shares were in Wales’ largest city, Cardiff, and one of the most rural of seats, Ceredigion. This apparent stark contrast is probably partly accounted for the fact that the two areas are those with some of the highest proportions in Wales of current or past University students.
- The highest share for the Socialist Party of Great Britain was the 0.29% in Rhondda Cynon Taf; something to build on, comrades.
Ian has also run a couple of correlations for UKIP vote share by LA. One is with the percentage of the population of each LA born in England. Interestingly, the correlation here is fairly weak but also negative: on average UKIP scored a lower vote share where the English-born population was higher. The second is between UKIP vote share and the ‘2011 Deprivation Index’ for each LA: here the correlation is moderate (r=0.30) but positive; this is consistent with the individual-level research on UKIP support, which suggests that far from being a party of ‘Golf Club Bores’ as some media stereotypes would suggest, UKIP support is drawn disproportionately from the socio-economic ‘left behinds’. Most people who vote for UKIP have never seen the inside of a golf club.
Non-partisan thoughts on elections, voting and political representation from Roger Awan-Scully of Cardiff University.