Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Election stats

Well that was an eventful election. Stayed up to about 1230 watching the initial results come in, which was as pointless as ever. Sunderland results are never going to tell you anything leaving paxman and dimbleby to discuss pretty much nothing for hours attempting to make it sound valid. Jeremy Vine engulfed in his virtual house of commons trying desperately to extrapolate results from one constituency into a government. I got up again around 3am expecting results from sheffield but it seemed they weren't forthcoming, instead i endured the excitement of party leaders getting into a car, driving in a car and getting out of a car again. Gave up about 4:30 and got up again at 6:30 just in time to see nick clegg win his seat.
The best result of the night definately goes to Caroline Lucas winning a seat for the green party in brighton pavilion. I've heard her speak on numerous occasions and she is adept and focussed on raising the green agenda and will be an excellent addition to parliament. Disappointing to see UKIP and BNP in 4th and 5th position in terms of proportion of votes throughout the uk, though thankfully they didn't win a seat, it does show that there is a strong lean towards exclusive right wing policies from the electorate and this is something that still needs to be addressed.

But what happened to Rod Rodgers in sheffield central? well unsurprisingly he didn't really make any impact, claiming only 40 votes. I think if i was a counter i would have been quite excited to have come across a ballot paper with a vote for him, it would feel like a golden ticket. Paul Scriven narrowly missed out to Paul Bloomfield, probably due to tactical voting from the anti-tory majority in sheffield. In the end a vote for LD would have been better to increase the left of centre proportion of a coalition government.

Anyway, poor rod got me thinking, did he poll the lowest number of votes out of all the candidates nationally? Well thankfully the guardian have provided the entire results for all constituencies in downloadable format here. There were 16 people who returned fewer votes and outlined below is a series of interesting numerical data from the election

Who polled the least votes at the 2010 election

This accolade goes to Godfrey Spickernell who stood for the Blue Environment Party in the Chelsea and Fulham constituency who polled just 17 votes. I feel a bit sorry for Godfrey, for unlike rod rodgers he has a website and appears to be able to spell and have policies that aren't completely off the wall

who polled the most votes at the 2010 election

This goes to Stephen Timms standing for labour in east ham, polling over 70% of the constituency vote, 35,471 people voted for him. He is followed in second place by our new leader mr cameron who collected 33,973 votes, but only 59% of the vote. The top 50 candidates in terms of votes received are broken down as 32 seats for conservative, 5 seats for labour and 3 seats for the Lib Dems. Due to differences in constituency sizes and turnout this is not an entirely accurate measure of success so....

who polled the most votes in terms of percentage of voters at the 2010 election

When we analyse the results like this we get Labour candidate Steve Rotherham standing for liverpool walton as the most popular candidate with 71.96% of the vote, followed by Gerry Adams of Sinn Fein standing for Belfast West with 71.08%. Reviewing the top 50 most popular candidates in terms of votes we have 24 seats for labour, 22 seats for conservative, 2 seats for lib dem, one for Sinn fein and one for independent (Sylvia Hermon, Down north - previously UUP but recently standing as an independent due to UUP alliance with the conservatives)

which candidate got the most votes but didn't win a seat

Somerton and Frome: Annunziata Rees-Mogg received 26,976 votes and 44.51% of the vote for the conservatives but still lost the seat to David Heath of the lib dems who polled 28,793 votes 47.50%
Rodney Conner standing for independent in Fermanagh and South Tyrone polled 45.51% of the vote (21,300) but still missed out on a seat to Michelle Gildernew of Sinn Fein who polled 45.51% (21,304) a difference of just 4 votes which must've been the closest fought seat.

which candidate polled the fewest votes to win their seat

Angus MacNeil representing Scottish National Party polled just 6,723 votes to win the Na h-Eileanan an Iar seat, however this was 45.68% of the vote

which candidate polled the smallest percentage of the vote to win their seat

Simon Wright of the lib dems won Norwich South with 13,960 votes which represented 29.36% of the vote

interesting numbers

100 votes

Haji Choudhury, independent - Bethnal Green and Bow
Margaret McMahon-Morris, Lawfulness Trustworthiness and Transparency - Great Yarmouth
Paul Swansborough, independent - Redditch
all polled exactly 100 votes

1000 votes

Jo Willcott, green - Norfolk South
Bill Manwaring, UCUNF - Belfast West
all polled exactly 1000 votes

Prime numbers

There were 533 candidates who polled a prime number of votes, the largest prime number being Conservative candidate David Gauke of Hertfordshire South West who polled 30,773 votes

other numbers that are interesting

David McBride for Lib Dem Orpington polled 12,000 votes
Thomas Simpson for DUP Upper Bann polled 14,000 votes
Andrew Robathan for conservatives Leicestershire South polled 27,000 votes

candidate with the longest name

Zahra-Melan Ebrahimi-Fardouee of the Green party standing in Kensington has 28 characters in her name, she polled 753 votes

candidate with the shortest name

was ANON standing for the 'no description' party in Bath polled 69 votes

the constituency with the longest name

is Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East with 38 characters

the constituency with the shortest name

there are two with 4 characters:

Thursday, May 06, 2010

lets try truth truth

I've found the build up to this general election really quite interesting. Last time there was a general election i was out of work doing various temporary bit jobs and so i applied to be a poll station clerk, a job i enjoyed fulfilling an integral role in the democratic process. The tv debates have been great at raising the profile of parties but you wonder how much people are fully grasping about policies. A number of websites are providing quizzes that you can complete to see which party best fits your responses and filling them in i find, unsurprisingly, that i don't agree with any right leaning parties. In fact i think in elections it is easier to say who i don't agree with then who i do. There are plenty of policies from lib dems, green and labour that i think are great and others that are not so. Leaving a conundrum about which way to cast my vote. Boundary changes to the Sheffield (Central) constituency has given me the opportunity to vote in a seat that could quite well be marginal. A demographic that now includes more students and (as jarvis cocker describes them) pre-raphaelites down in broomhall, leading to a potentially huge swing from labour to lib dems. And with lib dems holding the local council they are in a good position. I've never seen so many pamphlets coming through my door, each day there seems to be forests to wade through, 'personalised' letters from vince cable, nick clegg, paul scriven (the candidate) and responses from the labour candidate. Though it was interesting to note that the last labour pamphlet had changed tact quite severely moving from highlighting differences between labour and lib dem to the apocalyptic vote for lib dems will give you a tory government, exclaiming that there can only be a labour or tory government. The rise of lib dems election on election means that things are becoming more and more 3 party politics.
Anyway, not only the 3 main parties want my vote but also the greens, bnp, ukip and an independent. An independent candidate sounds interesting and i wonder under what grounds is he standing and why would he want my vote. So i turn to the great world wide web and search out Rod Rodgers and come back with little return. It seems he doesn't even have his own website, political websites can only provide his name and address and so it seemed my search had been in vain. Then i spotted a link to this photo, evidently a poster on his car door, and it appears he is standing, not for change and not for truth, but for truth truth. You know, not normal truth, proper truth truth. Quality, such an error strung poster just oozes class, all we here is change? and what on earth does 'change is not always progress truth' actually mean? It sounds like some chinese proverb that has been spat out of the babel fish application.
As philosophers around the world debate what is truth, rod rodgers has acknowledged this and created a whole new genre by creating truth truth - some may mock and laugh, but perhaps we have just uncovered a philosophical genius.

enjoy voting

thanks to