If anything, Prime Minister Theresa May, the Conservative Leader, did not expect was to lose her parliament majority after the British General Elections on Thursday. With no party in a position to establish control, i.e. a hung parliament, the Britain General election only brings with it a period of political uncertainty.
While it was expected that the Conservative Party would significantly benefit from the snap elections, instead, it was the Labour Party that stole the game. With a performance beyond what was expected, the Labor Party gained marginal votes in England and Wales. With only 11-days left for Brexit negotiations and against the backdrop of recent terror attacks, the snap elections have only resulted in turmoil.
But why are we interested? Maps! Yes. Anyone following the British General Elections closely would have noticed that electoral maps have been used extensively for reporting the elections. Electoral maps reveal what can be referred to as the ‘politics of geographies’. “For many people, the numbers are just not very evocative — you can write about the counts of numbers of seats that you’re predicting or that people expect, or the vote shared first, but there’s something nice about the visualisation,” says Ben Lauderdale of LSE. Adding both context and clarity map is the key to increasing the reader’s ability to grasp and to engage them during elections.
The British General Elections 2017 are no exception to this. Every leading news channel and online news websites such as The Chronical Live, the Telegraph, the New York Times, the East Anglian Daily Times used the electoral interactive maps to highlight which party will represent each constituency.
The interactive map for the Britain General Elections of 2017, in the New York Times, highlights the shift in the margin of electoral votes of the Conservative Party and the Labour Party from the 2015 elections to the 2017 elections. As can be inferred from the map, both Labour Party and the Conservative Party made gains in Scotland, while Labour party exceeded expectations in Wales and outperformed in London. The maps reflect a distinctive shift in the performance of both the party this year.
Similarly, the interactive map, on the East Anglian Daily Times, showcases, the seven seats of Suffolk where elections took place. The map showcases the constituencies color-coded by the party of the winning candidate. As can be inferred, quite easily due to easy visualisation, Ipswich is the only region with a winning candidate from the Labour Party while the other six seats were won by the Conservative Party.
Source: Google and East Anglian Daily Times
In conclusion, in this digital age, the electoral maps are important. In the sea of numbers and statistics available, people are drawn to these maps for a better understanding of what is happening in their political environment.
Exclusive Inputs from Amit Raj Singh, Senior Producer, Geospatial Media and Communications