Saturday, May 03, 2008

London Breakdowns


Not the emotional kind of course, more the statistical sort. According to my calculations these are the raw numbers for the total across London. Those in italics did not a geat a seat on the assembly.

Party Vote %
Conservative 835,535 34.68%
Labour 665,443 27.62%
Lib Dems 275,272 11.43%
Greens 203,465 8.44%
BNP 130,714 5.43%
Christian Choice 70,294 2.92%
Ab Con Charge 63,596 2.64%
Respect 59,721 2.48%
UKIP 46,617 1.93%
English Dems 25,569 1.06%
Left List 22,583 0.94%
Peace & Socialism 6,394 0.27%
Independent 4,107 0.17%
One London 3,297 0.14%

But let's look at that as a picture! (click the images to enlarge)

Although I think that's a little confusing with all the different parties knocking about so let's look at that with the parties merged into appropriate political blocs.

In a difficult election it's to the Greens credit that their vote has held up so well. When you consider that BNP were unable to capitalise on UKIP's collapse (Johnson's Tories were clearly the beneficiaries of that little phenomenon) getting only a tiny shade more than they did in '04 and the left's vote is down significantly from last time.

Of course there are internal reasons for that, as well as the external pressures. A split left vote (which was fairly united last time) and the Left List, with its electorally inexperienced leadership (although Christ knows they've all been in "frontline" politics since the seventies) and their inability to take advise from outside of the golden circle were given the burden of fighting the whole of London whilst others on the left took a more sensible, focused approach.

I think we're seeing an effect that was "off set" in '04 because the election was simultaneous with the Euro's and so UKIP made these enormous, pointless advances that could have been made then by the BNP and the Tories. Add to this the rightward drift in general across the country and we have very difficult circumstances.

Anyway, charts to come include a breakdown of the Green vote (and others) by area - let's see if there are any interesting correlations going on. (Feel free to suggest any data you'd like to see and if it's doable I'll have a go) - right off for some dinner!

More stats:
Green vote by constituency

We can see from the following that the Greens increased their proportion of the vote in 11 consituencies and declined in just two - but unfortunately those increases were small advances, with only four areas seeing an advance of more than 1%.

Constituencies (with Labour victories):

Brent and Harrow: 10,129 (6.54%) (+1.03) (4th)
City and East: 11,478 (6.26) (+0.32) (6th)
North East: 25,845 (13.34) (+1.33) (4th)
Lamberth and Southwark: 18,011 (11.04) (4th)
Enfield and Haringey: 12,473 (7.88) (-0.42) (4th)
Greenwich and Lewisham: 15,607 (10.63) (+0.88) (4th)

Constituencies (Conservative victories):

Bexley and Bromley: 9,261 (4.63%) (-0.27%) (5th Place)
Ealing and Hillingdon: 12,606 (7.28) (+0.94) (4th)
Merton and Wandsworth: 14,124 (8.44) (+0.70) (4th)
Croydon and Sutton: 8,969 (5.17) (+0.83) (5th)
South West: 12,774 (6.78) (+0.41) (4th)
West Central: 16,874 (10.40) (+1.75) (3rd)
Barnet and Camden (16,782 (9.50) (+1.14) (4th)
Havering and Redbridge: 9,126 (5.53) (+1.13) (5th)

Also I noticed that the Green vote is actually pretty evenly spread with half the vote coming from across 5 of 14 constituencies (which is the same as the Left List, although in their case it is lack of strong areas, rather than lack of weak ones). This contrasts sharply with Respect for instance where 34.2% of the vote came from one area alone, City and East.

But what is going on in City and East though? It was the Greens third from bottom result but it was the strongest for Respect *and* the second highest for the BNP *and* the highest for Labour. It appears from the outside that this is the most politically polarised area in London, with fascists and the left doing well.

On to second preferences, click chart to enlarge.

One of the hidden Green successes of Thursday has been the second preferences Londoners gave the Mayoral candidates. As we know the race was decided on these votes, and although Livingstone had more second preferences than Johnson it was not enough to close the gap between them. But when we look at the figures we see something quite surprising, the top two candidates only received 3rd and 4th place in this section.

Now this partly reflects the increase in Tory and Labour vote share, and the fact that lots of people don't use their votes to full effect due to their uncertainty with the system. It also reflects the fact that many Londoners did not want Johnson, but were tired of Livingstone. The Greens, who had made it very clear that they supported a second preference vote for Livingstone, encountered voters time and again who were willing to vote Green but very resistant to "supporting" Ken. There was little more that the Greens could have done to mobilise second preference vote for Livingstone (who personally thanked the Greens in his speech conceding defeat) and I'd expect some of these votes to be from Labour supporters themselves anyway.

Sian Berry's extraordinary 13.5% of the second preference vote is as unexpected as it is heartening - that more than one in eight voters who did not vote Green first were willing to put Green somewhere on their ballot paper. That shows there is room for growth with a potential audience ready made just waiting to be convinced.

For the Greens to be the second second choice (if I can put it that way) is saying something that lies beneath the surface of the elections inside and outside of London where no such system exists to show up potential Green support. There are lots of things about this election that I've found mildly disappointing - this is certainly not one of them.

On the less successful end of the spectrum the Left List's Lindsey German received the least number of second preferences, below even that of Matt O'Connor - who had formally withdrawn from the race. To get 0.68% of the first preferences and then receive less second preference votes than a candidate who is no longer standing is probably not the most welcome thing to have happened in Lindsey German's life, it also indicates that there is no wider base of support for the Left List outside of their core support - and much of this decline since 2004 should not simply be put down to the objective political circumstances but also, crucially, the behaviour of those who were behind this bullishly sectarian electoral operation.

The chart below shows the distribution of Sian Berry's vote over the constituencies. So, for instance, in the North East constituency Sian achieve 4.94% of the total vote and what is shown here is the proportion of her total vote that came from this area, 12.65% of her first prefs and 11.07% of her second prefs.

What you should be able to see on this chart is that although second preference votes were generally consistent with first preferences (ie strong one area were also strong in the other) there are a number of places that slightly bucked the trend and pushd their second preferences up. This appears, at a glance, to be areas that were more hotly contested and therefore there was a tendency for those tempted to vote Green to push them down into the second preference.

These areas include Merton and Wandsworth, West Central and most notably Bexley and Bromley - whose lowish first preference vote was balanced by a better performance on second preferences.
More charts to come...


Chris Hyland said...

I think what Respect(s) don't seem to be taking into account in their analysis is the fact that the war isn't as big a priority as it was in 2004-5, and if they think that there poor performance in this election is based solely on the split they are kidding themselves. I've also noticed a general refusal to consider that our votes count as a left-of-labour vote.

I'm not so surprised about City and East. In the ward I was observing the count in on Friday in Leeds there was a very different voting pattern from polling station to polling station.

scott redding said...

I don't suppose you have the numbers for 2nd preference votes for the candidates by assembly constituency? It would be interesting to see where Sian was 20% in 2nd prefs, vs 8% in 2nd prefs, to average out to 13.5%.

Jim Jay said...

You betcha!

It's all broken down here

I'll take a proper look at that later and see if there's anything that jumps out at me (and there fore worth graphing)

I'll also take a look at spoiled ballots (which was a request on a different thread)

Chris Hyland said...

One think I did notice was that our proportion of the assembly vote was about two and a half times that of our mayoral vote, which is a much bigger difference than for any of the other parties.

Ian said...

I think you overlook the fact that the entirely artificial and huge constituencies like City and East are bound to throw up some strange results from time to time as they include places which have very little in common with each other (apart from deprivation in this case), no common links between them and don't have community links between one side of the constituency and another.

Anonymous said...

Electoralist anoraks can also pore over the ward by ward breakdowns which are now available at: London Elects ;).