Thursday, June 11, 2009

North West figures: nerdsville

You knew I couldn't resist didn't you? Well, I've got the figures for the North West now, and am happy to do the same on any region that wants to send me the breakdown in a form I can use without spending the first half hour formatting columns (like I just did!).

First of all the North West is divided into five regions on differing sizes.

Votes Electorate Turnout
Cheshire 14.6% 14.9% 31.05%
Cumbria 9.3% 7.5% 39.48%
Gt Manchester 34.8% 37.2% 29.75%
Lancashire 24.6% 21.1% 37.09%
Merseyside 16.6% 19.4% 27.21%

So you can see from this that although Cumbria makes up only 7.5% of the electorate of the region due to their higher turner out they had 9.3% of the say. Overall turnout was 31.72%.

Oh joy to be in Lancaster

Lancaster saw the highest Green vote in the region on 14.34% on an above average turnout (35.88% if you must know). This was the second worst result for the BNP (the worst being South Lakeland, Cumbria on 3.2%) and was a poor area for Labour and the SLP although there little else exceptional about the votes for the other parties.

Manchester itself saw the second highest Green vote on 13.64%. The city seems to have a very different political demographic and this time it was one of the worst performing cities for the Tories, English Democrats and UKIP and was one of the *best* performing cities for Labour. The consistent theme seems to be the more urban the area the better the Greens did.

The ugly folk of Burnley

I almost didn't write that sub header, but then I thought, nah, fuck 'em. It did not come as a surprise that Burnley topped the league for the British National Party with 14.77%. This was the third best area for the Lib Dems and the worst area for the Greens (4.31%).

Unlike in the Eastern region there appears to be far less correlation between the BNP vote and the English Democrats and UKIP - probably indicating that the party had more forces on the ground and were generating their vote the hard way rather than just through the press reports of their enemy number one status.

Their top five performing areas were spread out geographically in Burnley, Tameside, Copeland, Hyndburn and Pendle. Of the top ten regions they were all strong areas for Labour (bar Burnley where the BNP have clearly successfully taken a huge slice of their cake). These were all weak areas for the Greens and mainly weak for the Lib Dems and Tories.

The Lib Dems and Tories: still no surprises

Again the Tories only polled over 40% in one polling district, the Ribble Valley, all under performing areas for the BNP. Their worst performing area was Knowsley, which was the best performing area for Labour.

The Lib Dems tended to perform best in weak Tory areas and their best performing area, South Lakeland, where they scored 37.23% was an exception in the region where almost every other district polled less than half of this.

Labour areas: BNP recruiting ground

Labour had a bad night and only scored more than 30% in three districts Knowsley, Manchester and Liverpool and they topped the poll in nine of 29 districts. The big story of the night, of course, was where the BNP vote came from, and basically it came from Labour areas (not necessarily Labour voters, the figures can't show that).

The graph below shows there is a correlation between how strong the Labour vote was and the BNP support. As we go from right to left we go from Labour's weakest area to strongest. The thin black line is the BNP vote in that area and the thicker line is a rolling average to help iron out the peaks so it's easier to see the trend at work.

I think it's clear from the graph that whilst there is by no means an exact correlation between Labour areas and strong BNP votes there certainly is tendency where the stronger the Labour vote in an area the higher the corresponding BNP vote is likely to be.

That certainly fits with my prejudice that the BNP (who had no councillors when Labour were elected let alone London Assembly Members or MEPs) vote comes from disgruntled Labour heartlands who feel they need to kick back at the government that has let them down.

The more Greens the less BNP

It might be useful to see exactly the same chart but for Green votes rather than Labour ones. So below we see (left to right) the stronger the Greens are in an area the fewer votes the fascists get. Again the thin line is the actual BNP vote in the polling district and the thicker line is a rolling average to help us see the trend more easily by eye.

Did the Left let the BNP in?

The Socialist Labour Party's fortunes were tied very tightly to Labour's. Their weakest area was Labour's weakest and their top ten strongest areas were, almost, identical to Labour's. This means their correlation was basically the same as with the BNP's (and therefore we can't say much about it).

But what of No2EU? Some still seem to blame them for 'splitting' the Green vote and 'letting in' the BNP by nicking that crucial 0.3%. Well here is the correlation between how well the Greens did and what vote No2EU got. The thin line represents the specific vote, the thick line the rolling average so we can see the trend more easily.

Does it dip a little? Squint at it whilst tipping your head to one side and you might be able to discern some correlation there, as long as you'd not brought your spirit level that is. Essentially this might look like the most boring graph in history but in fact it shows the dog did not bark. The Green vote and the No2EU were just speaking to different people.

As it happens you get a very similar graph if you replace the Greens with the BNP so I don't think No2EU split the fascist vote either. What was interesting though is that, as in the East, the Socialist vote and the No2EU vote came from different places too. The implication of this is that if left wing areas were not delivering higher support for No2EU their vote (as opposed to their program or candidates) was not coming from the left.

Anyway, let's not blow them out of proportion neither the SLP nor No2EU got their deposit back in any region of the UK so we're not talking about significant political forces here.

Pity Francis Apaloo

Last, but by no means least, let's look and at the odds and the sods - and some of these sods are very odd indeed.

It still amazes me that the Jury Team were able to beat anyone at all. However, their regional 0.55% was 'strong' enough to ditch Libertas in the murky pond of 0.42%. Commiserations Libertas, better luck next time. Obviously it can't have helped that your lead candidate pulled out of the race worried about your Eastern European partners and backed the Greens instead, but still, A for effort.

Life cannot be easy as an independent. Unless you're backed by a community you basically have not got a chance. At least that's what the good voters of Pendle thought when just 0.07% of them voted for Francis Apaloo. For shame Pendle, his life must be hard enough.


nationofduncan said...

I've got a breakdown of the Northwest figures in an easy to read pdf format if you want them, I can't find your email address on this blog though!

Jim Jay said...


I have North West (on pdf and xl) hence the post! Someone sent me a link to a site that supposedly has all the national figures as a spreadsheet - just haven't had a chance to look at it yet so I might be sorted for data now :)

ps people can find my email under core links - top link "my profile"

Red Green Nick said...

Good to see the Green Vote rise across the country - here in the South West we only elect 6 MEP's so its quite hard to get in but we polled a creditable 9.3% (only beaten by London and the South East Regions)

Jim Jay said...

Yes, it's a bit of a lottery - in some regions that would have been more than enough for a seat.

Mind you that's true in the FPTP elections too.

PhilW said...

I suggest drawing these as scatter graphs and doing regression analysis on them (probably linear would be best, but try others as well). Then you will get a correlation coefficient and a (possibly vague) numerical measure of how "correlated" the two sets of votes are.

Jim Jay said...

Please do Phil, I'd be interested in hearing your findings.