2015-09-21

mtEleana & The 2015 General Election

In recent years mtEleana hasn't had much attention from me so I thought it would be nice to improve it and add some new features.  The current development version is inside the mtCellEdit suite HERE.  There is more testing, tweaking and polishing to be done before the next release in the new year, but things feel mostly finished.  I thought it would be good to explain these new features a little bit.

Firstly the GUI is slightly changed to accommodate the full results for all parties.  There are also some new widgets to adjust the settings of the map, cartogram and diagram:


Some of the most interesting changes in the 2015 election were in terms of the smaller parties such as UKIP, Liberal Democrats, and SNP.  Here are 2 maps from the 2010 and 2015 elections showing the decline in support for the Liberal Democrats:



Yellow represents a seat won, light brown for second place, dark brown for third place, and dark blue for not in the top 3 placings.

Going in the other direction is UKIP, who have gained many more places in the top 3 since the last election:



The "Map mode" setting also changes the colours of the cartogram so here is a comparison between the 2010 and 2015 results in terms of seat marginality:



Dark blue means a safe seat with a lead of 20% or more for the winning party.  It seems that there are more safe seats in 2015 compared to 2010.  Cartograms are useful for this kind of comparison because each seat has the same sized square and allows you to visually understand the proportions regardless of how large or small a particular seat is geographically.

Another feature of mtEleana is its historical range.  Here is a set of cartograms showing Labour Party seat placings for 1955, 1979, 1983, 2010, and 2015:






The last one for 2015 is especially interesting as it shows the Labour Party's mixed fortunes in 2015.  They gained many 2nd places due to the collapse of the Liberal Democrats, but they also lost a number of 3rd places in the south and south west due to UKIP leapfrogging them, and pushing them down a place.  The 2015 cartogram also shows the huge shift away from Labour in Scotland.

As well as changes to the maps and cartograms I also changed the diagram so you can study 2 political parties together and see how their results affect each other relative to all of the other parties.  For example here is another comparison between 2010 and 2015, comparing the Liberal Democrats and the Conservative Party:



A dot in the top right quarter is a Conservative seat, the top left a Liberal Democrat seat, and in the bottom half is a seat won by other parties.  The closer the dot is to the mid lines the more marginal it is relative to the other parties.  If a dot is close to the centre this means it is a 3 way marginal.

Here are 2 more diagrams, this time showing how UKIP support relates to Labour and Conservative seats in 2015:



Another map mode is vote share percent.  These images show the Conservative Party vote share, and the UKIP vote share for 2015.



Yellow represents 50% or more support in the seat, with darker shades for anything less, down to dark blue for 0%.

The last remaining new map mode is turnout which is illustrated here:


The darker the colour the lower the turnout.

Last, but not least, this new development version of mtEleana defaults to the Qt5 toolkit (Qt4 is still an option at compile time).  I have decided to remove the GTK+2 code as it doesn't compile any more due to changes in the mtEleana back end.  mtCellEdit and mtRaft also now default to Qt5, but they will keep the GTK+2 version for the time being, but it is officially deprecated: version 3.0 of the suite will contain no GTK+ related code at all.

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