Monday, 23 April 2012

The Front National's vote share - it's a bit more complicated....

Judging from news websites and the Today programme, the second lead story on the French presidential election is that Marine Le Pen's Front National scored its 'highest ever share of the vote', at 17.9%.  And in strict terms that it is true, if somewhat misleading.

A little digging in the 2002 results shows that there was a split in the FN vote between the old poujadiste's original FN, and the Mouvement National R├ępublicain, which split from the FN in 1999.  Le Pen polled 16.86% in 2002, while the MRN polled a further 2.34%, for a combined 19.2%.  While the MRN is / was a tad more respectable (so to speak) than the FN, there cannot be any serious argument but that the two parties were fishing in the same pool.

More fun with French stats later, probably.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Your cut out 'n' keep to London's least talented electorates

Those nice people at London Elects have been kind enough to make ward level data from the 2008 Mayoral / LA elections available, and turnout and vote share maps having been done elsewhere I've had a go at doing spoilt ballots, council by council.

Black (hello and welcome, Tower Hamlets) represents 3.2% of all first choice ballots being ineligible through mismarking, no mark etc.  Dark grey (Ealing, Brent, Newham and Barking and Dagenham) represents 2.1-3.1% ineligibility and light grey 1.1-2.0%.  Very light grey - Richmond - managed a 99% success rate and the City of London 99.6%.

Ward level data shows that the very worst figure is a 7.08% vote failure in Alperton, a ward in Brent.  if Wikipedia is to be believed, Alperton is 75% ethnic Indian and 10% ethnic Sinhalese/Tamil, so it would seem that language might be a problem.  Also at or around 1 in 20 are are Southall Green (Ealing, 5.9%), Spitalfields & Banglatown (Tower Hamlets, 5.5%), St Dunstan`s & Stepney Green (Tower Hamlets, 5.1%) Whitechapel (Tower Hamlets, 4.9%), Norwood Green (Ealing, 4.9%), Larkhall (Lambeth, 4.9%) and Kenton East (Harrow, 4.8%).

At the other end of the scale, two out of 1,312 City of London postal voters made a hash of it (0.15%), while the most talented polling station visitors were to be found in Kensington & Chelsea's Royal Hospital ward where 99.43% got it right.  Nice that the Chelsea Pensioners are keeping good company, and doubtless providing it themselves.        

Digging a little bit deeper, Alperton leads for blank ballots - 4.4% and while all of the electors of Bromley -Biggin Hill found something to mark.  Identifying oneself on the ballot paper seems to be a Lambeth vice, at 2.8% in Larkhall and 1.4% in Oval.  Over voting was big in Plaistow South (Newham) - 3.3%, Southall Green (Ealing) - 3.2% and Tottenham Hale (Haringey) - 3.1%