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Al’s Blog

Old House Results Maps IV: West Virginia 1972-2006

March 29th, 2008 by Al


Old House Results Maps III: Pennsylvania 1992-2006

March 20th, 2008 by Al

Old House Results Maps II: Georgia 1982-2004

March 20th, 2008 by Al

One more thing; the maps come without initial comment by me. I might comment on them later and I’ve no objection to people using leaving their own comments about them here (quite the reverse actually).

Old House Results Maps I: the Introduction and Key

March 20th, 2008 by Al

A while ago I made a load of maps of old House of Representative elections (outline maps taken from all over the place; quite a few from this very site actually) and I made a few more recently (when I wasn’t very well and couldn’t concentrate on any real work but felt like doing something other than spending all day in bed) and thought I might as well put them up here. Pennsylvania and Georgia first. But before that, the key;

The maps will be by percentage majority (or percentage lead if you prefer). Mistakes (both in the maps and in the way the results be shown on them) are possible, sadly.

How accurate are official results? Part I

February 14th, 2008 by Al

The following anecdote is from an excellent little book (actually a collection of essays) of Irving Howe’s (“Socialism and America”) and concerns the 1932 Presidential election:
“Harry Fleischman, a socialist leader, tells a story, not at all unusual, about serving as poll watcher in a Bronx district. When the votes were counted, there were six for the Communist Party, and since no communist watcher was present, the Republican and Democratic local agents proposed that the six votes be split equally among the three parties. Good democrat that he was, Fleischman indignantly refused. Later it occured to him that if he hadn’t been there the socialist vote might also have been “redistributed”.

Official results for the Bronx in 1932:

  1. F. Roosevelt, D, 281,330
  2. H. Hoover, R, 76,587
  3. N.Thomas, Socialist, 31,247
  4. W.Foster, Communist, 8,829
  5. V. Reynolds, Socialist Labor, 1,926

New Hampshire town maps

January 15th, 2008 by Al

Just noticed that Dave has uploaded town-level maps of the recent New Hampshire primaries. It’s worth comparing the results of the 2008 Democratic primary with those of the 2004 Democratic primary:

Clintonia Kerryland

While there are certainly similar patterns in both maps (Dean and Obama both did well on the border with Vermont, Clinton and Kerry both did well on the border with Massachusetts), there are some significant differences. I would go so far as to say that the differences are significant enough to indicate that the social basis of support for the top two candidates in 2008 was, at least in part, quite different to the social basis of support for the top two candidates in 2004.

Iowa Maps (pre-caucus)

January 1st, 2008 by Al

With the Iowa caucus now almost upon us, ’tis perhaps time to give local politics in Wales a break and look instead to, well, Iowa. First maps (by, of course, Dave) show past caucus results, just to get into the mood of things:



First map shows the 2000 GOP primary, second 2000 Dem, third 2004 Dem. Next some demographic maps (from 2000 census and surveys and so on)…

The general idea is that comparing the results (when they come in) with the above maps might give us an early indication of the sort of people each candidate has real appeal to. And now, to bed.

EDIT: 1. % employed in primary industries (read: agriculture), 2. % ” ” manufacturing, 3. ” ” finance and so on, 4. % in the public sector, 5. % managerial/professional, 6. % with degrees, 7. median hh income, 8. strength of Evangelical churches, 9. strength of Roman Catholic church.

And now to bed.

Municipal Elections in Wales II

December 23rd, 2007 by Al

Part II will be rather short, but is, I think, important regardless. The following maps, though just the tip of the iceberg, give a good indication of the class and cultural makeup of each local government area and should be compared with the maps of the 2004 elections in the previous post:

Things are, of course, even more diverse (both demographically and electorally) within each UA. More on that later.

Municipal Elections in Wales, Part I

December 16th, 2007 by Al

One of the most important dates in Welsh politics is 1868, the year of the first General Election since the 1867 Reform Act and the year in which the alliance of Nonconformity, rural radicals and elements of the bourgeois that called itself the Liberal Party ended centuries of domination by an overbearing Tory squirearchy.

While it’s common to think of the Liberals as being the Party of Wales between this date and the end of the First World War, Liberal domination didn’t extend to the whole country; rural Anglicans never felt at all comfortable with the new Liberal order (nor did most feel especially Welsh) and continued to vote Tory by massive margins, while those elements of the South Wales bourgeois that strongly supported the Liberals in 1868 drifted to the right as the Liberals drifted, somewhat, to the left. A consequence of this was the fact that the Tories had a strong machine of their own in parts of Wales, based around alcohol, Anglicanism and (in Monmouthshire at least) Englishness, something that helped to effectively institutionalise a pattern of opposing, but not really competing as the Liberals couldn’t win in Tory areas and vice versa, political machines. This pattern survived the dramatic rise of Labour after the First World War and the rather less dramatic rise of seperatist Nationalism during the 1960′s and continues to be one of the most crucial, and most interesting, features of politics in Wales.

The pattern is, perhaps obviously, easiest to see in municipal elections. The map below shows the percentage of the vote polled by each party in the 2004 municipal elections:

The map doesn’t give much of an indication of machines within parties (the parochial divisions within Labour in parts of South Wales are especially important) and don’t reflect voting patterns in other elections that well (much of the rural independent vote is Tory in other elections, Labour has a significant vote in Anglesey, unopposed returns are common in agricultural areas and not really rare in ex-mining wards and so on and so forth), but it is, nonetheless, a useful illustration of the links between local machines and local class and interest groups.

Labour is, of course, strongest in traditional working class areas (especially in former mining districts), Independents dominate local politics in agricultural areas (note that independents, admittedly often of various different hues, polled over 60% in the three most rural authorities) while also doing well in some working class areas (often based around exploiting parochial sentiment), Plaid has its strongholds in areas with a high proportion of Welsh speakers (but also in some working class areas where they have formed a curious opposition to entrenched Labour machines since the 1960′s; I say curious as in opposition Plaid machines have tended to attack Labour machines with left-wing rhetoric but, on those rare occasions when Plaid take control of a working class local authority, have tended to govern in a highly conservative manner), the Tories poll best in the belt of Cardiff commuterland that stretches from the English border to Bridgend (but do well in other suburban areas), while the LibDems function as a party of the urban middle class in cities like Cardiff or Swansea, while being dependent on a very different section of the electorate in Mid Wales. The Greens are not of any significance in Welsh politics yet, but may be at some point and have been included as well. In addition to all that, various local parties are strong in some authorities.

Coming soon… the relationship between this sort of thing and census figures.

First Post

December 13th, 2007 by Al