Explainer: Polling Booth Vote Share Shift Map
A visual representation of how votes have shifted at the polling booth level for each party, and for the BSP+SP+RLD alliance, over the last two elections (2014 and 2017).
Elections are won and lost at the polling booth. There is little point in talking about vote share shifts at the national, state or even constituency level when trying to understand shifts in voter sentiment. The one village that feels ignored, the one pradhaan who feels obliged, the one station office who has made life miserable — it’s the little things that decide whether people even go to the polling booth or not and who they vote for.
Much of our analysis is a function of signals and data at the polling booth level. This map is a simple example: it shows the shift in vote share between the 2014 parliament election and the 2017 assembly election. We have mapped this shift by co-relating the two types of polling booths.
A blue dot means the vote share went up, a red dot means it went down — the intensity of the colour gives you a sense of how much it went up, or down, by. You can click on a dot to know the name of the polling booth, and the parliamentary constituency and assembly constituency it belongs to, along with the actual change value.
By using the menu in the top-left corner, you can choose between vote share shifts for the BJP, the Congress, the SP, the BSP and we have calculated a combined SP+BSP shift as well.
This map is a great example of the kind of data transformations we are capable of, and the scale we can operate at.
These notes are an experiment in data-driven points of view. We are immersing ourselves in information screens and data patterns and allowing ourselves to connect dots. We emerge to write a note — like the one you’re reading — which is our best understanding at a given moment in time. We believe ourselves to be correct in the moment, but are happy to be proven wrong. In either case we learn and improve.