Referendum visualisation

Scottish referendum results

During much of 2014 we were heavily involved in the design and development of a sophisticated canvassing system that was used extensively through out the Scottish Referendum on Independence campaign.

One aspect of the Referendum project that we found of particular interest was the creation of a suite of data visualisation tools that allowed users to interrogate and interact with the canvass data. The system combined data from the electoral register for Scotland with data collected by canvassers, using both paper and mobile canvassing tools, to provide a big picture view of trends and patterns.

Unfortunately much of the data used in the project was of a sensitive nature and so we cannot share the information here. However, in order to showcase this functionality and give a taste of what is possible we thought that it might be interesting to create a post Referendum visualisaton based on data available in the public domain.

Here we combine demographic data from each Scottish council area with the official Referendum results for that area. We present two significantly different views of this data. The first, which we have termed the 'normal' distribution, is based purely on the assumption that the yes and no votes were distributed proportionately across gender and age groups. The second variation which we have termed 'poll based' utilises the same underlying demographic data but intoduces probabilities derived from numerous polls and social media surveys that took place in the week prior to the Referendum vote.

Final referendum result
% of votes
% of votes
% of electorate
Yes vs No votes
Map key