Library Dissertation Showcase

Exploratory analysis of the geography of elections and poverty

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2020

By comparing the impact that areas of poverty have on electoral results, specifically general elections between 1997 and 2019, across the United Kingdom, relationships can be formed. Labour’s trend of dominating poorer urban areas remains although the significance of their control was found to have dropped over time. Through the use of geographical knowledge and statistical data this study was able to find relationships between poverty and individual constituency results and nationwide trends. Exploration was made into the role that deprivation plays in an individual’s willingness to vote, the resulting turnouts at general elections, and how the political landscape changes over time, with mixed results. The use of ArcGIS allowed for visual analysis of the data, and statistical analysis such as the Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient, to form relationships between areas of poverty and electoral results. Observations from this study believe that traditional factors, such as economic stability, are waning in the influence they once had on electoral results. A rising number of residents are basing their votes off social issues, even if it impacts them negatively when it comes to their wealth and the wealth of the country. As society in the United Kingdom faces new challenges such as its exit from the European Union, politicians can no longer rely on strong economic policies alone to win over large numbers of low-income voters.

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