Another World is Inevitable: Mapping UK General Elections

Another World is Inevitable: Mapping UK General Elections

The Annual Political Studies Association Lecture given by Danny Dorling in The British Library, London, November 28th. Introduced by Carolyn Quinn

A talk that concentrates on the very recent past and especially on the 2015 general election. There is also speculation about what the future may hold, not just in terms of new political mapping techniques but in the much wider range of possible electoral outcomes we should consider as being plausible. The outcomes of the two recent Labour leadership contests, the Brexit vote, and the US presidential election all make it easier to now argue that the future is not certain, but the 2015 general election result also showed that before all of these more recent events. No one should have said that the next UK general election was now a forgone conclusion.

Rather like meteorologists, political scientists have a tendency to use recent events to predict the political weather. However, if and when the climate changes, what was once thought to be impossible becomes reality. From choosing which colours to use to depict a growing range of parties on the map, through to how we might depict uncertainly in our predictions, we have many choices to make when it comes to how we analyse elections and show the changing political geography that they reveal.

Are we ready to entertain the possibility of rapid change? Eventually everything always changes. At some times change comes quickly. This is an illustrated lecture about maps, but hopefully the descriptions of what is being shown on the screen work, to some extent, without the actual images being there!

If you are interested in seeing some of the maps described in the audio above, then a few are shown in the video below of an earlier lecture given in July 2016 shortly after the result of the June 23rd 2016 EU referendum was announced:

Danny Dorling: A better Politics: how government can make us happier and healthier, The 10th annual Julian Tudor Hart Lecture, Cardiff University School of Social Sciences, Cardiff, July 7th. An early reaction to the vote to leave the EU, among other issues.