Introducing the ERS General Election Results Hub

Doug Cowan, Head of Digital

Posted on the 9th December 2019

Every general election, sites like the BBCGuardian and Telegraph present live updates of the general election results as they roll in. Yet, despite having the data in front of you, it’s often hard to see the warping effect of our broken voting system.

In 2017, the Conservatives gained vote share but lost seats, while the precise opposite happened to the Liberal Democrats. Not that you’d know from coverage that focused on the seats each party won –  rather than the votes we all actually cast.

That means, so often with results coverage, the obvious flaws in Westminster’s voting system aren’t immediately apparent.

We want to shine a light on this – so we’ve built our own website, with the generous support of hundreds of members and supporters, where you’ll be able to watch the results come in live.

mock up of ERS dashboard

Every constituency will have a page with the winner, the full results, the number of voters who didn’t vote for their MP, the turnout and the constituency's ranking in terms of smallest majority and smallest share of the vote needed to win.

The stark difference between votes and seats will be readily apparent. Parties that lose votes but gain seats will be obvious. The vast difference between the number of votes per MP will be front and centre, with live infographics for sharing.

But, we’ve gone deeper. Over the night, the site will update live with stats from across the UK broken down into the nation and region level.

Every party is hit by winner-takes-all voting in some areas, while unfairly benefiting in others. Sometimes this averages out UK-wide: but Labour voters knowing they have more MPs than their vote share deserves in the North East is little comfort to rural Labour voters feeling voiceless in parts of the South West.

mock up of ERS dashboard

The results in terms of votes and seats can be broken down to the nations and regions of the UK

We’ll be working out the top 10 seats smallest margins of victory and the smallest share of vote needed to win, as they come in.

And there’ll be much more. For example, each constituency result will show the number of voters unrepresented, and the constituency’s ranking for the smallest margin of victory.

When you talk to people from outside politics, they often think that seats automatically match how the public vote. The idea that if more people vote for a party nationally, that party will win more seats or that the majority of people voted for the government are common. With the ERS’ General Election Results Hub, we’re putting the flaws of our voting system at the centre of election night.

Make sure you bookmark the page now, or sign up to our mailing list and we’ll email you when results start to come out:

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