I’ve posted before about plotting the make-up of local council committees as treemaps using data from OpenlyLocal (e.g. Council Committee Treemaps From OpenlyLocal) to generate views such as this:
I also posted recently about scraping election data from Lichfield Council (Screenscraping With Google Spreadsheets App Script and the =importHTML Formula), again prompted by work @countculture is doing around local government (Introducing the Open Election Project: tiny steps towards opening local elections).
Anyway, here’s how the votes were placed according to that most recent batch of Lichfield elections:
The size of the blocks is determined by the number of votes cast in each ward for that party. Where several candidates stood from the same party, their votes in that ward are totalled for the treemap view. Where there was no need for an election, I used a notional 100 votes for the co-opted candidates.
Comparing the treemaps allows you to compare(?!) the votes cast by citizens per party per ward with the number of votes each party has in each local council committee… That is, the charts show a mapping from how votes cast by citizens across a council area get translated to votes castable by elected representatives in local council committees.
Next step is to do a view that shows votes by candidate in each ward. To get a feeling for what that would look like (though without the party related colouring), see the following Many Eyes Wikified generated treemap:
Now if only the Guardian Politics API included data about all the votes cast in each constituency at the last election….. @jaggeree…?;-)