Sunday, May 27, 2018

Repeal the 8th Referendum Results Maps

Ireland has voted overwhelmingly to overturn its ban on abortions. With a two-thirds majority the yes vote won a referendum to abolish the 8th amendment of the Irish constitution, an amendment which has made abortions illegal in Ireland. The Irish government has now promised to overturn the ban and allow legal terminations by the end of the year.

The Irish Times has created a simple interactive choropleth map which effectively shows the landslide victory for the 'Yes' vote across nearly the whole of Ireland. The Irish Times Referendum Results map uses just two colors (blue for 'Yes' and red for 'No') to show the overall result in each constituency. Using only two colors for the map's choropleth color ramp is an effective way to visualize how every single constituency in the country, apart from Donegal, had a majority voting 'Yes'.

Of course there were various levels of support for the 'Yes' vote in the different constituencies. The Irish Times map shows this by allowing users to hover over each constituency to see the percentage of 'Yes' and 'No' votes. The map also has the option to look a little more closer at the 'Yes' and 'No' votes in each constituency. Click on the 'Yes %' or 'No %' buttons and more color stops are added to the color palette to give an overall view of the percentage of 'Yes' and 'No' voters in each constituency.

The Guardian's choropleth map of the referendum results uses more colors. Under 50%, or a no vote, is shown in red. So Donegal still stands out on the map as the only constituency where a majority voted 'No'. The Guardian's use of 6 colors to show the different percentages for voting 'Yes' reveals that constituencies in Dublin (the cut-out map) were most strongly in favor of repealing the 8th.

It is a little too simplistic to say that support for the 'Yes' vote almost radiates out from Dublin but the map does show a small trend for support for the 'Yes' vote to fall away a little the further a constituency is from the capital. However there are probably too many outliers to this general trend to give it too much significance.

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