How to Use the Democratic Dashboard: Northern Ireland Assembly

23 March 2016

May 5th sees a range of elections taking place over the whole of the UK. Whichever elections affect you, the Dashboard will provide you with useful information about your local area with a simple search on your laptop, mobile or tablet.

If you like, you can also explore further and find out about elections happening in other areas of the UK. If you read about an election or see a seat featured on the news, you will find it right here.

There are a few ways of using the Dashboard, depending on what you’re looking for:

1) The simplest way is to enter your postcode, or the name of your town, into the search box on the main page. You will then be brought to a page showing you your local area along with all of the different elections that are relevant to your area. To switch between elections, just click on the tabs underneath the map.

2) If you are interested in a particular election, for example the Northern Ireland Assembly elections, click on the Northern Ireland Assembly link on the right hand side of the homepage, which will then take you to an overview of these elections, with an interactive map, summary results, and, importantly a section on how the voting system in your area works. The devolved assembly elections in Northern Ireland use the Single Transferable Vote system, where you can ranks as many candidates in order of your preference as you like.

Map and Summary Box
Map and Summary Box

To find out about your constituency just find it on the main map, or click on its name in the list of voting areas. This will bring you to your constituency homepage, with a variety of information.

Regardless of which route you take, you will end up on our data page showing election information for the Devolved Assembly or Parliament election in your area. The summary box gives some basic information on your representatives and who won last time.

[The next section then gives a full graph and table for results for the last election in your area, which in Northern Ireland was 2011. Firstly you will see the results of the constituency First-Past-the-Post race, colour coded by party. After this you will see the results for the second ‘list’ vote, for the region in which your constituency sits. In Scotland, there are 8 regions, in Wales there are 5, and London is treated as one whole region in itself. So called ‘top-up seats’ are allocated within regions to parties proportionally based on their voted (explained in more detail here), and her you can find out the names of the representatives of your top up region.]

If you wish to delve further back, click on the ‘Show historical’ button in the section heading, and you can see the results going back to the first elections in 1999/2000.

Last 4 MSP Infographic and Party Spending Graph
Last 4 MSP Infographic and Party Spending Graph

Also in this section, you can find out which parties spend the most to secure your vote last time around, what your area looks like in terms of unemployment, health and religious background. You can also see how your area compares to the average in terms of age and type of housing.

If you want to find out more, at the bottom you can move on to other voting areas, and look at the overall picture of past and upcoming elections. You can also use the interactive map at the top to explore different areas, by dragging the pin, or clicking on the constituency shape.

We will be adding information on the candidates running in your area very soon, so make sure to check back. We will also have polling information and forecasts of how the election will go, as well as lots of other features. If you wish to receive updates please sign up for all the latest, at the bottom of this page.

If you have any comments or questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at democraticdashboard@gmail.com

Enjoy!