The Gujarat Election Sentimeter is Rediff’s first foray into Data Journalism.
Data journalism is the new trend in journalism where increasing
amounts of data is being assembled, processed and provided to the end users along with the tools to empower them to understand the underlying information.
In this project we have used clean, authentic election data and are presenting it to our users in an interactive way for them to understand the election outcomes under different circumstances.
What we did behind the scenes
- Assembled authentic election data dating back to 1995.
- The data includes election wins, margins, contestants from Assembly elections of 2007, 2002, 1998, 1995, Lok Sabha elections of 2009 and 2004.
- The data was extracted from multiple document formats from various sources and from English and Gujarati documents as applicable.
- On assembling and processing the data, parts that were relevant were selected and used further.
- A mathematical model was built using winning trends and winning margins from above data to come up with an overall forecast and per constituency forecast for Gujarat Elections 2012.
- The outcome per constituency from the Sentimeter could be a win for either BJP or INC (with variations of BJP Tilt and Inc Tilt) or Swing (if the outcome could go either way).
- Delimitation has changed the constituency boundaries for the 2012 assembly constituencies compared to 2007. The geographical distribution of the 2012 constituencies based on the 2007 constituencies has been factored into the Sentimeter to appropriately account for the contribution of the past results.
- The newly formed Gujarat Parivartan Party which could detract votes from BJP has been accounted for in the model.
What is presented to our users?
- The Sentimeter is presented in an interactive graphical map interface using Rediff maps to enable our users to pictorially consume the projections.
- The Sentimeter is optimized to work on desktop, ipad and mobile browsers of iphone and Android (version 2.2 and higher).
- A slider is provided to enable our users to add a BJP or Congress bias to the election projections. By sliding to the right and adding an INC bias to the projection model, a recalculated forecast is presented to the user by internally altering the winning margins in INC’s favor. This may or may not alter the final outcome of the constituencies based on its historic performance.
- The slider is intended as a tool to the end user to study the constituency behavior and patterns in the event of a favorable INC or BJP voter sentiment.
- At the per constituency level the details presented to the users are:
- The 2012 contesting candidates from the major parties
- 2012 electorate distribution
- 2007 results (for multiple constituencies in case of new delimitation)
- Rediff Editor prediction where available (Rediff veteran political journalist Sheela Bhatt has predicted the outcome for some constituencies such as Majura, Surat East, Kamrej, Katargam to name a few)
- 2009 Lok Sabha results.