Edmonton Election 2010: Visualizing Results by Polling Station

Ever wonder where the candidates in last month’s municipal election received the most support? Which parts of the city supported which mayoral candidates? After seeing the maps that were created for Calgary’s top three mayoral candidates, I wondered about the same kind of thing here. Local software developer Josh Kjenner was also interested, and he has been busy visualizing the results by polling station ever since.

Josh wrote an application called Metroview for the City of Edmonton’s Apps4Edmonton competition, a project which he spent about 60 hours on. The tool is implemented in Processing, a programming language and environment that Josh called “a really really intense Java library.” He returned to the project after the City of Edmonton released the final election results by polling station, and spent another 20 hours or so improving it. Josh told me the biggest challenge he faced was conditioning the KML files from the open data catalogue (a common challenge that open data developers face…getting the data and the tools/technology working together).

The result is an interactive application that lets you visualize candidate support and other data on a map of Edmonton.

Here are a few of the data visualizations you can see in Josh’s metroview yegvote 2010 app (requires Java).

Eligible voters versus voter turnout:

Support for Stephen Mandel:

Support for David Dorward:

Support for Daryl Bonar:

You can see that Mandel received most of his support from the south part of the city, while Dorward received the most support from the north part. You can use the metroview tool to see similar results for every ward, public school ward, and catholic school ward too.

Thanks Josh for creating this tool! This is another great example of what can be created when the data is open and available.

UPDATE: It should be noted that you can’t really compare Mandel’s graph to Dorward’s. A dark area in Mandel’s is not equivalent to a dark area in Dorward’s, for example, because of the difference in the number of overall votes that each candidate received. The colors on each graph are in relation to the other areas on that graph for that candidate only. If you look at Josh’s app, you get the raw values as you hover over each area, and you can choose absolute instead of relative for the drawing mode.

Edmonton Election 2010: Final Mayoral Forum Recap

Last night was the second and final mayoral forum, held at Eastglen School. It was extremely well-attended, so much so that the overflow seating was all gone shortly after the event began at 7pm (estimates put the total attendance at around 600). Dozens of people stood at the back of the theatre and in the lobby throughout the entire evening. There were large sections of supporters in the audience, most wearing t-shirts for their respective candidates.

Mayoral Forum

It was an evening full of surprises, heated discussion, and some comedy (perhaps unintentional). When Stephen Mandel delivered his opening remarks, he was greeted with boos and jeers from people in the audience who support his rivals. It would happen throughout the night. Probably the biggest surprise came when Andrew Lineker stood up to deliver his opening remarks. He accused David Dorward of stealing his platform, said Daryl Bonar had no platform, and finished with “this forum for myself is done” before he stormed out. Bob Ligertwood delivered a meandering and off-topic opening address, while Dave Dowling talked about democracy. Dan Dromarsky was strong all evening, and made a good impression with his opening statement. Daryl Bonar presented himself as the alternative to Dorward and Mandel, saying he was “beholden to no one but voters”.

Here are some of the more memorable quotes from the forum:

  • “Vote for the future of Edmonton.” – Mandel
  • “I’m Dan Dromarsky and I can count to seven.” – Dromarsky in response to Dowling suggesting there were only four viable candidates
  • “Being your mayor will be a tremendous challenge, no doubt.” – Dorward
  • “I would definitely support an inquiry, if not a criminal investigation.” – Dowling on EPCOR
  • “That’s a lot of plebiscites.” – Dromarsky commenting on Dowling’s love of direct democracy
  • “Closing the City Centre Airport was a vote against your democratic rights.” – Ligertwood
  • “I grew up in social housing. It doesn’t work.” – Bonar
  • “Our city is at a crossroads, make no mistake about it.” – Bonar
  • “The winds of change are upon us.” – Dorward
  • “We should be experts at snow removal, but the sad thing is, we’re not.” – Dromarsky
  • “We need to place needs before wants.” – Dromarsky
  • “It would be the biggest mistake we’ll make in our lifetimes.” – Ligertwood on the Downtown Arena
  • “We’ve found creative solutions and we’ve moved forward – all of us.” – Mandel
  • “I Dave Dowling…” – Dowling

There wasn’t much time for questions, which was unfortunate. I also thought it was odd that the first question came from Ward 6 candidate Adil Pirbhai. The candidates were surprisingly brief with most of their answers.

Mayoral ForumMayoral Forum

As is so often the case nowadays, Twitter played a role in the event. From 6pm to 10pm last night, there were 1225 tweets posted using the #yegvote hashtag or one of the candidates’ names. There has been consistent chatter on Twitter over the last couple of weeks, but the forum really stood out:

Here’s a wordle of those tweets, with only the #yegvote hashtag removed:

And here’s a wordle with the candidates, #yegvote, and Twitter names removed:

It doesn’t come out as clearly as I thought it might, but the key issues last night included the City Centre Airport, the EPCOR deal, LRT expansion, and transparency.

Here are all the tweets, from oldest to newest:

Hopefully that’s useful as you prepare to vote on Monday. You can read the Edmonton Journal’s recap here. Here’s the CBC’s recap. The recorded webcast will be available here shortly. Stay tuned to the Election centre on ShareEdmonton for updates, including live results on election night!