A general election was held in the Republic of Ireland earlier this year. The National Broadcaster, RTÉ, provided a highly useful and extremely well laid out dashboard on their website, which was active throughout the counting period. As you can see below, the primary focus of the main page of this dashboard is a map of the island of Ireland. This map has been subdivided into each of the 43 electoral constituencies, which can be clicked on for additional drill down information.
As this dashboard currently represents the final results of the election, the constituencies have been coloured to indicate which political parties gained the most first preference votes in each area. During the counting process, the constituencies were colour coded to display the various counts that were taking place – as Ireland makes use of proportional representation there were multiple counts in each region. It is also possible to use this map to view the voter turnout for the election of 2011, the first preference results of the previous election in 2007, and the voter turnout in 2007.
This dashboard also features a pie chart, which provides a party by party breakdown of first preference votes in this election. There is also a column chart displaying the percentage change per party between 2007 and 2011. The remainder of the main page of this dashboard is taken up with detailed and informative tables, providing informations on party performance, the most voted for candidates, elected candidates, newly elected candidates, independent and female candidates, and candidates who stood for election but were not re-elected.
If users click on a particular constituency they are provided with a pie chart displaying the party by party breakdown of the first preference vote for that area. They are also given a column chart with the percentage change from the last election, and the names of the elected representatives for that area, along with each person’s percentage first preference votes. There is also a highly detailed table of results, which includes every candidate and the exact number of votes they received during each count. Each constituency also had a live twitter news feed, which was included on the dashboard, and a detailed constituency profile at the bottom of the page.
Overall this dashboard was highly effective and very easy to use and understand. It provided up-to-date information about every aspect of the election and made all possible data available to the user, without being cluttered or overly complex.