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Political Monitor: Mid-Term Review

Political Monitor: Mid-Term Review
Datafizz

Interactive version

Political Monitor: Mid-Term Review


Ipsos MORI’s mid-term polling review brings together our trends in public opinion between 2010 and 2012. Our Political Monitor tracks key political measures such as voting intention, satisfaction with the government and the three party leaders, and economic optimism. This site allows you to easily see the changes since the Coalition formed in May 2010.

But this data visualisation doesn’t stop there. By aggregating all of our polling over this period we wanted to make it as easy as possible for everyone interested in political polling to dig deeper into the data - seeing the trends in voting intention by gender, age, social class and region; satisfaction ratings among party supporters; and public opinion on other key political issues since the election.

As regular poll-watchers will know, when looking at polling it is important to think about the underlying trends and changes (or not) in the direction of opinion, rather than focussing on one specific poll here or there. Sometimes these changes are the beginnings of real shifts in opinion – such as happened after the 2012 Budget. However, often change from one poll to another is just “noise”, and therefore looking at the long-term trend is most powerful, and most useful in understanding public opinion.

At Ipsos MORI we are committed to sharing understanding of our research and of public opinion as widely as possible, in the belief that this makes for a better informed debate.



Tom Warren

Designer's Note

by Tom Warren

 

Political Monitor is perhaps Ipsos MORI’s most famous poll, but had only had the PowerPoint treatment until as late as 2011. At the start of 2012 we gave it a makeover by releasing an infographic to show its data every month. The response was hugely positive, with it being picked up by the Evening Standard and used on the Sky News app. But it didn’t stop there. An infographic is a picture in time, it’s a one off and once you’ve seen it and absorbed everything it has to offer, it’s out of date. So what’s next? You have to give people the chance to interact with the data so that every time they see it, it shows something different. Every visit becomes a unique experience.

This way of showing data is becoming increasingly popular so we needed to join in.

Muse is a new tool from Adobe which allows designers to create websites without having to code, to create interactive web content which is compatible with mobiles and tablets (Muse itself uses HTML5 and JavaScript code, not Flash!). For someone like me, who is predominantly a user interface designer with some basic coding knowledge, Muse is perfect as it will do most of the heavy coding for me, while I concentrate on the layout and interface.

In the background, I am also calling on Google Docs to draw the charts for me. Google Docs uses spreadsheets and a chart engine similar to Microsoft Office to output HTML charts, which I can then insert onto my page, which means that in the future someone can simply access the Google Docs spreadsheet to update the charts live on the site.

Moving forwards, Muse has so much potential for us to output clean, well thought-out, interactive content which can talk to our extensive archive of data! I can’t wait to dig a little deeper to find out how else it can push us forward.

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