A hexagon cartogram for the Australian 2016 election

Hexagon cartograms are often used for UK election results, but I haven’t seen them much in Australia. I wanted to try creating one. And I’ve added swing controls so you can model a swing to the ALP or the Coalition and watch the seats change hands.

The cartogram shows each electorate as a single hexagon, all the same size.

It aims to deal with the diverse size of Australia’s 150 federal electorates. For example Durack, in WA, is larger than all of NSW, Victoria and Tasmania combined. This creates problems in showing the results on a map: city and rural electorates can’t sensibly be shown at the same scale; and if they are, the party that wins the most rural electorates appears to dominate, even if it wins fewer electorates overall.

But there is a disadvantage: exact spatial relationships of electorates aren’t preserved. Their correct neighbours aren’t always shown, and the cities push up to the state boundaries. For example the Melbourne suburban seat of Deakin where I live is shown bordering NSW.

The two party preferred figures are those provided by the Australian Electoral Commission and Australian Parliament websites.

If you have any comments, I’d like to know what you think: drop me an email.

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