In case you weren’t aware, in the far off United Kingdom (of Great Britain and Northern Ireland), there’s an election going on.  The news are getting very excited about it, as it looks possible for a hung parliament for the first time since nineteen-canteen, with neither of the two major parties particularly loved anymore.

Anyway, on to the stats. Back in the UK, they have a first-past-the-post constituency system, which tends to favour two big parties, who get far more seats in parliament than their share of the vote deserves.  (My old lecturer, Dennis Mollison, will be arguing in Significance for a fairer system that he has long promoted and of which the Liberal Democrats are in favour.) This encourages parties to argue/pretend in each constituency that it’s a two-horse race between them and one other, and that a vote for a third party is a wasted vote.

This leads to gems of propaganda such as this


highlighted in an interesting blog by the Beeb’s Mark Easton.  He provides some more examples from the other parties.

Funny that they’d bother putting the numbers on the graphs: surely that just weakens the whole message created by the creative y-axis?