Election 97

VRML animation
New dimensions

Add a third dimension to your understanding of the 1997 general election - load up some of our VRML worlds and find out where the votes really were. VRML by Albedo Systems Ltd.

These 3D maps employ Virtual Reality Modelling Language to show the true concentrations of votes in the UK - each constituency is coloured according to the winning side, but a third dimension has been employed to show the density of people voting in that seat - therefore the volume of each constituency bar is proportional to the total votes cast there. If you'd like to go straight to the VRML, click on the map or text links here... (If you are confused, read on.)

Regional imagemap East Anglia

The East Midlands

The North

North West England


South East England

South West England


The West Midlands

Yorkshire & Humberside

Wales VRML If you've never encountered VRML, never fear. Take a look at our help page, which will tell you all you need to know to get started. But here's a quick summary of the situation - if your browser is...

Netscape 3: You should have no difficulty loading our VRML pages, since this carries the necessary plug-in, Live 3D Version 1.0. Note, however, that Live 3D is ever changing, and you may wish to download Netscape's latest version of Live3D 1.0 or their beta version of Live 3D 2.0, a VRML 2.0 plug-in with which these maps should work very well.

Minimal Netscape 3: If you have downloaded this cut-down version to save line time, you will now need to download the Live 3D 1.0 plug-in from Netscape.

Netscape 2 or earlier: See minimal Netscape 3.

Internet Explorer: Microsoft's VRML add-in for Explorer is now available as a download from the Microsoft site. Based on Intervista Worldview, it is slightly faster than Netscape's plug-ins, but this is offset by the crudity of its rendering.

Any other browser: Well, and this goes for everyone, take heart, there are more options around than simply those provided by Netscape and Microsoft - many stand-alone VRML browsers actually offer the best performance. Watch the links section on our help page for more info.

A broad range of views
You are welcome to use screen captures of our VRML worlds on your site, or in your publication, provided that you credit Albedo Systems Ltd - and, in the case of the web, include a link to this site.

Conventional flat maps of British elections suffer from a fatal flaw - they can show what areas voted in each party, but they offer no inkling of the true size of the constituency units in population terms. The result is particularly chastening for Labour supporters - the nation appears as a mass of Tory blue, with a few tiny concentrations of red. Those tiny red blobs, however, represent great swathes of the UK population. Britain was the first country in the world to move away from a primarily agrarian economy, and it is still one of the most urbanised in the world, especially when compared with other European countries and the United States.

The VRML worlds depicted here will correct that view. Each constituency is coloured according to the party that would probably have won in 1992:

Red: Labour
Blue: Conservative
Yellow: Liberal Democrat
Green: Nationalist (Scottish Nationalist in Scotland, Plaid Cymru in Wales)
Dark green: Independent

Each constituency is represented as a bar, where the height represents the density of electors in that division. This makes for a volumetric map - the volume of an area is proportional to the total numbers of votes cast in that area.