Deprivation voter turnout methodology

In this week’s digital feature examining the link between voter turnout and deprivation, ELL looked at several different data sets.

In the lead article, we examined voter turnout for each ward in each of ELL’s boroughs, found in the Borough Council Election Results 2010, published by the Greater London Authority here. Voter turnout is calculated as the percentage of registered voters who voted in the election.

Next,  we compared the percentage voter turnout to each ward’s Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) score, as computed in the Indices of Deprivation 2010, also published by the Greater London Authority here. The GLA publishes IMD scores for each Lower Super Output Area (LSOA), which are smaller units within wards. To compare like for like, we averaged LSOA scores to come up with a single IMD score for each ward in each ELL borough.

The IMD score is calculated by taking into account seven different factors, which are all weighted differently (as indicated in parentheses below):

  • Employment (22.5%)
  • Income (22.5%)
  • Health Deprivation and Disability (13.5%)
  • Education, Skills and Training (13.5%)
  • Barriers to Housing and Services (9.3%)
  • Crime (9.3%)
  • Living Environment (9.3%)

In our more detailed voter turnout analysis found in each’s borough’s respective section (Hackney, Lewisham, Tower Hamlets, and Croydon), we dug a little deeper: we looked at voter turnout in all local elections in the past decade (data sets for 2002 and 2006 election results can be found here and here).

Although IMD scores for years previous to 2010 are available, we stuck with the 2010 data set when comparing voter turnout for 2002 and 2006 for a number of reasons. IMD data is not released every year but our assumption is that deprivation does not necessarily change over the course of a few years: if an area is deprived, it is likely to remain deprived.

By Hajera Blagg and Taku Dzimwasha

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