The myth of turnout

There is an almost tautological view amongst Croatian political analysts, the general public, the media, and the politicians themselves, that higher turnout benefits the left political parties, while lower turnout implies a much better electoral result for the right parties, which allegedly has a more disciplined voter base. This myth was most likely garnered after an impressive electoral victory of the left coalition in the 2000 elections, when turnout was significantly above average, but our analysis of the election results after 2000 shows that turnout does not in general affect electoral results, and that it has a minor influence only in districts which are party strongholds. In such districts the dominant party which mobilizes its support can achieve a significant electoral advantage over its opponent, which however does not necessarily have to translate into a national electoral victory.

Cartograms of election results

Election results are particularly interesting for cartograms because the land area can be in a large disparity with the population density. A normal mapping can give a false impression that a political option that preformed well in highly populated areas does not have such a good results because they cover a small land area. A cartogram, on the other hand, will clearly show the true strength of that political option. Here we provide the data for a cartogram of Croatia and a small javascript code in d3.js for utilizing this dataset in an interactive visualization.

Election forecasting for the Croatian 2015 general elections

As a part of an election coverage project initiated by the biggest daily newspaper in Croatia, Jutarnji list, we were given the opportunity to introduce, for the first time in this part of Europe, a prediction model of general elections which simultaneously uses election polls, previous election results, and a range of socio-economic data for a given electoral district.