26 Mar 2015
With the 2015 General Election just over a week away, I thought I'd read through the manifestos of the various parties, to try and help me decide who should get my vote.
After an embarrassingly short period of time, I got bored and decided to make them into pretty pictures instead. Click on any image below to see the full size version.
Most of you will have seen word clouds before, but in case you're one of those who haven't: the bigger the word, the more times it appears in that manifesto.
As this is a developer blog, I'll mention a few technical bits and pieces: I used PDFMiner to extract the raw text from the manifesto PDF files, then knocked together a Python script and a list of stop words to clean up and process the text data. The word clouds themselves are rendered using Tim Chien's wordcloud2.js.
The order in which the illustrations appear does not indicate my voting preference, or my support for any one party over the others*. I can assure you that these illustrations have not been artificially manipulated, but if you'd like to check that, feel free to download my code along with the manifestos and give it a try yourself.
These results are not in any way scientific, or arguably even very useful. Nor do they accurately reflect the parties' policies (although I think we can see pretty clearly where Plaid Cymru are going with theirs). They are, however, quite interesting.
*UKIP are a bunch of idiots, though.
© Mark Ashley Bell 2023