Matching vote and belief? (we love our graphs)

I’m not sure which topic suggestions for the unconference I’ll be supporting or attending – I’m considering removing the idea I have near the top of the list and promoting my lower rated one. That’s the joy of the format, what happens will only become clear on the day and will be defined by those that decide to attend.

As part of getting in the mood and seeing if a discussion could form around it I thought I’d return to an old favourite – the political compass test.

Feel free to link your result in the comments but it would be a lot more interesting if you not only noted your result but compared it to the position of the party you most recently voted for:

‘British’ Parties 2010

Irish parties 2007

Some parties aren’t listed, sorry.

Are people voting for parties that reflect their personal politics?

I’ll be first up: I didn’t vote in the last two elections but in the south I’d most closely match the Socialist Party, in the north the Greens (I would consider giving both a transfer after my ballot was spoiled 😉


  • Mack

    Similarly southwards, but east not west.

    Right libertarian..

    Irish Labour the closest Irish party still existing.
    Liberal Democrat in the UK

    Economic Left/Right: 4.25
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -3.49

  • I’m four to the left and two down.

  • Mr Crumlin

    Left authoritarian!

    Economic left/right = minus 8.39!!
    Social Lib/Auth = plus 2.87

    Me and George Galloway!! Don’t mind that after hearing his radio show on his views of Thatcher. If you haven’t heard it check it out.

    Any, voted SF last election – looks about right (I mean left)!

    Thanks Mark – good fun!

  • Mark McGregor

    SDLP then Nevin, always suspected it!

  • What eejit put the SDLP in that sector, Mark 😉

  • Driftwood

    Where are the UUP?

  • Driftwood

    *On the graph I mean*

  • Drumlins Rock

    I’ve basically landed on the cross-hairs! how balanced am I !

    I would guess the UUP would be about the middle of the blue box, or maybe a little into the red, although they could be a wee bit purple, unlikely to hit the green, athough…

  • Mark McGregor

    I know. I assumed they would fall near the Conservatives (sorry).

    How did you score Driftwood?

  • Mark McGregor

    You have no opinions on anything? I don’t believe it! Do it again and this time honestly.

  • pippakin

    Economic Left/Right = – 6.12

    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian = – 3.69

  • Driftwood

    Slightly to the right of the Tories but well down past the Lib Dems on ‘libertarian’. PJ O Rourke territory I guess.

  • Economic Left/Right: -3.88
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.92

    One up, and a few to the right of Mark.

  • joeCanuck

    Economic Left/Right: -2.75
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.87

  • fin

    Economic Left/Right: -3.12
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.90

    oh good grief one box more libertarian than the greens and only as left as the SDLP, my SF credentials are in tatters, I think it was the sex questions that done for for me

  • joeCanuck

    I suppose that should put me with the Greens. But I vote strategically and won’t vote for a candidate that I think has no chance of winning. Always vote left.

  • Reader

    One left, four down
    However: (1) Some of the questions are a test of education, not political stance, and (2) I wonder where the racism questions fit on the graph?

  • pippakin

    I don’t like the ‘Strongly agree/disagree’ option I avoided almost all of them. I think that’s what did for me.

  • lamhdearg

    Mark there is something wrong with this test, it has me 3/4 of a square two the right of the sdlp. i voted dup.

  • LG

    Economic Left/Right: -4.12
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.44

    voted SDLP in 2005 (was it?) but haven’t voted since…wouldn’t vote for them currently…

    thought about voting Green last time but was out of the jurisdiction on the day, ah well…

    (long time slugger reader/lurker – I rarely comment but this was fun – thanks Mark)

  • Alias

    Your political compass:

    Economic Left/Right: 0.38
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -0.31

    I think their algorithm is loaded to position those who strongly agree/disagree with the questions away from the centre point, so that those who don’t strongly agree/disagree can get a very different position than those who do. That’s a nonsensical result, of course, when both objectively agree and the subjectivity is irrelevant.

  • Drumlins Rock

    I did it right Mark, honest! just I seem to cancel out every extreme with an extreme the other direction, will go again and see!

  • Mark McGregor


    I really love the way you compared yourself to me and not a political party as suggested.


    Hopefully one day you will be able to vote for me.

  • Alias

    To make that a little clearer: if you agree with the question, then that agreement isn’t changed by whether you strongly disagree or not, so it is ridiculous to say I am not a right-wing liberation simply because I didn’t bother with the ‘strongly/weakly/whatever that means’ reply other than on a couple of such subjective assessments.

  • Alias

    Err, if you agree with the question, then that agreement isn’t changed by whether you strongly agree or not…

  • Alias

    “Right-wing Libertarian”

    *gives up*

  • lamhdearg


  • Alias


  • pippakin


    I think that if you simply agree with the questions instead of strongly agreeing it marks you down as somewhere to the right of Attila the Hun.

  • That’s quite telling actually!

  • Mark McGregor


    Not sure about that, I ended up to the extremes but had a lot of moderate answers as well.

    Its just a bit of craic though, only students and academics would take it seriously.

    Are you a student?

  • Alias

    While I did get into the same box as Friedman (Right/Libertarian), I only just scraped in. My point was that I don’t see how having a ‘strong’ opinion (whatever that means) alters that opinion whereas the algorithm relies heavily on it. If you are of the opinion that all gay couples should not adopt children, then what does it matter if you are ‘strongly’ of that opinion or not? The opinion isn’t in any way altered, so why should the position be? I don’t think you need to me a student to make that observation, so it’s probably just as well that you didn’t set the questions or configure the algorithm.

  • anne warren

    Shock! Gasp! Horror!
    I’m a left wing libertarian!
    Like Mark!
    Oh to see ourselves as others see us!

  • lamhdearg

    Pip in use the saying just to the right of genghis khan to discribe myself. and this test has me in the splp.

  • joeCanuck

    Not sure that I agree with you. In real life, disagreeing with the “system” might lead you to vote to change it, strongly disagreeing might lead some to take up arms.

  • smellybigoxteronye

    These tests seem a lot of nonsense. My result was almost exactly that of where the SDLP are on your compass. Problems with this are:
    1. Most of the time when the SDLP talk about economic or social issues I think they are talking complete and utter b*ll*cks!
    2. I am a Unionist!

  • lamhdearg

    describe, also i can not spell.

  • Alias

    Perhaps, Joe, since some folks do bomb abortion clinics, but I suspect that psychopathy is the factor there rather than opinions.

  • Drumlins Rock

    came out more or less the same mark, just a wee bit to the libiterian side this time.

  • Alias

    Just to add that most folks that are pro-life do not bomb abortion clinics, and their failure to bomb said clinics does not indicate that they’re not pro-life or are not “strongly” pro-life.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Alias your bang in the centre too.

  • joeCanuck

    As Mark pointed out, it’s just a bit of craic and not to be taken seriously.

  • Aldamir

    The tenor of the questions suggest that the test was written by a student lefty whose understanding of right wing or conservative politics was non-existent.

  • smellybigoxteronye

    agree – would generally see myself as more to the so-called “right”, but came out to the left.

  • Mark McGregor

    What I find really odd about this test is most ‘mainstream’ parties are on the top side of the line and the majority of them are on the right.

    Next to no one answering declares a result in the top right quarter.

    So are people not admitting what they really feel, voting for parties that don’t really represent them, is the quiz wrong or other?

    I have a feeling a lot of people vote for parties with policies they instinctively disagree with and everyone should really be voting Green/Socialist/SDLP.

    Seriously! (not really)

  • An Ceide

    Economic Left/Right: -4.12
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -2.97

    Maybe I’m backing the wrong green horse?

    This just shows that most of us follow the colours of our tribe rather than our own individual social/moral compass.

  • Alias

    What we need is a cunning test that tries to position folks on the nationalist/unionist side. We could then rig it to make sure that unionists came away with a new vision of themselves as actually being committed to a united Ireland, and would thereafter vote according to the revelation rather than the meme.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Mark I think their positioning of the parties is totally off, but it does seem to skewer the personal opinions to the left so to speak, we need to Turgon to try it and see what he gets!

  • Rory Carr

    How the hell did the Greenies get in the Left/Libertarian sector? Don’t tell me some idiots actually believe what they say. Look what happened to all those poor suckers in Britain who took the LibDems at their word (and I’d been warning them for years.)

    The objective reality of the Greens, should they ever obtain authority, would be right, authoritarian…and then some. Their natural allies in such a situation would be the BNP and UKIP.

    Don’t believe me? watch this space.

  • smellybigoxteronye

    maybe it’s actually because it’s an US website where they’ve defined their definition of “right” as that of the US nutjob right!

    And we all know how restricted US knowledge of the rest of the world is, hence, making all the “international” compass results completely inaccurate.

  • pippakin

    I did it again changing my answers from agree/disagree to strongly agree/disagree.

    Economic Left/Right = – 8.8

    Social libertarian/authoritarian = – 7.64

  • anne warren

    Actually I do tend to believe you Rory. Whatever the positive messages of the green agenda, it was always sold as a sort of eco-terrorism
    You personally are killing the planet if you don’twalk, cycle, recycle, pick through your rubbish, give your children cardboard egg packets to play with, pay through the nose for “organic” food, adopt an earnest expression and tolerate no dissension from self-imposed rules.

  • lamhdearg

    Lets all do it again, this time as ruler of the world/god.

  • lamhdearg

    If you hold a buttercup (small yellow flower) under your chin and your chin reflects/turns yellow you like butter, ? is this a more scientific test.

  • pippakin


    I was curious to see the difference.

    And I have a feeling the buttercup test works better.

  • Alias

    No, it either means you have jaundice or there is something very odd about you (I’d go with the latter option).

  • slappymcgroundout

    They claim that I am:

    economic = -1.38
    social = – 0.05

    Should have been a politician, as I’ve apparently got the center position pretty much nailed down. At least according to the deluded souls who maintain the site in question. And they must be deluded, as I don’t really see Alias and I being all that close in our politics, though our scores are closer to each other than they are to the scores of most of the rest of you all.


    “The tenor of the questions suggest that the test was written by a student lefty whose understanding of right wing or conservative politics was non-existent.”

    Read their one FAQ. They are well over there on the left.
    To take but the one example, note their use of “progressive” in describing certain Nordic lands. So they’re rather leftist, as no one on the right uses the term “progressive” in reference to third persons. We only use that term to describe those persons calling themselves “progressive” and we don’t mean to say that they are actually “progressive”, as we usually use the term to be dismissive or downright insulting.

  • lamhdearg

    Charming.…/free-range-anchor-buttercups/ – Cached

  • Ian Paisely

    Slightly to the right of Atilla the Hun.

  • Rory Carr

    My score was unsurprisingly:

    Economic Left/Right: -9.00
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.64

    but how the hell the Dalai Lama got into my vector I shall never know. He probably got lost and should replace his spectacles.

  • Rory Carr

    I find that, for the most part, those attracted to the Green agenda strike me as being those who gave up repressive religion when it became uncomfortably unfashionable but never quite lost that holier-than-thou attitude, your-all-sinners- but me- the saved, the righteous.

    Sometimes I wish they’d all just get born again, again so that they could spend their time harmlessly writing letters to the local paper denouncing short skirts and rock ‘n’ roll and bad behaviour as portrayed in The Bash Street Kids and such.

    Mind you, looking at the prices of the toys the grandchildren are clamouring for as Christmas presents, I’m open to persuasion on the egg-box front.

  • Daithi

    Economic Left/Right: -7.62
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -7.33

    Think the SF position is off the mark there though. You should run the test through from a SF party policy perspective Mark and see where it lands as I think the website owner is off the mark when it comes to parties here in the north.

  • just sayin’

    … and its PJ O’Rourke for me! (7.50/ -2.36)

  • Coll Ciotach

    Two Left One Up – between Plaid and The SNP.

  • Rory Carr

    Who’s bombing the abortion clinics then, pro-choice advocates ?

  • bemused

    economic left/right -9.00
    libertarian/authoritarian -6.92

    Uh, let’s be clear about the Socialist Party of Ireland. It’s a Trotskyist party. Trotsky was a Leninist who had no hesitation about helping to set up a brutal dictatorship (one which, of course, failed to show him the gratitude he had earned). Trots often work within social-democratic parties, but that does not make them social libertarians. If a terrible hallucination ever came true and the Trots were in charge, we social democrats would be right up against the wall with the anarchists and the liberals on day one. The SPI does not belong in that quadrant of the graph any more than that god-king the Dalai Lama does.

  • Mainland Ulsterman

    Economic Left/Right: -3.5
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.5

    So I’m in the libertarian left, apparently. In reality I’m a Labour supporter these days on the mainland (and was UUP in Northern Ireland until the Tory link-up). I don’t like the actual libertarian left much because I think they are often naive, but we probably do share a lot of values. I’d just be a bit more hard-headed about security issues than them (due to experience of growing up in NI).

    I’d really doubt where the graph says Labour are, I’d have them as closer to my position, not in the top right quadrant. I actually voted Lib Dem but I am horrified by their lurch to the right. So the graph may well have me about right.

    I think it has Sinn Fein nowhere near as authoritarian as it really is – I mean, a party where the upper echelons have all come through a paramilitary hierarchy?

  • abucs

    Economic Left/Right: -3.75
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -2.41

    Puts me in the Left Liberterian quadrant although i would not put myself there voluntairly because i feel the people who call themselves ‘left liberal’ are really dressed up authoritarians pretending to be inclusive.

  • bemused

    now slappy, I don’t think that people who call themselves small-c conservative are really conservative. An economy that is anything but totally dependent on the state would be unlike anything that the world has ever seen before, so they are radicals, not conservatives. But, since they call themselves conservatives, I use that term in order to be understood.

    I don’t think Muslims are really “submitting to God” either, I think they are practicing a superstition. The Catholic church is not really all that catholic, and Protestantism doesn’t do much protesting, except in the US where they are offended by education and science. But I use all those terms in order to be understood. You might not think people who call themselves progressives are really progressive, but at some point we all have to agree to some kind of linguistic conventions.