About The Author

Hi. I'm Helen Belcher.

I've had an interest in election results since I was little. As a child, I was interested in maths, maps and history. Around the age of 10, I discovered elections. 1974 was an exciting year for them, with two general elections.

I've been collecting reference works and data of all sorts of types since 1980, as well as drawing huge maps and writing out sets of index cards. The advent of the internet meant that even more information was at hand. My wife despairs quite regularly!

However, as anyone who works in this area knows, there is conflicting information out there, as well as some which is incorrect. I realised quite early on that the best solution would be to develop a database which allowed for the massive complexity in the UK parliamentary electoral system - coping with multi-member seats, by-elections, boundary changes and petitions. One of the stalwarts in the area - F W S Craig - was reported to have been annoyed when elections happened, as it meant that his books needed updating. By its nature, politics is dynamic, so the collection of results and associated biographical information will continue as long as politics does.

Part of my motivation was to build a dynamic system which could be used for analysis and, ultimately, prediction. Well, it just adds to the excitement. I can remember being very disappointed in 1992 when, plugging the results from the BBC's exit poll into my rudimentary system, I came up with exactly the same seat projection as the BBC. In 2015 I developed a rudimentary system which used socio-economic data for the first time, and predicted the result seemingly more accurately than most of the opinion polls did. My model actually had the Liberal Democrats losing all of their seats, so I manually adjusted it to predict 16 - which turned out to be double what they actually got.

I am a systems analyst by training - I qualified in the mid 1980s with a maths and computing degree - so have been developing different forms of application since I got my first computer in the mid 1980s. What you see here is the latest incarnation, which I first started developing around 2004. The underlying database actually contains more information than I've made publicly available, EU elections as an example. The difficulty is working out how to present some of it. I'm also working on adding election results going back to 1660 (in the first instance), as well as elections to the Scottish and Welsh Parliaments.

One of the things which sets me apart from most of the other collators of this information, is that I'm now in my own database. You'll find me in the Chippenham constituency (where I live) for both the 2017 and 2019 General Elections. As a youngster (which means until 2016), while fascinated by the mechanics of elections and politics, I never dreamt I would ever be a part of it, let alone be a candidate who had a real chance of being elected. For around half of 2019 the opinion polls indicated that I was odds-on favourite to be the next MP for Chippenham. However, there are no prizes in the UK's first-past-the-post system for second place. It's also meant that I stopped developing election prediction systems - life as a target seat candidate is very hectic indeed, and you cannot take a computer with an internet connection into a count, let alone take time out to assemble lists of candidates or tweak prediction models.

If you find any errors, or have any suggestions on other features to add, please email me.

In the meantime, thank you for visiting this website. Happy exploring.

Helen Belcher, June 2020