Securing votes through religious sentiment

Category: Best data-driven reporting (small and large newsrooms)

Country/area: Indonesia

Organisation: Beritagar.id

Organisation size: Small

Publication date: 13/06/2019

Credit: Aghnia Adzkia

Project description:

The story anlaysed correlation between tolerance and votes garnered by each of candidate in Indonesian Presidential election in 2019. It proves that there was religious sentiment in Indonesia during election. Prabowo Subianto who is oftenly associated with conservative supporters garnered higher votes in provinces with lower Index of Tolerance and mono-religion. On other hand, Joko Widodo who is associated with more liberal parties acquired higher votes in more tolerant provinces with high range of diversity. 

Impact reached:

People are more aware of the position of each of the presidential candidate and their ideology. 

Techniques/technologies used:

1. I used R and online software to convert the data from dbf to csv

2. I used OpenRefine to clean the data

3. Google Spreadsheet to do the analysis from csv (Pivot Table, Correlation)

4 I used Datawrapper to visualise the charts. 

What was the hardest part of this project?

I analysed the data from the scratch, it was raw data in dbf format from Statistics Indonesia. I collected the data and discussed with political scholar (Burhanuddin Muhtadi) to create an Index of Tolerance in 34 provinces in Indonesia based on three questions asked by the surveyor to respondents (head of family):

1. The willingness to have neighbours and allow their kids to have friends from other religion

2. The willingness to allow other religious activites in the neighbourhood

3. The willingness to allow establishment of religious places of worship

The score of index then divided into four parts: very low, less tolerant, tolerant, high tolerant. None all of them get extrem score, the score ranges are less tolerant and tolerant. 

After creating the index, I did a correlation analysis with the votes garnered by each of presidential candidate to look for a pattern. 

What can others learn from this project?

Data approach story can prove assumption that people talked about. Before this story revealed, journalists always associate Prabowo with conservative supporters and Jokowi with more liberal ones. However, they have never come up with a statistical proven story that strengthen the argument. The research done in this story makes the argument stronger.  

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