How to create an election donut

The election donut chart is a good choice to show apportionments of seats in a legislative body. You can show what parties have been elected, how many parties there are, and how they compare to each other. This chart type is based on the donut chart, however, it represents absolute values rather than 100%. With Datawrapper you have the option to select the exact colors for the respective parties. 

Some extra information: Normally, pie charts as well as donut and election donuts should only contain a limited number of values and sections. Some suggest not more than five, some not more than three or even only two. The reason is that it becomes very difficult for the viewer to compare the values. Beyond five sections it is always better and more effective to use either a bar or column chart. 

The election chart is an exception. Is it a commonly used as a visualisation for parliaments. And the general rule regarding the number of sections has to consider that in many countries the number of parties being elected is rising. Simply remember this - should the number of parties make this chart type hard to read, then choose a bar chart as an alternative.

Here is our sample chart. We walk you through the steps how to prepare the data 

1. Preparing and importing the data

Before creating an election donut you should check if your dataset is in the right format. As you can see it is a simple format.
Tip: You can copy the data below from the table.

Group Seats
PPE 217
S&D 188
ECR 74
Verts/ALE 51
ENF 40
NI 18

Source:  European Parliament

How to format your data for an election donut:

  • One header row
  • Two categorical dimensions
  • Comparable measures for each category

Once your dataset looks like this, you can copy it into Datawrapper and click "Upload and continue".

2. Check & Describe

Once you copied your dataset into Datawrapper it should look like this.

Make sure that the box  "First row as lable" is ticked so that Datawrapper correctly assigns the values to the labels. Click on "Proceed" and Datawrapper will take you to the next step.

3. Visualize

The chart type to choose here is the " Election Donut". It can happen that the chart appears to small. If that is the case, click, hold, and drag the resize-arrow in the lower right corner of the chart to resize the chart.Experienced users of Datawrapper will know that, but if you just started it is important to know that with the selection of this chart type the options and features available for this chart will change in the sections RefineAnnotate and Design. We cover this in a separate short tutorial found here.

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