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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 May, 2005, 15:35 GMT 16:35 UK
The new left and right?

By Alan Connor
The Daily Politics

POSTED: Tuesday 3 May, 1630BST

As if rejigging Hansard, giving voting guidance and a fiendishly-hard election quiz weren't enough, some of the people behind the various e-democracy sites we've been looking at have come up with a way of redrawing the political map of Britain.

Chris Lightfoot and Tom Steinberg have used the data from some YouGov surveys to try to move on from a "left and right" formulation and try and work out which issues divide the nation.

Their research suggests that the key issues which define voters' concerns are crime and the UK's relationship with the rest of the world - and that these two are strongly linked. Coining the term "The Axis Of Ukip", they say that isolationists have a strong tendency to be unforgiving of criminals, and that internationalists tend to think of crime as a more complex problem.

There's a lot more to it than that, of course, and it's all handily condensed into a snazzy PowerPoint slideshow.

Most interesting in terms of the election is the data on party affiliations. For example, though one tends to assume that Ukip is drawing voters away from the right-wing of the Conservative Party, their research indicates that Ukip voters are, by and large, disaffected centrist Tories.

Many people have been hoping for a while now for a new schema to replace the increasingly meaningless "left" and "right". They might find it worth the time seeing what to make of this one.

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