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Can You Guess Which Petition Was Supported In Which Part Of The UK?

Who actually signs government petitions and where do they live?

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Everyone loves government petitions! No, honestly.

The public like them because it's a form of direct democracy: Just 100,000 signatures in favour of a motion is enough to get almost any issue debated in parliament, which is a massive boost to campaigners. Journalists also love them because they give strong headlines: "500,000 people want to ban something" sounds important when it's at the top of news bulletins. Some politicians also like them because they can be used to demonstrate broad support for a crucial issue.

But what happens if you look behind the headline figures at the data and see who is actually signing the petitions? BuzzFeed News checked the constituency-level support for several popular government petitions and found there were dramatic regional differences when it came to the location of their backers.

Although this is not a scientific method – it's a self-selecting sample and you're more likely to sign a petition if you're already a politically engaged person with easy access to the internet – it does offer a good idea regarding which political issues people care about in different parts of the country.

So, can you work out which map shows the support for which popular government petition?

Some maps have been cropped to focus on particular areas of support. The darker the colour of a constituency, the larger the number of people who have signed the petition.

Jim Waterson is a politics editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Jim Waterson at jim.waterson@buzzfeed.com.

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