The distribution of 2nd placed parties in the 1987 British general election (Colour).

Five possible outcomes are shown by distinct colouring of each of the 650 parliamentary constituencies on the equal electorate cartogram (Appendices B and C) software by author on an Archimedes computer.

This is a much more interesting picture than the common one of victory. The Liberal party can be seen to have come in second place in the more prosperous areas, but Conservatives are runners up in the centres of Labour held conurbations. The ring of Labour misses, between a blue central- and orange outer-London is also interesting, as is the same pattern around Birmingham and north of Manchester. The nationalists came second more often in Scotland than in Wales. The picture looks behind the simple message of electoral success, towards who might win the the future.