Last year SportingLandmarks mapped the home-towns of the nominees for the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year and speculated on the extent to which block votes might influence the result.
Unlike 2009, all members of the 2010 shortlist were actually born in the British Isles. While Northern Ireland will celebrate two nominees this year, Scotland and Wales – which provided the winners in 2008 and 2009 respectively – have none. David Haye is the only Londoner – compared with three in 2010 – and Mark Cavendish flies the flag for the Isle of Man for the second year running.
View SPOTY 2010 – The Nominees in a larger map
If block votes are significant, the psephologists will be interested to see how the golfing vote will be divided by Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell.
Last year, SportingLandmarks also pondered the importance of social media in mobilising the electorate. This year, only Amy Williams has no obvious twitter presence. Tom Daley and Jessica Ennis both have more than one ‘official’ twitter profile while @jessicaennisftw which appeared shortly after @SporLand tweeted about SPOTY last year has been resurrected to renew their campaign for a Jess victory in 2010.
If the number of twitter followers is significant, a quick survey – undertaken on 15 December – suggests Graeme Swann looks to be in poll position to pick-up the trophy. Ryan Giggs secured the 2009 title with 151, 842 votes – a 29.4% share of the total. Swann currently has approaching 120,000 followers and the vote takes place in the middle of the third Ashes test in Perth at a time when the nation’s enthusiasm for cricket is high.
The SPOTY 2010 nominees and their twitter followers:
Graeme Swann, cricketer. Born: Northampton, 24 March 1979 @swannyg66 (116, 197 followers)
David Haye, boxer. Born: Bermondsey, 13 October 1990 @mrdavidhaye (81,794)
Lee Westwood, golfer. Born: Worksop, 24 April 1973 @westwoodlee (64,563)
Graeme McDowell, golfer. Born: Portrush, 30 July 1979 @graeme_mcdowell (62,267)
Mark Cavendish, cyclist. Born: Douglas, Isle of Man, 21 May 1985 @cavendishmark (17,649)
Phil Taylor, darts player. Born: Burslem, 13 August 1960 @PhilDTaylor (8,112)
AP McCoy, National Hunt Jockey. Born: Moneyglass, 4 May 1974 @apmccoy (971)
Amy Williams, Bob Skelton. Born: Cambridge, 29 September 1982 (not on twitter!)
SportingLandmarks forwarded some of SporLand’s #SP09 tweets Carl Doran, SPOTY’s editor last year. In his reply, Carl admitted that he was not, then, twitter-savvy. However @BBCSPOTY is now live and promoting this year’s show: 888 followers as of 15 December.