"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

You lose, you gain

This map shows the change in turnout in 47 districts between the general elections of 2007 and 2011. (Bonavista South can't be compared, since it was filled by acclamation in 2007.)

This is not the change in turnout as calculated V/E where V is the number of votes cast and E is the number of electors. As noted before, the value for E is questionable.

Instead, turnout change is calculated here as V(07)/V(11), the change in the total number of people who voted in 2011 as compared to 2007, rendered as a percentage (plus or minus). While this allows for the Permanent Voters' List Is A Work Of Fiction problem, it introduces a different problem of its own, in that some of the change in turnout measured this way is accountable due to simple demographics: some districts have gained population in the past four years, others have lost.

Still, it's striking that the biggest gains in raw turnout were seen in the St. John's area districts where the NDP saw pickups or large gains in support, while the worst declines were in the two larger centres in Labrador.

Two other districts with large increases in turnout need to be starred, as the Liberal candidacy problem in 2007 seems to have depressed the baseline in Grand Falls-Windsor–Buchans and Placentia—St. Mary's.

Somewhat counter-intuitively, voter turnout declined in the rural seats which changed hands. At least at the federal level, turnover is often associated with higher turnout. (But see caveat above regarding demographic changes.)

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