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

Friday, November 29, 2013

The message from Carbonear–Harbour Grace

Taking the swing from Tuesday's by-election in Carbonear–Harbour Grace, and applying it, for fun's sake, province-wide, yields a notional election result that looks like this (click to enlarge):

Pale colours indicate pickups for the opposition, or narrow holds for the outgoing PCs. There is only one in that latter category: Humber East, where the incumbent has already made it clear he's on his way to Pensionville.

The handful of gray districts are those where the forecast models disagree on the outcome, given the input assumptions. Of the ten tossup districts, only five are tossups where the PC party is still in play. In either case, the largest "universe" of PC seats, where one or the other model has them winning or in contention, is six districts.

Just six.

The forecast model does not take into account changes in affiliation (Osborne) or The Big Snit (the entire NDP and Dissident caucus). Recall that, despite The Big Snit, the NDP vote in the late by-election was essentially unchanged from the general election of 2011 in that district.

So, when does floor-crossing season begin, again?


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Math is hard

Nearly 47% of Danny Dumaresque and the two Bennetts' supporters in the NL Liberal leadership vote, failed to mark the second and third preferences on their ballots which would have given them a say on the final count.

Many excuses have been offered, before voting was finished and since, as to why this would be so, but the basic reason seems to be: math is hard. A segment of voters seem to think, entirely wrongly, that marking a second and subsequent preference somehow hurts the chances of their first choice candidate. (It does not.)

Basic dumbosity such as this newspaper column doesn't help. Spot the glaring error.

Of 6539 ballots cast for the three runners-up, 3047 were incomplete after the first or second count. While mostly academic in the present instance, in a tighter leadership race, the incomplete ballot rate could help determine the eventual winner. For some reason, the incompleteness rate was especially high in Baie Verte and Burin–Placentia West.

Contrary to some privately-expressed concerns about the willingness of rural voters to complete their multiple choices, most of the districts with the lowest rates of ballot-incompleteness were in rural Newfoundland.


Play by play

With the full district-by-district Liberal leadership numbers now out, you can do fun things like this. (Click any map to enlarge it.)

First Count

Ball carried 28 districts on the first count, evenly divided between getting a majority of the vote and a plurality. Antle carried fifteen, and Cathy Bennett five, both with pluralities. Neither Dumaresque nor Jim Bennett carried any. Ball took a plurality of the vote in J. Bennett's own, and strongest district, St. Barbe, where J. Bennett was only able to muster 22.08 points. Dumaresque's strongest showing was 27.02 points in his native Cartwright–L'Anse au Clair.

Second Count

As to be expected with so few re-allocations up for grabs, the second count made little difference to the big picture. St. Barbe turned into a Ball majority, Trinity–Bay de Verde into an Antle majority, and St. John's North flipped from the Antle to the Ball column.

Third Count

With Cathy Bennett eliminated, and only two candidates remaining, every district became either a Ball or Antle majority. (There were no ties.) Bennett's re-allocations put Antle back on top in St. John's North, and also turned Cape St. Francis and Mount Pearl South into his column. Bennett's second choice votes gave Ball majorities in Terra Nova, Isles of Notre Dame, and Virginia Waters.

[Updated to correct colour key in third map.]



Count-by-count summary of the Newfoundland and Labrador Liberal leadership vote (in points):

First count:


Second count:


Third count:


Reallocation of points:

1 to 22 to 3



To put the truly astonishing Newfoundland and Labrador Liberal leadership vote into perspective, here is a table of "open" party leadership contests in Canada, both federal and provincial, since the Parti Québécois leadership race of 1985.

These include party leaderships decided by open, one-member-one-vote member- or supporter-based voting, or conventions which were open to all party members. It also includes party leaderships which were geographically weighted one-member-one-vote, but excludes internal party votes for delegated leadership conventions.

Colours follow the traditional partisan colour scheme, with the addition of purple for Quebec sovereigntist parties, and green for non-"Conservative" right-of-centre parties.

The "votes" figure takes the total number of valid votes on the largest ballot (or count, in the cast of preferential ballots.) The per-capita figure expresses the total number of leadership votes in the largest ballot as a percentage of the voters list in the province (or Canada) at the chronologically nearest federal election. (One exception: the 1990 Ontario PC leadership is expressed as a percentage of the 1990 Ontario provincial voters list.)

Since 1985, the average open provincial party leadership has attracted about 1.5% of that province's electors. At 5.8%, as a pure exercise in voter-mobilization, the NL Liberal leadership is a runaway success.

Additions and corrections are welcome.

Despite the wrinkles and gremlins, the NL Liberal Party, and the teams behind the five candidates, deserve full credit for driving this leadership process, which, adjusted for population, is one of the biggest exercises of grassroots party democracy in recent Canadian history.

PC AB 2006 144,289 6.2%
Liberal NL 2013 23,873 5.8%
Liberal PEI 1996 4,329 4.4%
PC AB 1992 78,251 4.2%
Liberal PEI 2003 3,969 3.6%
PC AB 2011 78,176 3.1%
NDP SK 2001 19,465 2.8%
Liberal NB 2012 14,672 2.5%
Parti QuébécoisQC198596,9742.1%
Parti QuébécoisQC2005105,2591.8%
Liberal BC 2011 54,879 1.8%
NDP SK 2009 9,444 1.3%
NDP SK 2013 8,719 1.2%
PC MB 2006 9,143 1.1%
Liberal NS 1992 6,998 1.0%
Bloc QuébécoisQC199748,4370.9%
Wild Rose AB 2009 16,400 0.7%
PC NB 2008 4,029 0.7%
NDP BC 2011 20,016 0.6%
Social Credit BC 1993 14,833 0.6%
Liberal AB 1994 11,004 0.6%
PC ON 2002 44,188 0.6%
Canadian Alliance Can 2000 120,557 0.6%
Saskatchewan SK 1998 3,344 0.5%
PC SK 1994 3,298 0.5%
PC NS 1995 2,985 0.4%
Conservative Can 2004 97,397 0.4%
Liberal Can 2013 104,552 0.4%
Liberal AB 1998 7,636 0.4%
Canadian Alliance Can 2002 88,228 0.4%
PC ON 2004 32,390 0.4%
Liberal AB 2011 8,640 0.3%
PC ON 2009 25,429 0.3%
NDP Can 2002 58,202 0.3%
Liberal BC 1993 6,540 0.3%
NDP Can 2012 65,108 0.3%
PC ON 1990 15,850 0.3%
Bloc Québécois QC 2011 12,846 0.2%
Liberal AB 2008 4,860 0.2%
PC Can 1998 30,100 0.2%
NDP ON 2009 11,150 0.1%
Liberal AB 2004 2,733 0.1%
ADQ QC 2009 3,912 0.1%
Wild Rose AB 2005 1,128 0.1%