Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Few Post-Election Numbers

I didn't have much of an opportunity this election to contribute to poll analysis. To be honest, I feel like this site ought to be non-partisan, and in the heat of the battle, I can get rather partisan. No harm done, though. Here are a few quick numbers:

Regarding the talk of 'vote splitting', Elections Canada's current numbers suggest that:
  • 107 Conservative seats last night were won by 50% of the vote or more (meaning no combination of opposition support could have won them), while only 59 of them were in some way 'split'.
  • Conversely, only 36 NDP seats were sure things. 67 of them could have gone another way if the opposition broke down differently (though the term 'vote splitting' rarely describes such a situation).
  • Shockingly, only Gerry Byrne and Scott Simms of the Liberals got over 50% of the vote in their riding. Otherwise, 32 of their 34 ridings - every Liberal victory not on the island of Newfoundland, would have been lost in a conceptually strange 'ABL' combined vote.
  • Not a single of the four BQ MPs got a majority of the vote in their riding. The highest, unsettlingly, was 38%.
  • Though it was close, Elizabeth May fell short of 50%, and if the people who voted Liberal and NDP in her riding all voted for Gary Lunn instead, he'd still be in the cabinet today.
So with our new party alignment, what are the new two-way races? We know who came first in all the ridings, but who came second? Well, the numbers are truly shocking, and probably tell the real story even more than the baseline:
  • Based on who came first or second, 148 of the ridings, just shy of half, are now Conservative-NDP races. The NDP came second in a remarkable 107 of Tory seats, and the Tories came second in 41 NDP wins.
  • Quite amazingly, nationwide the NDP are 'competitive' (meaning first or second) in 233 of our 308 ridings - by a whisker, this is even more than the majority-government Conservatives, with 231 of the seats. That paints a shockingly bipartisan picture of our electorate, doesn't it?
  • The full numbers, then, are as follows:
    • Con-NDP: 107 races (64% of Conservative seats)
    • Con-Lib: 56 races (40 of these are in Ontario)
    • Con-Ind: 2 (Edmonton-Sherwood Park and Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke)
    • Con-Green: 1 (Dufferin-Caledon)
    • NDP-BQ: 42 races (remarkably, a higher number than the NDP-Con races)
    • NDP-Con: 41 races
    • NDP-Lib: 19 races (12 in Ontario or Québec)
    • NDP-Ind: 1 (Portneuf-Jacques-Cartier)
    • Lib-Con: 23 races (oddly only 8 in Ontario; also notice a total of only 79 ridings, barely a quarter of Canada, remain battles between the 'big two parties')
    • Lib-NDP: 11 races
    • BQ-NDP: 3 races
    • BQ-Lib: 1 (Haute-Gaspésie-La Mitis-Matane-Matapédia, the only riding in Québec where the NDP came less than second)
    • Green-Con: 1
Those are truly dramatic numbers. And for those who talk about 'vote splitting',  the Conservatives won by less than 50% in 35 of the 56 Con-Lib battles (this is a larger number than the number of seats the Liberals actually took), and in 23 of the 107 Con-NDP battles. I don't know how many of those 58 ridings would have turned away from the Tories merely by adding the Liberal and NDP numbers. Of the two Con-Ind battles, the Tories beat Hec Clouthier by a majority but beat James Ford by a mere plurality - although I'm not convnced that the 'vote splitting' in Edmonton-Sherwood Park was between Ford and the Liberals or NDP.

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