Monday, March 30, 2015

The electoral math of four parties competing over a seat

The number of serious contenders in a riding dramatically changes the electoral math of what it takes to get elected.

Normally in first part the post elections you have two primary parties competing for a seat which means a close race 45% of the vote is what is needed to win.  

When there are three parties competing for seat it take about 35% of the vote to win.   With only 35% of the vote needed to win, a seat can be won by a strong minority view point.

When you have four parties seriously competing 30% becomes enough to win the seat.  This sort of race makes it much easier for a small party to win seats because they do not need to try and reach the majority of the population.   A minor party with 5-10% of the vote in the past can realistically win in most four party races.  

In 2015 we will see four party races in the following areas
CPC. LPC, NDP and Greens:
On all of Vancouver Island other than Saanich-Gulf Islands, parts of the lower mainland,  Yukon, and some places in Ontario

CPC, LPC, NDP, and Bloc
About 25-30 ridings in Quebec

What it means is that in these 50 or so ridings no one will able to call any of them with any confidence.

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