A really uncommon result?

Just before the 2010 UK election, I noted that final polls put the leading party at around 36% of the vote, the second party just under 30%, and the third just over 20%.* I asked how uncommon such a distribution of the top three parties’ votes was in FPTP systems.

I counted five such cases out of 211 FPTP elections in a database I assembled for a project on reform (or its absence) in FPTP systems.

The final EKOS vote projection for today’s Canadian election has the top three parties at 34 – 31.6 – 20.8.

* The actual votes turned out 36.1 – 29 – 23. So the pollsters did all right.

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