New Brunswick 2010: Another anomaly

The eastern Canadian province of Canada has a history of anomalous results from its FPTP electoral system. Yet, despite the province’s record (of which I have written before–click “N.B.” above), a referendum planned on an MMP system was canceled three years ago–just after a spurious alternation! (In 2006, the incumbent Conservatives won a plurality of […]

New Brunswick electoral reform proposal (yes, again)

The New Brunswick Commission on Electoral Reform has issued its report, “A pathway to an inclusive democracy”. There are many recommendations regarding changes to voting procedures in the proposal, but those that focus directly on the electoral system are as follows (quoting form p. 19): The government enhance the voting system by moving to Preferential Ballots. […]

Majoritarianism with little strategic voting in Andorra

The Pyrennean microstate of Andorra held a parliamentary election in March. The principality’s General Council consists of 28 members elected by a majoritarian mixed-member system (MMM): half is elected proportionally from national party lists (largest remainders; the threshold is one Hare quota – 7.15%) and the other half, in parallel, by list plurality (party with […]

UK 2015 forecasts

With the UK general election three weeks away, Chris Hanretty of the electionforecast.co.uk team offers a comparison of their forecast with those of two other academic teams, ElectionsEtc.com and Polling Observatory. The forecasts must estimate a nationwide vote share for each party, and then devise a means of projecting these figures on to the 650 individual plurality (FPTP) contests […]

New Brunswick election 2014

The Canadian province of New Brunswick held a general election on 22 September. Notwithstanding some problems with the vote-tabulation system, and several lead changes during the night, the Liberals won by a good margin: 42.7% of the votes against 34.7% for the Progressive Conservatives (PC). The seats split 27-21, giving the Liberals 55.1% of the […]

Small party electoral strategy

The strategy of parties, especially smaller ones, in multiparty systems is a particular interest of mine (a statement that will surprise no one). Here are a few interesting examples from the current New Zealand campaign. One area of interest is about… interests. What interest groups do small parties cultivate for support? “Greens want to spend […]

Quebec election campaign 2012

Quebec’s National Assembly (i.e. provincial) election is 4 September. It is a three-way race, which is always interesting–and potentially anomaly-generating–under plurality (first-past-the-post) rules. The incumbent is a majority government of the Liberal Party, re-elected most recently in 2008, with the Parti Quebecois (PQ) as its main opponent. The newly created party in the mix is […]

The implosion of the Irish government

The implosion of the Irish government, and the main party in the governing coalition, Fianna Fail, has been quite a spectacle. After narrowly surviving an internal leadership battle, Taoiseach (PM) Brian Cowen saw five of his own party’s cabinet ministers resign. Shortly thereafter, Cowen himself resigned–as party leader. It is very unusual in parliamentary democracies […]