Rather than run my usual summer voting contest ("Pick Canada's greatest Minister of Veterans Affairs...March Madness style
!"), I think I'll spend the summer political slow down playing around with my election spreadsheet...or actually slowing down the blogging frequency, and instead enjoying Toronto in all of its garbage-scented glory.
I do have the last three elections ('04, '06, '08) loaded up, in addition to some riding demographics. Having had three elections close to each other, with the same parties and the same riding boundaries, offers a rare opportunity to really crunch some numbers - so that's what I intend to do.
Or not. Maybe I'll just enjoy the summer. Time will tell.
I already put up some rough calculations to help Elizabeth May find a home
. Today, I'm going to do some more quick and dirty analysis, before moving on to some more advanced stuff.
Today's question is simply: "What are the most competitive parts of the country politically
?". These are the areas where your vote matters most and where parties would be wise to deploy their resources.
To come up with a crude list I simply gave a point for a margin of victory under 5%, a point for a MOV under 10%, a point for a MOV under 20%, and a point if the riding swung. Add it all up for three elections, divide by the 11 possible points, and you get a rough "competitiveness score" - and a list of the most hotly contested ridings in the country.
At the top are Papineau, Vancouver Island North, and Brossard La Prairie, which have all swung twice and been close every time. It's also been worth your time to vote if you live in Ahuntsic, Burnaby Douglas, Newton North Delta, Esquimalt Juan De Fuca, Jeanne LeBer, New Westminster Coquitlam, Sault Ste. Marie, Western Arctic, Ottawa Orleans, Gatineau, North Vancouver, West Nova, Saint John, Brant, or Trinity Spadina - the average margin of victory has been under 5% there the last three elections.
At the bottom of the list is Crowfoot, with a mind boggling average margin of victory of 74%. Must be hard to motivate the GotV workers there, eh? Still, there are 84
other ridings in the country where no one
has even come within 20% of first in any
of the past three elections. I'm not a huge PR guy, but it does make you think when there are 8.3 million Canadians who, $1.75 subsidy aside, are basically wasting their time when they vote.
But just listing ridings is a bit dry. Let's look at how competitive the different provinces have been:
1. British Columbia 40.4%
2. Ontario 38.8%
3. New Brunswick 35.5%
4. Newfoundland 32.5%
5. Nova Scotia 31.4%
6. PEI 25.0%
7. Manitoba 24.7%
8. Quebec 23.5%
9. Saskatchewan 23.4%
10. Alberta 7.1%
No real surprises there, with BC earning it's reputation for hotly contested political battles and Alberta, well, being Alberta.
And, just how competitive are the different parties? Well, there are 141 ridings where the Liberals have tasted victory in one of the three minority elections, with an additional 48 where they've at least once been "in the game" (within 10%). The Tories have won 152 seats and have been in the game in 40 more. For the Dippers, 40 wins and 21 "nice effort" awards.
So if you do the math, both the Tories and Liberals haven't even come close in well over 100 ridings - which means something big will need to give in order to break the minority deadlock any time soon.
Labels: fun with numbers