Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Iceland coalition options.

There are a number of coalitions possible in Iceland. A reminder of the party labels:

16 - D - Independence - Conservative
11 - V - Left-Green -  Green
8 - B - Progressive - Rural Liberal
7 - S - Social Democrat - Social Democrat
7 - M - Centre Party - Moderate
6 - P - Pirate Party - Pirate
4 - C - Reform Party - Right-wing reformist
4 - F - Populist Party - Populist

Coalition options generally break down into the following:


It thus seems likely the Progressives will end up in Government. However, the Moderates are unlikely to thus get in due to the problems between the leaders of these parties, and a few other options present their own difficulties; As such the most likely options are as follows:

DVB (Grand Coalition)
VBSP (Left Liberal)
DBFC (Right Populist)

At the moment my money is on Left Liberal, but the other options remain possible.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Iceland results

As with last time, I expect it will take some time for coalitions to become clear.

16 - D - Independence
11 - V - Left-Green
8 - B - Progressive
7 - S - Social Democrat
7 - M - Centre
6 - P - Pirate
4 - C - Reform
4 - F - Peoples

Some controversy over proportionality. The Social Democrats took 12.1% of the vote but only win 7 seats. Contrast with the Progressives on 10.7% and 8 seats, and the Centre Party on 10.8% and 7 seats.

Coalition options are too numerous to realistically list, and none of them will be easy or obvious. I will update when it becomes more clear which parties are willing to coalition with which other parties.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Final Iceland Update

16 - D - Independence
12 - S - Social Democrats
12 - V - Green-Left
7 - M - Centre Party
6 - P - Pirates
5 - B - Progressives
5 - C - Reform

Iceland election tomorrow.


16 - D - Independence
14 - V - Green-Left
11 - S - Social Democrats
7 - M - Centre Party
6 - P - Pirates
5 - B - Progressives
4 - C - Reform

A trend towards the Social Democrats, and the peoples party falling short of the threshold are the current projection assumptions. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Iceland update - 3 days out

3 days remain to the election. 

15 - D - Independence
15 - V - Green-Left
9 - S - Social Democrats
7 - M - Centre Party
6 - P - Pirates
5 - B - Progressives
3 - C - Reform
3 - F - Peoples Party

32 needed for majority

More to come

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Parallel PR, PEI: a Japan example

Japan uses a system of Parallel Proportional Representation. This is a proportional system that is non compensatory. For example, if a country had 200 seats in Parliament, and 100 ridings, with 100 PR seats, and a party in this country won 40% of the vote, they would win 40 PR seats. It would not matter if they won 0 ridings or 100 ridings.

Japan in particular uses a form of this that allows the closest losing candidates to advance to the proportional list. In short, if the winner took 3000 votes and the runner up took 2500 votes, then that runner up has taken 83.33% of the winners vote total, and is ranked based on that 83.33%. This ensures that areas with a divided electorate will end up with both voices in Parliament. Additionally, it prevents parties from simply stacking the proportional list, as it only elects candidates who are popular with the voters.

I want to take a look at the kind of PR Japan uses.

For the sake of example, lets assume PEI used this kind of system in 2015. In this context, this would result in 16 additional seats. This is 0.6 multiplied by the number of ridings (27) which is the average number of proportional seats in relation to ridings seats used in Japan.

Note that in the event of an actual move to Proportional Representation, the ridings are likely to be redrawn, and so this is not a perfect nor exact comparison. Adding 16 extra seats to the existing riding map simply makes this easy to compare and understand. In reality, the legislature would not grow so much so quickly.

In the real PEI election, 46.4% of all votes cast were cast for winning candidates. The other 53.6% of voters did not have their candidate win, and their choice of MLA was not sent to the legislature. Keep that in mind.

Due to popular vote, the Liberals would win 7 of the 16 PR seats. The Tories win 6. The NDP wins 2, and the Greens win 1. Since the Japanese system of the closest loser allows us to know exactly who would win, we can determine that, and I've done so below.

As the Green with the highest loss ratio (47.75% of the votes of the winner in her riding) district 12 candidate, Darcie Lanthier, would become an MLA.

The top two NDP vote getters are, in order, Gord McNeilly and Michael Redmond, and thus both would join the Legislature.

The 6 Tories, in order, are: Mary Ellen McInnis, Rob Lantz, Brian Ramsay, Linda Clements, Major Stewart, and Daniel MacDonald.

The 7 Liberals are: Charlie McGeoghegan, Russel Stewart, Tommy Kickham, Dan MacDonald, Bertha Campbell, Ramona Roberts, and David Dunphy.

This allows 66.96% of people to have voted for an MLA in the legislature. Most districts also end up represented by more than one party, allowing for voters in these areas to have both a government and a opposition voice in the legislature. Since those elected on the list are not beholden to their original area, they can also represent larger swaths of voters.

The end results are as follows

25 - Liberal
12 - PC
2 - NDP
2 - Green

Not only does the NDP enter the legislature, but the Greens grow as well. The opposition Tories now have a caucus made up of members from across the province, and the Liberals have an MLA from all but 2 of the ridings. Unlike a pure PR system, the government is not turned into a minority.

There are many reasons to want Proportional Representation and many reasons to oppose it. Two key reasons are as follows.

1 - It allows more voices to be heard in the legislature, and ensures that the opposition is strong enough to counter the government.

2 - It ensures that only governments elected by a majority of voters are allowed to govern.

Opposition to each would say that some voices are extreme and should not be heard, and that people want stable government and are fine with governments elected with, say, 45% support.

In Canada, there are many more people who worry about the loss of stable government than worry about parties like the NDP or Greens getting elected.

Parallel systems do very well at getting a multitude of voices heard, but do not tend to result in the overturning of a majority government elected with a minority of voters.

As such, and given the worries Canadians have about PR, I feel (and have for a long time) that a Parallel system is the only path to a later and fuller form of PR that Canadians will be willing to stomach.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Updates on recent elections.

The most likely coalition at this point in time is Conservative and Nationalist, with the Socialists preparing for opposition.

A Conservative-Liberal-Green coalition is still the most likely outcome.

The Conservatives have ruled out a coalition with ANO, and ANO is having talks with their current coalition partners.

Final results are as follows:

party - constituencies - PR seats - (total seats)

LDP - 218 - 66 - (284)
CDP - 18 - 37 - (55)
KNT - 18 - 32 - (50)
NKP - 8 - 21 - (29)
JCP - 1 - 11 - (12)
INO - 3 - 8 - (11)
SDP - 1 - 1 - (2)
IND - 22 - 0 - (22)

By Unofficial Coalitions:
313 - Government
69 - Liberal
61 - Conservative
22 - Other

After expected defections*:

313 - Government
85 - Democrats
46 - Conservatives
14 - Left (JCP+SDP)
7 - Other

Compared to 2014:

326 - Government
73 - Democrats
41 - Conservatives
23 - Left
12 - Other

* = assuming that of the 25 people who may leave the KNT, only 15 do so; but that all Independents who may join, will do so. The 25 people from the KNT in question are former Democrats who hold left-wing views on issues such as the Constitution, and who generally were Democrats prior to the mergers with Innovation. The Independents were judged on the same basic rule set, but, most of them are left by default. There is no guarantee they will join the CDP, however, given that the "original plan" when the party was split was to rejoin its parts, it does make a certain logical sense. The CDP has outright ruled out merging back into the old party, and given their massive win over the other former democrats (who make up roughly 4/5ths of KNT) this also makes sense.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Japan, results

Results are nearly complete, and with the possibility of one or two seats changing, the results are as indicated in this table:

The Government has won the majority they need. The LDP has a majority in the chamber, and has a large enough majority to guarantee chairmanship of the committees. As well with their allies in the NKP they command the 310 seats needed to amend the constitution.

The LDP however has been expected to win by a large margin for a while as even without a 310 majority, parties like KNT by in large support the amendment which would allow Japan to re-arm and militarize.

Abe's victory was expected. As such the 'winners' of the election are the CDP. Originally projected to get a dozen seats, they've beat the KNT in total seat count. The Democrats split in three with the party leadership joining the KNT for the election with the plan to re-unite the party after the election. Many members decided to run as Independents to protest this, and some on the left created the CDP, which, has been wildly successful.

After a few hours of searching through wikipedia, I've divided up the Independent candidates and KNT candidates by weather or not I feel it is likely they would join the CDP after the election. This is a maximum estimate. As such the CDP can be expected to have up to 96 seats when parliament holds its first session, and may well end with 80 or less.

In the end, Prime Minister Abe gets what he wants, he can amend the constitution, and can continue his policies for another 4 years.

You can click here for the introduction to the election, as this helps provide context for who these parties are.

Japan early results

Japan's election rolls on as counting continues. Current results suggest the following:

308 GOV


277 LDP (Shinzo Abe)
31 NKP (Social Conservative)

56 CDP (Left Liberal)
13 JCP (Communist)
2 SDP (Social Democrat)

49 KNT (Tokyo, Conservative)
11 INO (Osaka, Conservative)

26 IND (Others)

Many of the Independents are DP members. It's difficult to get an exact count but I would personally suspect 34 KNT members and 20 of the Independents are as well. These 49 members would thus join with the 56 CDP members for a 105 seat merged caucus. However it is unclear if they will, in fact, re-join into a single party or not. If they did, and if NKP continues to work with LDP as close as in the past, and if KNT goes the way of INO and becomes a small regional conservative party based on one city, then, what we could be looking at as a final result is as follows:

308 GOV
110 DP

This would put the LDP just short of the 310 they need for 2/3rds majority to change the constitution on war issues, however, the city parties support the move and would easily put them over the top.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Czechia election results

Nearly 100% count in, and the results are as follows:

78 ANO (liberal)
25 ODS (conservative)
22 Pirate
22 SPD (nationalist)
15 KSCM (communist)
15 CSSD (social democrat)
11 KDU (christian democrat)
6 TOP (liberal)
6 STAN (centre right)

With these numbers an ANO-ODS coalition could be very likely. While they do not control a majority in the Senate, the Czech Senate is very weak.

However, with such a commanding result, 78 seats, 101 required for a majority (23 additional seats needed) ANO could pick some other combination of parties to sit with

Friday, October 20, 2017

Czechia votes today

Czechia, also known as the Czech Republic, is voting today and tomorrow in their national elections.

I won't do a full post but will get you up to speed on the basics.

The most recent election projections from within the country suggest ANO is headed for a massive win. ANO is difficult to classify politically, but is perhaps one of the closest parties to our Liberal Party in the world, with a key difference being the fact ANO is "outsider" and not "insider"

ANO is set to win 67 seats according to projections from the 16th, the last legal day to make projections in the country due to election blackout laws.

CSSD, the Social Democrats, are on 29, while KSCM (the Communists) are behind on 27 seats. SPD the Nationalist party (think Marine Le Pen) is on 20 seats, as is ODS the Conservatives. The Pirates could take 17 seats, while the KDU (Christian Democrats) take 11 and TOP 09 takes 11. TOP 09 is also hard to explain, but basically is a right-liberal party.

The current government of CSSD-ANO-KDU fell apart over scandal with the ANO leader, but ANO did not suffer in the polls, in fact, CSSD did if anything.

CSSD, KDU, and TOP all want to adopt the euro ASAP while, KSCM, and SPD do not want the euro at all. ANO and ODS only want the euro at a later date when all the instability currently in Europe has been worked out.

With all of this in mind, there are some coalitions that pop out as possible.

ANO-ODS-KDU-TOP could happen if the Euro issue can be solved. These parties also hold enough seats in the Senate to pass bills with support from some of the Independent members, or, from the 'alliance of Mayors' members, which whom KDU has good relations.

ANO-CSSD-KDU is possible, but unlikely given they were the current government, and CSSD suffered heavily.

Pending exact seat totals, CSSD might try to form a coalition with the Pirates, and Communists, probably also bringing TOP and KDU along. The problem is that this would be an unstable coalition, and, the Communists have never taken part in a coalition government since the collapse of communism.

Voting will end tomorrow, and hopefully results will be out shortly thereafter.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Quick Iceland Update

A quick update to Iceland.

Reform has edged up, towards the threshold. Additionally I've decided to include the official letter of each party for clarity. 

The two number totals are if Reform does, and does not, pass the threshold.

17-18    V    Green-Left
14-15    D    Independence
8-8    S    Social Democrats
7-7    P    Pirates
6-6    M    Centre Party
4-5    B    Progressives
4-4    F    Peoples Party
3-0    C    Reform

Monday, October 16, 2017

Quick Japan update

An update to Japan.

Due to strong polling for the Constitutional Democrats, I've updated my projection as follows:

280 - Gov
100 - Right
75 - Left
10 - Others

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Austria early results

Counting is wrapping up in Austria. My earlier post can be found here.

Early results are as follows:

62 - OVP
52 - SPO
51 - FPO
10 - NEOS
8 - PILZ

Compared to the projection, it seems a number of Greens switched to the SPO.

A more complete write up will come in the following days (or weeks) as it becomes clear what kind of government coalition will be formed. OVP has the option of either SPO or FPO.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

CMHoC 9th election

Results are in from the fictional CMHoC snap election, which I mentioned previously.

CMHoC, which I've posted about before, is a political simulation (a game) called the Canadian Model House of Commons. This election featured the 3 major parties from the real world, plus parties such as the Socialists, Radicals, and Pirates on the left, many of the right-wing alternative parties having died off during the last term.

A good summary of the results is this:

The results map is as follows:

As you can see, I combined the left parties into the NDP for the table. This is because the NDP, Radicals, and Pirates all ran on a co-endorsement deal, meaning none of the 3 parties ran against one another, and each party endorsed the candidates of the others.

A video recap can be found here:

Unfortunately the original livestream has been lost.

There are three possible coalitions that would command a majority. CPC-NDP. CPC-LIB. and NDP-LIB-PIR. The Radicals have already ruled out a coalition involving the Liberals.

As the strategist behind the Liberal campaign, I spent quite a lot of time on the election, and now that it is over will hopefully have more time to blog and do other things I enjoy.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


Iceland goes to the polls at the end of this month. I've done a post before looking at some history. I wanted to introduce the current situation.

This map shows the results of the last election and, thus, the current Parliament. As you can see my projection is included on the map, I will go into greater detail about it at the bottom of this post.

Iceland has a number of parties, and the turnover in new parties since the economic crisis has increased. The most recent government collapsed causing this snap election. Exactly why is a bit complicated as it's rooted in certain legal and civil procedures related to Icelandic culture. In short, the father of the Prime Minister supported a convicted pedophile in trying to clear his record. When revealed Bright Future withdrew from the Government, and a snap election was called as a result.

The parties are a bit complicated, so I will explain.

This is the current Government. They are generally right-wing and seen as conservative. They are one of the two historic largest parties. They are current suffering from the scandal listed above, but are still polling rather well.

This party was new and formed before the last election. They had been polling well, but this has changed since the snap election. The party was formed by defectors from Independence, and their main plank is supporting clean government.

Bright Future
The party has been polling rather poorly for the past while now, rendering their decision questionable politically; however the party's main plank is clean government, and in that context their decision does make sense.

In 2009 they were the jr partner in a Social Democrat lead coalition. The party is polling very well right now, and potentially can lead the next government. If so, I think this will be the first time a party so far to the left has lead a government in a nordic country.

This is your standard and default pirate party, that support an open internet, and copyright reform. The party is generally left but due to being a supposed "single issue" party, also has members on the right.

Formerly one of the two major parties, the party is Liberal, but has most of its support from Rural areas. It was their leader and then PM, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, who was involved in with the Panama Papers scandal. Needless to say, he was removed as leader.

Social Democrats
This party won the 2009 election, and their leader, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, became the first lesbian Prime Minister. Their inability to turn around the financial crisis lead to them suffering heavily in the polls in both 2013 and 2016. Policywise, they are a pretty standard social democratic party.

Peoples Party
This populist party is generally left, but as with all modern populist movements in 2017, has anti-immigration policies. Their main policy is to help the poor and disabled. The party ran in 2016, but did not meet the threshold.

Centre Party
The home of the return of our friend Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson. The TLDR version of this party, is a copy of the Progressives, and as such, it can be expected to split the vote with them. The party is brand new (as in it was formed 3 weeks ago) so its policies are not nailed down yet.

The polls suggest the following is a likely result (these are slightly different than shown on the map due to additional poll data being available now)

18 - Left-Greens
16 - Independence
7 - Pirates
7 - Social Democrats
6 - Populists
5 - Centre
4 - Progressives

Polls are very good for the Left-Greens, and they are increasing in the polls. If trends continue (and they probably will) the Left-Greens will be leading the government in all likelihood. Likely coalition partners include the Pirates and Social Democrats. The latter, in particular, lead a coalition with the Left-Greens from 2009-2012

Both Bright Future and Reform have been polling below the 5% threshold, and thus, are unlikely to return to Parliament at this term.

Sunday, October 8, 2017


The situation in Japan is finally stable enough to analyze.

Our last major look at Japan introduced some of the larger parties. Importantly, it introduced us to the fluid nature of politics in Japan.

Unfortunately, due to that, any introduction will not last more than one general election cycle. As such, lets get right down to business.

Government Coalition

Liberal Democratic Party
The LDP has been governing Japan nearly nonstop since the end of WW2. A small break of a year in 1993-1994 from government at the behest of an 7 party alliance was beat by an outright election loss in 2009 to the Democratic Party of Japan, which removed the LDP from government for a full 3 years. The party is generally Conservative in nature but has what we would consider a "red tory" philosophy on certain issues.

New Party Komeito
Oddly, the party is the "political wing" of the Soka Gakkai buddhist religion. The party has evolved over the decades and currently is generally conservative. Officially the party stands up for the "little guy" and it is known for various anti-corruption stances, but in the context of politics in modern japan, it is seen as a potentially permanent jr partner to the LDP.

Right Opposition

Evolving from the Democratic Party (different name in Japanese) this party recently decided to plunge into the right opposition coalition. The Democratic Party itself is a mish-mash of various old parties that manged to win in 1993. Of the 7 parties that formed a short lived coalition, 5 eventually joined into the Democrats in some form. That alliance, and the party, are the only forces to defeat the LDP since the end of WW2.

This is the successor to the Restoration party, a right-wing alternative started in 2012 by a Tokyo Governor. The party quickly grew popular in Osaka after merging with the mayor's party there. Osaka and Tokyo are among the largest urban areas in Japan, and contain many seats. The party remains popular in the Osaka region.

Party of Hope
Formed by current Tokyo governor, Yuriko Koike, the party has the support of Komeito on the Municipal level. Two thirds of the Democrats in Parliament have joined the party for this election, and the entire legal Democrat Party will be fighting under this banner

Left Opposition

Constitutional Democrats
This splinter group contains a third of the Democrats in Parliament. Many of them were rejected as being too 'left' wing for the Party of Hope, and others refused to work with a right-wing party. The party now finds itself in an working with other left parties due to its opposition to moves by the Prime Minister to increase the military.

Social Democratic Party
Once known as the Socialists, this party was the main opposition to the LDP for decades from the end of WW2 to the 1993 election. It, along with Komeito, were among the 7 parties to form a coalition government that year. The SDP however was able to work out a deal with the LDP that saw it head a coalition government from 1994 to 1996. The party has grown very small in recent years, and can only be expected to take a small handful of seats.

Japanese Communist Party
The JCP has been on the upswing in recent years due to moves by the Prime Minister to change the Constitution of Japan, as well as various trade and economic policies. The JCP now unofficially leads the left opposition coalition in the election and can be counted on to keep its two dozen or so seats, if not increase that number.

Current polls suggest the following:

300 - Gov
120 - Right
35 - Left
10 - Others

The main battle will be between Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister, and Yuriko Koike, the Governor of Tokyo. While Koike has rejected suggestions she will become the first female PM of Japan should her alliance win, she currently has momentum and is popular with the voters.

While the parties have shifted around quite a bit in the past few years, the general split between the government, the centre and right opposition and the left opposition has not. One of the LDP's key strengths is its ability to win single member seats. Japan uses a parallel proportional system where parties are assigned seats from the proportional list based on their vote totals. Should the LDP win 50% of the vote in any particular region, they will get 50% of the list seats, irregardless of if they've won every single member seat in that region or no single member seats in that region.

The Right has a possibility of causing problems due to support in the major cities, however it remains to be seen if this is enough to defeat the LDP.

Saturday, October 7, 2017


Austria goes to the polls on the 15th. In past decades, Austria has had very routine and boring politics. After WW2 an "all party coalition" was formed between the OVP (the Conservatives), the SPO (the Socialists) and the KPO (the Communists). After dropping the Communists from this arrangement, the OVP-SPO kept in coalition until 1966, when the OVP formed a single party government, which was replaced by a single party SPO government in 1970 which ran until 1983.

At that time the Socialists decided to coalition with the FPO, or Freedom Party. At the time the FPO was more centrist and Liberal, however Jorg Haider rose up in the party and turned the FPO into a vehicle for nationalism.

Finally, in 1986, the coalition was restored, and was maintained until 1999, when OVP formed a coalition with FPO. While Haider himself was not included in government, EU countries imposed some sanctions on Austria. When it became clear FPO was not a threat to democracy, those sanctions were lifted.

In 2006 the traditional SPO-OVP coalition was restored, and has been governing austria since.

In the last election, in 2013, the SPO took 52 of the 183 seats, compared to 47 for the OVP and 40 for the FPO.

Until this spring, polls indicated the FPO on course for victory with the SPO in second, however the election of a new OVP leader over the summer, Sebastian Kurz, has changed that. Polls have shown a very consistent and nearly flat line for the OVP at 33% support, ahead of the SPO at 23% and FPO at 25%.

OVP - Austrian Peoples Party.
This is the "Conservative" party in Austria and has strong christian democratic roots, it is often compared to the CDU in Germany. It is a moderate right party with a long history in government and is expected to win the election.

SPO - Socialist Party of Austria
This is Austria's answer to Germany's SPD. It is the main left-wing party in the country and is currently leading the government. Polls indicate it will do poorly, perhaps even finishing third overall.

FPO - Freedom Party of Austria
This party has become more anti-immigration and anti-islam over the years and now presents an extreme viewpoint on the issue. It is in line with people like Marine Le Pen and far exceeds Donald Trump on opposing immigration.

The current President of Austria was Green leader for many years, but the party has fallen on rough times as one of its members has quit to create a splinter party. This party is like any other common 'default' Green party that can be found in Europe

Peter Pilz List
Started by a former Green, this party focuses on corruption issues and democratic reform. Its main planks are support for transparency and opposition to unethical behavior.

NEOS - New Austria Liberal Forum
This party polled well in 2014 but has since fallen in the polls and is now at or near 5% as are the two other "smaller" parties in Austria at the current time. They are a Liberal and pro-europe party.

Current polls, which are mostly stable, suggest the following result:

63 - OVP
50 - FPO
43 - SPO
9 - Green
9 - Pilz
9 - NEOS

It is unknown, however, if OVP will chose FPO or SPO for their coalition partner, as both comes with their own risks.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Catalonia developments

The recent referendum is reported to have been a massively oversized landslide for the yes side, on roughly 40% turnout. This matches the previous referendum 3 years ago.

I recommend following the BBC which has semi-regular updates on the situation.

In short, Catalan leaders have indicated they will declare independence, but Spain insists they will not recognize such a move. Europe is to debate this, but some countries have already come down on the side of Spain such as Ireland.

Italy faces its own separatists who seem emboldened by this, and the reactions of governments like the UK may cause flair ups in Scotland, for example. The political reality means the EU is unlikely to back this drive for Independence at this time.


I'm very eager to start writing about Iceland and Japan but the situation in both countries remains chaotic with new parties being formed and not many polls showing how well said parties are doing. As such I will wait until the situation calms down before doing my intro.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Singh first round victory

As mentioned in my post earlier today, the best result for the NDP was a first round victory. Singh, unlike Angus, does not have a seat, but with 55% of the party behind him on the first ballot, it puts significant energy behind the NDP and makes for a strong star for Jagmeet Singh as leader.

Update - October

Catalonia is "voting" today; at least where the police are not smashing down doors to grab ballot boxes. It's safe to say regardless of the result, few will view it as legitimate.

The NDP is voting as well. Mathematically, given the controversial stances of some candidates, the best result for the NDP may be 33.4% of the vote for both Angus and Singh, and 16.6% for Ashton and Caron. Don't get me wrong, I like Caron and would be tempted to vote NDP if he were leader, but I don't think he is appealing to the wider party, and Ashton turns people away due to her far left stances. If both were dropped on this ballot and the race became head to head between Singh and Angus, I think it would serve the NDP well.

There are a number of elections that I simply won't be following. Portugal's municipal elections today, for example, or the local and regional votes and referenda in Luxembourg, Austria, Venezuela, Italy, Kosovo, and the Philippines. It is also unlikely I will follow national elections in Liberia, Kyrgyzstan, Slovenia, or Kenya, mostly due to them either having unstable democracies, or, being for positions without much real power.

On the 15th Austria votes in Parliamentary elections. The Conservatives appear set for a win, with their new leadership being rather popular. They've pushed both the Socialists and the Nationalists down in the polls. Austria has a strong and long history of Conservative-Socialist coalition government, and that is likely to continue.

On the same day is regional (AKA provincial) elections in Lower Saxony in Germany, where electors will send members to the legislature in Hanover. In the federal election, the CDU took 35%, and the Greens 9%. Both parties are polling at the same numbers provincially, but Die Linke took 7% federally and is only at 5% at the state level, while the FDP took 9% and is at 8%. AfD, which I'm keeping an eye on was at 9% but is polling at 6%. The big gain is for the SPD which only took 27% of the vote here last week, but is sitting on 34% of the vote for the Landtag.

Czechia, formerly known as the Czech Republic, votes on the 20th and 21st. ANO2011 is the leading party in the polls. The party is interesting as it is probably the closest analogy to the Liberal Party of Canada in the world, being big-tent, pragmatic, and willing to use working ideas from across the spectrum.

On the 22nd is the election in Japan, which is still fluid. I've decided to report the entire alliance which the opposition Democrats is participating in as DP, or the Democratic Party. While not entirely accurate, it helps with understanding and simplicity. I've also gone over some historic results to help me understand the results of this coming election, as such I have a projection update:

245 LDP
30 NKP
265 GOV

150 DP
25 JCP
15 OTH

While this still gives the LDP a majority of their own, the DP becomes a very strong opposition force and one that will need to be dealt with properly if the LDP plans to continue winning elections. Part of the reason the DP has gained so much since my last projection is the system Japan uses, Parallel. A 5% change in vote will only gain you 5% of those proportional seats. The DP's alliance partner has done very well in Tokyo and I project 20 'ridings' that they can win, hence the sudden jump. Add to that the new poll that shows the DP at 18% "approval" (which translates into around 38% at the polls) and you begin to see where the remainder of the gain comes from.

On the same day is elections in Argentina. I'm not certain I'll cover these fully. Argentina is still a somewhat "new" democracy, only a few decades of stable democratic rule, and its parties are still somewhat fluid making a quality analysis difficult. Additionally, many countries that do not speak english have data that is hard to find; while in cases like Japan I can reference history to help me understand things, with newer democracies this is all the more difficult.

Lastly on the 28th is the election in Iceland which I plan to do a full post about in the coming days.