Thursday, May 31, 2018

NDP majority slips away

With multiple polls confirming the conservative party has not fallen as far as otherwise expected, the NDP's projected majority has now slipped away. The projection is as follows.

57 N 38.00%
51 P 34.77%
15 L 20.97%
01 G 06.26%

You'll notice some changes in specific ridings, as I get more and more accurate data for various riding races.

The Greens are now on the board, but it remains to be see how long this will last, as the NDP is only a few dozen votes behind in the riding.

Mississauga is where the NDP has probably lost the most ground, not due to the PC vote, but due to the Liberal vote, which is causing the PC party to win an additional riding due to the split vote.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Ontario projection unchanged despite Ipsos poll

Despite the Ipsos poll, I am not changing my projection. You may wonder why. The answer is in the details of the poll itself. Note as well that I've checked their previous poll this election, and they seem to be doing some heavy weighting.

The most recent Innovative poll has males 18-34 weighted at 144, but only found 97 actual men between 18-34 to answer their poll. This means the answer of these 97 is "upweighted" as though 144 people answered. This is, of course, a gross over-simplification of how weighting works, but gives you an example of what it means. This means each respondent is upweighted to 148% vs the normal 100%.

Leger is more open with its weightings; allowing us to see they had 324 people tell them they were voting PC, and 304 for the NDP; but weighted this to 299 for the Tories and 295 for the NDP. This is not unreasonable, as, it is hard to contact those who work long hours, or are in school, etc, meaning the retired are simply easier to contact, and older voters trend right-wing.

Mainstreet also has re-weighted the parties, with the NDP moving from 518 to 522 and the Tories from 599 to 585; again, not unreasonable given the large number of older respondents in that particular poll.

None of these polls however compare to some of the things in the Ipsos poll. They managed to find 55 people without high school diplomas, but have up-weighted them to 177, meaning 269% vs the standard 100%. There is also a nearly doubling (55 to 101) of respondents in the "central" area.

Ipsos is the only firm of the bunch to not up-weight the NDP, but down-weight the NDP. Their may 15th poll had actual respondents break 310 to 309 for the NDP, but weighted this as 281 to 328. On the 22nd 349-306 became 311-306, and on the 29th, 405-376 is 355-391.

Lets pull back for a moment and go on a fun tangent involving math.

Each riding in Ontario is supposed to contain the same number of people. Sure this is not exact, ridings, by design, can very by up to 15%, some ridings are intentionally very unpopulated as they are physically large, and others can see high growth in between the time they were made and now; but for quick back-of-the-envelope calculations, especially those not involving Northern Ontario, you can assume each riding contains 1/124th of the population. This would mean a region containing 8% or so of the population of Ontario would be 10 or so ridings in size. This would be the size of the "Central" region in the Ipsos polls.

The "GTA" would have to be 59 or so, with some room to be fuzzy due to the aforementioned variances; East 15, and Southwest 33.

When you actually map it out, the divisions are all logical, and, in fact, match well with some of the divisions proposed by wikipedia.

I don't fully understand what the problem is. After staring at over a dozen Ipsos polls (those prior to the writ drop don't have this problem) I've not been able to figure it out. If they were accidentally assigning voters to the wrong regions, we would not see the breakdowns that we are.

Regardless, the weird weighting problem with the polls makes me have doubts. As such, unless I see a poll from another firm suggesting the tories are up from that firm's own previous poll, I will not be updating the projection for any PC "rise"

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Ontario - NDP wins on the math

Today marks the end of my trend based projections as I transition to math based projections. Despite this, as I've done in every election, my gut plays a role in that math. Weighted at one third, the popular vote figures of 42.3% for the NDP, 32.1% for the Tories, and 21.7% for the Liberals, have been applied to the pure math and produced the following projection:

63 - NDP - 39.17%
49 - PC - 34.47%
12 -  LIB - 20.83%

I've also made additional corrections to the sheets, so if you wish to make your own projections, download a copy. In particular, "turnout" figures for each riding should now be correct as previously I was drawing those figures from the incorrect location.

I've also done research on the factor a Ford candidacy has on Etobicoke North, and have slightly bumped up the Ford numbers in the riding, turning it Blue. Note, however, that at this point, the figures have been bumped by more than half; more than I've ever bumped any riding in any projection, and it still remains a close race with the NDP.

As we've been expecting an NDP win for some time, the main 'story' from this is that the Liberals are holding their ground better than expected, and may walk away with a dozen or more seats at the end of the day.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Ontario NDP's Ceiling

How high could the NDP go?

After re-running the math based on some new evidence the NDP may actually be able to break away with a massive lead (which I've represented as 47% vs 32%) which would enable them to win far more seats than Bob Rae ever did.

Here are the new maximums for the NDP:

90 - NDP
26 - PC
8 - LIB

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Ontario NDP back in Majority territory after accounting for trends

The party is trending up, and in a manner that is not easy to reverse. A Recent Ipsos poll shows that 20% of people think the Liberals are most likely to win, while many, many polls, show that a lot of Liberals are quite open to voting NDP as their 2nd choice.

In short; we are aware that this is a PC-NDP race because you and I are political animals. Many voters are not aware, yet, that this is a PC-NDP race, and, when they become aware, will stop wanting to vote Liberal, and will start wanting to vote NDP.

This is the trend of the election. We've seen voters switching Liberal to NDP since the writ was dropped. A Mainstreet poll from early in the year had the PC Party at 43%, the Liberals at 32%, and the NDP at 18%. The most recent poll, as of the time of writing, from Pollara, has the NDP at 38%, the PC Party at 37%, and the Liberals at 18%.

You and I may be fully aware the NDP is in the lead, but many voters are not. People are not nearly as engaged as most of us hope they would be, even during an election.

This is what I am correcting for.

This is the kind of thing I mean when I say I am correcting for the trendline.

I am estimating what the popular vote will be once the electorate is "up to speed", as they tend to do as the election draws closer. It is my supposition that once they are fully "up to speed", and all the Anti-Ford and Anti-Wynne people realize the NDP is a safe bet, that the NDP will be at or around 41%, the PC Party at or around 37%, and the Liberals at or around 19%.

This would give them the following result:

65 - NDP
47 - PC
12 - LIB

This would result in an NDP Majority.

Neither Ford nor Wynne would be returned; however, there are caveats. I am assuming there will be an Anti-Wynne vote as many people personally hold her responsible for the failures of her government. This is similar to how Premiers Charest and Getty lost their seats at various points, despite the raw math suggesting they should not. As for Ford, I had to bump up the PC total to try to estimate his personal popularity. It is possible I under-estimated it, and, he would win even in this scenario. Unfortunately, without additional data (such as a riding poll) it is difficult to tell, and we are still far enough from the election that I don't feel a compelling need to delve into hours of polls to ensure this seat is correct; I have other seats to do that for and a limited amount of time to do that in. Be assured that by June 6th and my final projection, this and all seats will have had time spent looking at it individually.

Also note that I only make actual changes to the base math that I feel are significant. As a result, you'll notice that Jack MacLaren does not appear whatsoever in my spreadsheet. I consider his election so unlikely that the work to add him would be a waste. I have had voters in a riding the NDP won in 2014 with 52% of the vote, and where they are projected to win with a much larger share, complain that the party I have in second in that riding is incorrect. Frankly, this is not a difference I feel is significant enough to justify a change to the math.

I will, always, take a look at ridings that are close, and adjust them as needed. There are many reasons for adjustments. They can include but are not limited to:

  • A very popular candidate ran for a party last time, but the current candidate for that party is much lesser known.
  • A popular candidate is running this time, but did not run last time.
  • A candidate has managed to get themselves into a scandal of some sort.
  • A party has managed to get themselves (un)popular in the local area due to their (lack of) support for a particular policy

These are things I look for an try to take into account, but if the party is not able to win the particular riding in question, the impact on what people generally want to know most of all - who is going to win the riding - is minimal. As such, I do not put resources (IE time) into refining these aspects when I feel that my resources could be better spent elsewhere.

I hope this answers a lot of misconceptions that I've seen over this election campaign. Keep in mind that you can always make your own projections using the same math I do:

Copy this sheet and change the numbers in the black coloured cells.

Remember to check back for any updates I may have made to the sheet in the interim so you can grab a fresh copy with the revised math.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Venezuela's "Election"

There's not much to say here beyond the election was clearly a sham.

It's difficult to say if more ballots were actually cast for Falcon or not, as the actual opposition candidate was not permitted to run, and Falcon was seen by some as a stooge of the regime.

What is clear is that the official results webpage, for some reason, will not load any results from states won by the opposition in 2013, but loads the states won by the regime in 2013 just fine.

As such its impossible to even tell what the "real" election results are in terms of ballots actually cast; much less the ballots that could have been cast if the opposition candidate was allowed to run.

Regardless, the country is so far from a democracy at this point that it's no longer worth covering seriously.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Ontario, Maximums and Minimums

After additional feedback, I decided to share what I currently have for the maximums and minimums of each party in this election.



78 - NDP
40 - PC
6 - LIB



85 - PC
31 - NDP
8 - LIB



48 - LIB
42 - PC
34 - NDP


There is no Green map as, at current, their maximum is likely 1, nor are there "minimum" maps, as, the effective minimum for each party is shown in the maximums for the other parties; IE around 40 for the Tories, and around 30 for the NDP, with the Libs minimum being a small handful of seats.

Ontario Update - Better math

I've overhauled the math I use to make projections and present a better projection of the coming election using the same basic rules as in my last post.

PC - 59 - 39%
NDP - 57 - 39%
LIB - 8 - 17%

Hopefully the ridings won will make more sense now that the math has been corrected

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Ontario update - (the lack of) movement

Due to reader feedback, I've decided to move back to a full trendline system; which means this is what I expect the end result to be on election day. As such, this result and projections by others will move closer and closer towards one another as election day approaches. I simply expect it will be they moving towards these numbers, and not the other way around.

As such, this is an update to this earlier projection.

In short, what has happened is the NDP has lost 4 seats.

Additionally, as I improve the base math I use to make these projections, some riding winners have been shuffled around.

60 - NDP
57 - PC
7 - LIB

There are a few things to take away.

1 - NDP not growing fast enough
Compared to what I expected, the NDP's growth has been a bit slow over the past three days.

2 - Tories are not falling away yet
In order for the NDP to win a majority they have to knock a few points off the PC Party, this is not yet happening

3 - Liberals still holding ground
They really need to be lower than what we are seeing for the full NDP win to emerge

4 - NDP vote is shifting
The NDP is unreasonably high in the GTA. I've yet to track down exactly why, but will continue to investigate. This contrasts with them being unreasonably low in Eastern Ontario.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Italy - New Government?

Italy may have a new government after M5S and LN appear to have signed a deal to form a coalition.

As mentioned in my previous post on the Italian election, both M5S and LN can be seen as anti-establishment.

M5S and LN would have 170 of the 315 Senators, a majority, and more importantly, 352 of the 630 seats in the lower house, a majority.

Currently, Italy has tax brackets of 23%, 27%, 38%, 41%, and 43%. The new coalition would reduce that to two brackets of 15% and 20%. This idea is not as radical as it may seem as Italy has a large number of tax"payers" who evade income taxes, and this may bring them into the system. Additionally, with a VAT (sales tax) of 22%, a lower share of revenue comes from income taxes than Canada. The parties explicitly plan to fund growth through a deficit.

Perhaps the most striking thing in the proposal is a plan for a sort of "Basic Income" that would see individuals get €780. Due to cost of living differences it can be difficult to translate the currency directly, but from what I can gather, this works out to about $1,200 or so Canadian every month.

I will update this with more as it comes. Additionally, I do plan on looking at results in Iraq, updating the situation in Japan, taking glances at East Timor, Venezuela, Ireland and Barbados.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happy Mothers Day - a uniquely Teddy look at his Mom

For Mothers Day I decided to make my mother a gift, one that is unique to me and what I do; I've decided to track her life by the elections she's lived through!

Since Municipal elections have spotty data, I will focus on Federal and Provincial elections, and, in particular, the prospective from the ridings where she lived.

The first election she would have lived through, though as a young child, 1965 Federal Election, at which time she lived in the Danforth riding. That election would see the Liberals under Pearson win 131 seats and a Majority. Danforth voted for the NDP however with 49% of the vote.

The next would be the Provincial election of 1967, which would see Stephen Lewis win Scarborough West for the NDP, ahead of Reg Stackhouse by a margin of 48%-31%. This provincial election returned the sitting PC government to another majority, 69 seats to 28 for the Liberals and 20 for the NDP.

Trudeaumania would strike in 1968 with a Federal Liberal majority, including a Liberal win on the riding of Scarborough West, on 43% of the vote.

This brings us to 1971 Ontario Provincial election which was won by the PC Party with 78 seats, compared to 20 for the Liberals and 19 for the NDP. The election saw Bill Davis, in his first victory, over Robert Nixon of the Liberals, and Stephen Lewis, leader of the NDP. Lewis won the Scarborough West riding with 39% of the vote, ahead of the PC Candidate at 38%, and Frank Faubert for the Liberals, at 23%. Faubert would go on to become Mayor.

Following this the next election she would have lived through was the Federal election of 1972. Famous as results on election night showed a tie, but once all the recounts had completed, the Liberals had won 109 to 107, with 31 for the NDP, 15 for Social Credit, and 2 Independents. Her riding, Scarborough West, was won by the NDP candidate with 36% of the vote, over the Liberal at 33%, and the Tory at 30%

Next on our list would be the federal 1974 election, which saw Trudeau win a majority, and the NDP lose half of their seats. One of those being the massive riding of Scarborough East, where my mother new lived, which went to the Liberals on 47% of the vote.

The news for the NDP would be better provincially in 1975, when they took 38 seats, to 36 for the Liberals, and held the Tories, at 51, to a minority. Scarborough Centre would re-elect its PC MPP on 41% of the vote, compared to 37% for the NDP.

1977 would see the NDP dropped to 3rd, 33 seats, behind the Liberals at 34, and the Tories at 58. Now in Scarborough North, she would again see a sitting PC MPP returned, this time on 50% of the vote.

The 1979 Federal election, which would see Joe Clark and his Tories win a minority, would see the York--Scarborough riding taken by the Tories, away from the Liberals who previously held the area.

The 1980 federal election would see Trudeau return with a majority. In my mother's riding, the incumbent PC MP would be defeated with the losing Liberal in 1979 in York--Scarborough, being elected, 48% of the vote to 38% for the sitting Tory.

In 1981 Mom was living out of the house, in Scarborough West, when the Provincial election hit. Lewis decided not to run for re-election, but the riding was held by the NDP regardless, 42% to 40% for the Tories. This would be Bill Davis' last election as Premier.

This is where our story take a sharp and sudden turn to British Columbia, in time for the 1983 provincial election. Gordon Campbell would be her Mayor, and Bill Bennett of Social Credit would be returned as Premier over Dave Barrett and his NDP. This election would see Vancouver--Little Mountain return its two incumbent Social Credit MLAs to the Legislature. This would have been the first election she was old enough to vote in, but residency requirements may not have allowed her to as she was new to the Province. Additionally, like me, she may not have voted in some of the earliest elections where she had that option. Though no Federal election occurred during her stay in BC, it would be remiss of me not to note her MP was a Tory.

By the time of the 1984 Federal election, I was in her belly! Scarborough East, her riding at the time, would easily stay PC, though under a different candidate. The federal 1984 election is famous for Mulroney's massive victory, where he won 211 seats.

The provincial 1985 election was much closer, Frank Miller lead the Tories to only 52 seats, ahead of David Peterson and the Liberals at 48, and Bob Rae of the NDP at 25. Peterson and Rae would sign a deal and Peterson would be Premier within 2 months. In that election, her riding of Scarborough-Ellesmere elected a NDP MPP who defeated the sitting Tory by only 219 votes.

By the 1987 election, she was now living back in the Scarborough North riding, which elected Alvin Curling, future Speaker, as a Liberal, in an election that returned 95 Liberals, 19 New Democrats, and 16 Tories.

This was followed by the 1988 Federal election where Derek Lee took Scarborough--Rouge River from the Tories with 47% of the vote over their 38%, also defeating NDP candidate Raymond Cho at 14%. This election saw Mulroney win a majority as well.

1990 would see Alvin Curling re-elected, but Bob Rae win a majority, taking 74 seats to 36 for the Liberals and 20 for the Tories.

The 1993 Federal election would be the first I actually recall watching! Our riding of Etobicoke Centre had been home of Michael Wilson, the Tory Finance Minister, but would see Allan Rock of the Liberals win, with over half of the vote, ahead of a second placed Reform Party challenger, and a 5th placed National Party candidate.

By the 1995 Provincial election we would be back in Alvin Curling's riding to see hin re-elected. Mike Harris would famously lead his Tories to a Majority in that election.

This is when our story moves to Prince Edward Island in time for the 1996 Provincial election that would see the Liberal MLA for Evangeline--Miscouche re-elected but the Liberals defeated 18 seats to 8 by the Tories, while the NDP would pick up 1 seat.

In the 1997 election our riding of Egmont would re-elect a Liberal as MP, and the Liberals would narrowly maintain their federal Majority.

2000 would see the provincial riding of Evangeline--Miscouche ditch its sitting Liberal MLA for a PC MLA on a margin of 48% to 45%, which added to the massive government of 26 MLAs vs 1 for the opposition Liberals.

Federally, the 2000 election would see Egmont return its Liberal MP with slightly over half of the vote.

In the 2003 Provincial election my mother, sadly, did not have the chance to vote for me, as, she did not live in the riding in which I ran! Instead her riding of St. Eleanors--Summerside re-elected its PC MLA in an election where the Tories won 23 seats to the Liberals 4.

The federal election of 2004 may have seen the Liberals lose their majority federally, only taking 135 seats to 99 for the Tories, 54 for the Bloc, 19 for the NDP, with 1 Independent, but the Egmont riding was easily held by the Grits on over half of the vote.

2006 would see little change Federally in the riding, with the same MP re-elected, but would usher in a government change with Harper winning a minority for the Tories, 124 seats to 103 for the Liberals, 51 for the Bloc, 29 for the NDP, and 1 Independent.

In the 2007 Provincial election, the Liberals would reverse the tables, taking 23 seats to 4 for the Tories, including Summerside--St. Eleanors, which they won with over half of the vote.

The 2008 Federal election would finally see Egmont go Blue, electing Gail Shea from the Tories by 55 votes. Harper would also increase his majority, taking 143 seats, to 77 for the Liberals, 49 for the Bloc, 37 for the NDP, with 2 Independents.

The 2011 Federal election would see the Tories win a majority, and Gail Shea win a majority in her riding for the Tories.

Provincially in the same year, The Liberals would be re-elected both to government and in the riding by similar margins as the previous election.

The 2015 Federal election would see the Liberals re-take not only a majority government, but the Egmont riding as well, heavily defeating Gail Shea, 49% to 29%.

Our most recent election is the 2015 Provincial election where the Liberals held government, 18 seats to 8 for the Tories, and 1 for the Greens, but only won the riding by 41% of the vote to 36% for the Tories, 12% for the NDP, and 11% for the Greens.

And thus, is the life of my Mom, in Elections.

Keep your own Mom in mind today, and don't forget to give her a call!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Ontario, May 12th

Quick update to the projection.

60 - PC
48 - NDP
16 - OLP

Reminder that you can play with the numbers yourself here:

I've added three special formulas to help make the projection more accurate. They are as follows.

FF or Ford Factor. This is the ability of Doug Ford to get people to vote for him in areas where "ford nation" has traditionally strong demographics such as Scarborough.

AFF or Anti-Ford Factor. This is the willingness of Liberal voters to vote NDP to stop Doug Ford. There is no opposite formula to move NDP voters to the Liberals for the simple reason that 2014's Tim Hudak was also "very scary" and, therefore, these specific NDP voters (ones willing to vote Liberal to stop the Tories) are already marked as Liberals due to the fact that I use the 2014 results as a baseline for my spreadsheet.

LSD or Liberal Swing Drop. Looking at the 2014 results for the NDP it becomes clear there are some ridings they do very well in and others they do very poor in. This is not an NDP problem, its a problem for any party with a comparatively small share of the vote. This simulates the inverse of bandwagoning, and, as such, the higher the number, the more votes the Liberals will lose in ridings that they are not strong in. Note as well this formula is tied into the actual vote share for the Liberals, and, as such, as they drop in the polls, this factor will automatically get stronger

The other three editable cells are for the province-wide share of vote for each of the three parties. You may notice that I've put the NDP above their current share in various polls; this is because I feel the party has yet to actually catch up to where they truly are. In short, voters know in their gut that they are willing to vote NDP, but their brain may not yet be aware of this.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Malaysian Election

As you've likely heard by now, the Opposition has won the Malaysian election. To explain why that is such big news, I need to provide some context.

Prior to 1955, the Malaysian assembly had been hand-picked by the High Commissioner, who was chosen by Britain. The 1955 election was easily won by the Alliance, which was, as its name implies, an Alliance of parties; in particular, the Malayan Indian Congress, the Malayan Chinese Association, and the United Malays National Organization, or UMNO, which won 34 of the total of 52 seats in the Assembly.

The first post-independence election in 1959 saw the Alliance re-elected, winning 74 of the 104 seats

In 1963 the Malaysia we know today was formed, with the Peninsular areas being joined by Sabah and Sarawak, on Borneo, and Singapore. The Alliance quickly irritated the Peoples Action Party (PAP), the ruling party of Singapore, by reneging on a deal they had made to not contest seats there in local elections.

The 1964 election saw the Alliance win 89 of the 104 seats on the mainland. This, however, was a majority of the grand total of the 159 seats available. As a result of this overwhelming victory, Singapore withdrew from Malaysia the following year to become an independent country. The influence of PAP, however, would continue to be felt, as, PAP members in Malaysia would go on to create the Democratic Action Party, which would, more or less, be the main opposition party for decades to come.

The 1969 election was difficult for the Alliance. The Alliance managed to win 66 of the 103 seats on the Mainland; but this would fall short of a majority of the grand total of 144 seats. However, they managed to take 8 seats on Borneo, securing 74 of the 144 seats, and a Majority. They won only 44% of the vote, however, but, many seats had been won by acclimation.

By 1974, the Alliance had become Barisan National. This new alliance contained over half of the former opposition, including parties such as the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party. BN won an overwhelming victory, taking 135 of the 154 seats. This would be followed by a similarly sized victory in 1978, winning 131 of 154 seats.

The 1982 election would see BN, lead by the new Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad. He would lead the BN to a victories taking 132 of 154 seats in 1982, and 148 of 177 in 1986.

Trouble began in 1988 when Mohamad was challenged for the leadership of UMNO, the main party in BN. In a close, and some say rigged vote, Mohamad emerged victorious, and began a purge of political opponents. Many of them would eventually start or join opposition parties. The purges eventually hit the judiciary with many judges being dismissed. The controversy caused the 1990 election to be comparatively competitive.

In 1990, BN won 127 of the 180 seats, a far lower share than in previous elections. Shortly thereafter, Anwar Ibrahim became Finance Minister and the economy took off like a rocket. By 1995, BN was able to win re-election taking 162 of the 192 seats. By 1998, Anwar Ibrahim had fallen out of favor with Mohamad and was arrested and charged with corruption and sodomy. This did not stop Mohamad from winning re-election in 1999 leading BN to taking 148 of the 193 seats. The main opposition was Barisan Alternatif (BA), a party Anwar Ibrahim had involvement with, which took 45 seats.

By the time of the 2004 elections, Mohamad had finally left the job of Prime Minister. BN won 198 of the 219 seats in elections that year. BA managed 24% of the vote, but only won 8 seats.

In time for the 2008 election, a large opposition alliance was formed known as Pakatan Rakyat (PKR). Joining BA were three other parties. the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, the Peoples Justice Party (with deep ties to Anwar Ibrahim), and the Democratic Action Party. Lead by Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, the first woman to lead a major political alliance in the country, PKR managed to take 48% of the vote and 82 seats, but still lost to BN, which took 140 seats on 51% of the vote.

The 2013 elections appeared to potentially be historic. Many were expecting PKR, now lead by Anwar Ibrahim, to win. In fact, when the results came in, PKR had taken 51% of the vote, compared to 47% for BN. However, due to the FPTP (First Past The Post) nature of the electoral system, BN still won a majority of seats, 133 compared to 89 for PKR.

This brings us to the current election


There is not much to say as most of the context is laid out above.

Anwar Ibrahim, whose earlier conviction had been overturned, had the overturning of that conviction overturned, and, as such, is back in jail.

In 2015 a major scandal hit the government related to 1MBD, a government run company. In short, the Prime Minister, Najib Tun Razak was accused of lining his pockets. Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad returned to politics to demand Razak resign. In January of this year, Mohamad was named as the Prime Minister candidate for PH (Alliance of Hope) the successor to the PKR. His deputy would be Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, the wife of Anwar Ibrahim.

Polls for the election indicated that BN could likely still win a majority, thanks in part to a split in the vote between PH and the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, which would not be part of the opposition alliance.

Results, however, were decisive.

121 - PH - 50%
79 - BN - 36%

With a majority of the 222 seats won, PH has won a majority.

Mohamad has already been sworn in as Prime Minister, and Ibrahim has been pardoned. According to the plan of the party, he will take over as Prime Minister in two years. Outgoing PM, Razak, has accepted the loss. Despite this, all is not set in stone. Already, one party has withdrawn from PH. Current standings in Parliament are as follows.

113 - PH (majority)
79 - BN
18 - Islamists
12 - Others

By party, they are as follows (three largest shown)

55 - UMNO (BN)
47 - Peoples Justice Party (PH)
42 - Democratic Action Party (PH)

As with 2013, even despite the PH victory, there were accusations of gerrymandering to support BN. As someone who makes a regular habit of watching world elections, I see no evidence of this in most states. However, results from Perak have been unusual in the last few elections, including this one, that seems to have started with the 2009 crisis in that state.

There are also potential future roadblocks to keep an eye out for. The King of Malaysia is actually chosen by the various state/provincial Kings (sultans) as most states have their own King. The national King serves for 5 years, and can be re-"elected" down the road. Both Mohamad and Ibrahim have made enemies of the Sultan of Selangor, and should he become King of Malaysia, there could be potential issues.

Beyond that, this looks similar in some ways to the 1993 election in Japan, when members of various factions that broke off from the ruling party were able to unite and deal that party a democratic defeat. If what happens there will happen here, electoral reform may be in the cards.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Lebanon and Malaysia

After digging into the results, I believe this is the best way to present the data: 

Future and Lebanese Forces campaigned and operate as two separate parties, but what unites them is opposition to Syria and Hezbollah. As such, I've combined the two in order to simplify the data. Additionally, I've combined the "other" parties into a simple "other" grouping; however they can be broken down into three smaller groupings; Socialists/Left, Moderates and Pro-Business, and Religious/Nationalist parties.

FPM and Hezbollah have a history of working together, as such, I also compare the "Pro" vs "Anti" Hezbollah parties.

This is one of the keys to understanding what happened, Hezbollah and allies won both Christians and Muslims by similar margins, and a majority of both communities. Additionally, Hezbollah and allies did well among various major groups, taking slightly under half of both Maronites, and Greek Orthodox; a majority of Melkites (Greek Catholic) and Armenians, and even a quarter of Sunni seats.

In short; the election winner is clear.

Also note I am working on a post about the Malaysian election, where the opposition secured a surprise victory, defeating the party that had previously held an unbroken string of governments going back to the independence of Malaysia from the UK.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Ontario Update, May 9th

Note that you can see the results of this projection yourself here: and using the following numbers:
5.5 for each of the three factors
23% for the Liberals, 38% for the PC Party, and 32% for the NDP.

60 - PC
43 - NDP
21 - OLP

I've updated quite a bit of the projection's mechanics. It now properly takes Ford into account, including properly showing him winning his own riding. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Ontario Electomatic

I've decided to release, to the public, the spreadsheets I use to make my election projections. This is a decision from before the copyright polling nonsense from last night.

I don't know how to make user-only copies, so everyone has to share the same one until I figure that out. As such I'd simply ask that if you break it (like by setting the liberals to 999% of the vote) that you reset it before you are finished.

The best way to use it is to make your own copy, and play with that instead.

It's still a bit of a work in progress as I'm going to add a few more things to it; but its ready for release.

Lebanon Election "Results"

It is still difficult to find precise results, but I will share what I have been able to find.

28 - FPM/Libnan al-Kawi (P) Christian - Nationalist
21 - Future Movement (A) Sunni - Moderate
16 - Amal Movement (P) Shia - Conservative
14 - Lebanese Forces (A) Christian - Christian Democrat
13 - Hezbollah (P) Shia - Nationalist
9 - Progressive Socialist (A) Secular - Socialist
4 - Al-Azem/Glory (P) Secular - Centrist
3 - Syrian Social Nationalist Party (P) Secular - Nationalist
3 - Tashnaq (P) Armenian - Socialist
3 - Kateb (A) Christian - Hard Right
3 - Marada (P) Christian - Right Wing
2 - National Alliance (A) Secular - Moderate
1 - Al-Ahbash (P) Sunni - Islamic
1 - PNO / Nasserist (P) Sunni - Nasserism
1 - Union Party (P) Christian? - Nasserism
1 - National Dialogue Party (A) Secular - Capitalist
1 - Lebanese Democratic Party (P) Druze - Conservative
1 - Independence Movement (A) Christian - Conservative

74 - Pro-Syria, 'Anti-west', 'Pro-Shia', "Hezbollah Allies"
51 - Anti-Syria, 'Pro-west', 'Pro-Sunni', "Hariri Allies"

46 - Nationalists
39 - Conservatives
36 - Others

Shia united strongly
Sunni mostly united, only a few seats voted the "other way"
Christians swung heavily towards Hezbollah allies

The momentum/power is with the FPM, Amal Movement, Hezbollah, and Lebanese Forces. 

A good election for President Aoun.

Hariri has been weakened, but will likely remain Prime Minister, as, the PM needs to be Sunni, and he still took the overwhelming share of the Sunni vote (21 of 27 seats)

Nabih Berri is likely to remain the Speaker of Parliament, a position that must be held by a Shiite. Together with Hezbollah, his Amal Movement took 30 of the 27 Shia seats; as, clearly, non-Shia voters voted for his party. 

With all the various parties and alliances it is as of yet unclear exactly how things will play out. When more concrete details are available, I will update the situation.

Election Projection Disclaimer

All poll numbers used in election projections are selected at random. Any similarity to any poll figures from any polling forms is a coincidence and not intended.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Making election projections could get you arrested in the future

I'll let you read the tweet for yourself.

Ontario Update, May 7th

I've toned down the trendline so that the projection is closer to current polls, but still includes a healthy dose of what I expect to happen.

Doing so gives us the following results.


Keep in mind the NDP has all the momentum at this time.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Lebanon finally votes

After a number of failed starts, Lebanon is finally voting today in its first election in nearly a decade.

Two basic alliances make up the core split in politics in Lebanon. The March 8th alliance, known for its Pro-Syrian stance, and the March 14th alliance, known for its Anti-Syrian stance. To keep things simple, I'll tag these two basic alliances as (P) for Pro-Syria, and (A) for Anti-Syria.

Lebanon is also split on religious lines. Christian groups, mostly nominated by the orthodox Maronite Church, form a large share of the population, while the majority of Lebanese are Muslim, mostly split between Sunni and Shia. These are noted by the name of the dominant religion or ethnic group.

Lastly is the right-left balance within the party if any.

The main parties are as follows.

Future Movement (A) Sunni - Moderate
Free Patriotic Movement (P) Christian - Nationalist
Amal Movement (P) Shia - Conservative
Hezbollah (P) Shia - Nationalist
Lebanese Forces (A) Christian - Christian Democrat
Progressive Socialist (A) Secular - Socialist
Arab Democratic Party (P) Secular - Left
Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party (P) Secular - Pro-Arab
Lebanese Democratic Party (P) Druze - Conservative
Independence Movement (A) Christian - Conservative
National Alliance (A) Secular - Moderate
Ramgavar (A) Armenian - Liberal
Rifi Bloc (A) Sunni - Conservative
Syrian Social Nationalist Party (P) Secular - Nationalist
Tashnaq (P) Armenian - Socialist 

To say this is confusing would be an under-statement. 

Pro-Syrian parties tend to be more right-wing, and nationalist in nature. As well, they have quite a bit of support from the Shia community. Anti-Syrian forces are more open to liberal ideals, and have widespread support among the Sunni community. Each side has a major Christian party backing it, and the largest Druze party is Pro. 

The electoral system is heavily based on demographics, with each group electing a certain number of members. This as as follows.

Alawite - 2
Armenian Catholic - 1
Armenian Orthodox - 5
Druze - 8
Protestant - 1
Greek Catholic - 8
Greek Orthodox - 14
Maronite - 34
Minorities - 1
Shia - 27
Sunni - 27

Each electoral area is running its own separate list of candidates. For example, in West Beirut, the Future Movement is running its own separate list; but in the Zahle area, it is running as part of the larger "Zahle for All" list. 

Considering the number of variables possible, discussing things further without some idea of the results will be nearly impossible. I will update the situation as results come in over the next few days.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Mexico, Part 3

This election has three serious candidates for President.

Jose Antonio Meade Kuribrena is the PRI candidate. He is running under the "Everyone for Mexico" coalition which includes the PRI, the Greens, and the liberal Alliance Party.

Ricardo Anaya Cortes is the PAN candidate. His alliance is the "Forward Mexico" coalition (Literally: For Mexico to the Front) which includes PAN, the progressive Citizens Movement, and, perhaps surprisingly, the PRD.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is the candidate for MORENA. His party is in the "Together We Will Make History" coalition, which includes MORENA, the Labour party, and the right-evangelical PES.

Trying to explain exactly why the parties are backing who they are would be quite complicated as even I don't fully understand a lot of the nuance of Mexican politics.

The election has been rife with so many scandals and so much drama that trying to cover it here will be difficult; but I will touch on some of it. First, however, the polls.

For the past year, the momentum towards Obrador has been clear. He has lead polls since April of 2017. Recent polls have him at around 45% support, with Anaya between 25%-30%, and Meade between 20%-25%. Additionally, both his party, and his coalition, are doing well in the polls, suggesting a plurality in Congress, if not an outright Majority.

Despite the "left" and "right" labels, all 3 candidates are difficult to classify.

The election takes place on the 1st of July, so it seems likely Obrador will win.

Why will he win? That's a bit more complex.

Looking into the scandals may help understand, but unfortunately, I am not going to go in to that. This post is not going to be as robust as the others.

To get a bit personal,

I write these in advance when I can. Today, Wednesday, is a bit of a difficult day for me emotionally. I've learned of Gord Brown's passing, and just this morning was listening to Kevin Smith on Colbert talk about his own heart attack. I have never been very healthy, and things like this worry me.

Additionally, while I do feel I know enough about the situation in Mexico to help sum it up for others, the reality is that many aspects of politics in Latin America still confuse me.

Language plays a huge role on culture. In fact, in some ways, it can determine your future. Language can even change how you see colour.

There is a commonality in both Portuguese and Spanish speaking countries, and their politics, that makes things very "fluid" in a way I find difficult to interpret. Consider here in Canada, in Quebec, the idea of laicite is seen as 'secular', whereas most of english speaking Canada has been seen as viewing it as anti-islam, or anti-semitic.

My strength comes from understanding politics as it is presented in the idealized Canadian structure. Where "The Party" is what you vote for, where "The Party" is what gets into the Parliament, and where "The Party" as its own organization, acts as needed to keep its own members in line.

Many countries have politics that operate in this manner. Canada, the UK, Germany, Sweden, and so on; but the further you get from this ideal, the less I can admit full understanding. The US, with its very weak party roles, often confounds me, despite the fact that I can see a lake from the sidewalk in front of my building that borders that country. Quite often, there will be attempts to translate certain documents into a "Western European Language" which often boils down to Spanish, French, or English. The unfortunate side effect of this is that countries that are predominantly France or Spanish tend to be harder to research, as there's less of an impetus to translate documents into English.

I'm not admitting defeat by any means, but wanted to give some context as to why some of this series on Mexico may have been slightly confusing. Quite simply, for someone who grew up in a Parliamentary system in and English speaking country, it simply is confusing.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Mexico, Part 2

In 2000, Mexico had three large parties.

PRI - Institutional Revolutionary Party
The PRI is, as seen in my previous post, the historic ruling party. At this point in time, they'd ruled Mexico nonstop for 80 years, holding the Presidency. They are generally pragmatic, but also viewed as corrupt. Economically, the PRI has been trying to privatized and open up the Mexican economy for the past 30 years, with mixed success. Due to a change made in electoral laws, in 1997, the PRI lost their Congressional majority for the first time.

PAN - National Action Party
The oldest of the two large opposition parties, PAN has been a consistent foe of the PRI for nearly its entire existence. PAN quickly became a right-wing alternative to the PRI government. In the late 1970s the party faced a major split between its more religious and more secular wings, with the more secular wing eventually winning out. In 1989 the party won its first governorship, a few years later, its first Senator. By 2000 the party had momentum behind it.

PRD - Party of the Democratic Revolution
This party was created as a merger of the left-wing anti-PRI forces that "won" the 1988 elections. PRD had been seen as being to the left of PRI and represented the left-wing of Mexican politics. The party managed to win governorships in 1997 and 1999 and was seen as on the rise, plus, their candidate was a popular one and the party posed a real threat to the PRI.

The 1997 elections had seen the PRI retain 60% of the Senate, but, lose its majority in the House, dropping to 239 of 500 members, with the PAN and PRD being roughly equal at 121 and 125 members each.

The three candidates for the 2000 election were as follows.

Francisco Labastida - PRI
Mexican law prohibits anyone holding certain positions, such as in Cabinet, from running for President. one must be out of office for at least 6 months. As such, while another man held the post, Labastida was effectively the "incumbent" Interior Minister. Mexico has no 'Vice President', so many view this position as equal to that of VP. Having only spent a year in the office, it was quite clear Labastida was the official successor to the President.

Cuauhtemoc Cardenas - PRD
Cardenas is the same candidate who 'won' the 1988 election. He also ran (and lost) in 1994. Since then, he served as effective Mayor of Mexico City. Cardenas is a respected left-wing candidate and viewed by many as a credible alternative. Many saw this as an opportunity for him to finally be fairly elected.

Vicente Fox - PAN
Fox had served as 4 years as a state Governor, and had experience in business, working for Coca Cola. Fox had built up a reputation by this time as being pro-business, and had widespread support within the PAN. Additionally, Fox was very tall, and became known as a bit of a "cowboy", famously calling his PRI opponent a cross-dresser as a play on his name.

Polls generally suggested another PRI victory, but election night came as a shock to many.

Cardenas took 16.64% of the vote for PRD.

Labastida, the official PRI candidate, took 36.11%

Rather it was Fox, of the PAN, who won, taking 42.52% of the vote.

President Zedillo was quick to publicly congratulate Fox on his win, indicating a peaceful transition of power.

Fox's PAN, in an electoral alliance with the Green Party, managed to take 60 of the 128 seats in the Senate, compared to 51 for PRI, and 16 for PRD.

In the House, PAN took 244 seats, compared to 208 for PRI, and 65 for PRD.

While not a majority, in either house, PAN was now clearly in the drivers seat.

This is not a story with an exciting climax here. The transition from PRI to PAN was peaceful and while there were important changes made, they were not as substantial as some might expect. PRI had been slowly democratizing Mexico for decades, and PAN was thus not required to cause any major changes as, quite simply, Mexico was truly democratic by this point.

In 2006, the PRI candidate finished 3rd in the race for President. The more exciting story is who won.

Felipe Calderon, the PAN candidate, was facing Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the PRD candidate. Obrador lead most of the night as results came in, but as the night drew to a close, Calderon pulled ahead. This was widely viewed as evidence of vote fraud.

Protests broke out in support of Obrador. In the end, evidence would suggest there was no actual organized election fraud. PAN won the most seats in both houses of Congress, and PRD finished second in both. Regardless, many felt that Obrador had won, and felt the election was 'stolen'.

The 2012 election saw PRI re-take the Presidency. Enrique Pena Nieto took 38.21% of the vote compared to 31.59% of the vote for Obrador and the PRD. Josefina Vasquez Mota for PAN only managed 25.41% of the vote. PRI had won the 2009 Congressional elections, with 241 of 500 seats.

In the 2015 House elections, the largest gains were from MORENA, a new party lead by Obrador after he left the PRD.

This leads us into the 2018 elections, which, will continue, in part 3.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Mexico, part 1

To understand the context behind the Mexican election, we need to go back a bit, and look at some history.

Mexico spent most of its post-columbus history as a key part of the "Spanish Main" a territory that formed the core of Spanish colonization in the Americas and stretched from Venezuela to Louisiana, depending on the defintion. By the time of Independence, around 1820 (the time when most of latin america became independent, thanks in no small part to Napoleon's attacks on the mother countries) Mexico was the second most populous Country / Colony in the Americas, behind only the United States.

The modern democratic history of Mexico begins in 1920 with the victory of the Labour Party, both at the ballot box and partly through force of arms, in elections. This party would, more or less, morph into the PRI that we know today, with some major and important events and changes in 1934, and 1946 (that are not key to understanding the context of the modern election) things did not see major changes until the 1970s. Starting in 1970, Mexico began to experience serious economic problems. President Echeverria managed to win the 1970 election with 86% of the vote, took all 64 Senate seats, and 178 of the 213 seats in the house.

Part of what sparked the Mexico Revolution that 'ended' in 1920, was the constant re-election of the same man, Porfirio Diaz, won 7 elections in a row, in a manner see by the revolutionaries as unfair. As such, Mexico developed with are perhaps the strongest term limit laws in the world. The President gets a single term, period. Until 2014, even Congressmen only were able to serve a single term.

As President Echeverria's term drew to a close, some feared he would coup his own government to stay in power. This did not happen, and in 1976, Jose Lopez Portillo was elected President "unanimously", with a reported 91.9% of ballots cast being valid, and winning Congress by a similarly overwhelming margin as his predecessor.

It was, in fact, in 1977, that Mexico saw election reform. Mexico moved to a Parallel system, one it still uses to this day. This is the same system Japan uses, as well as Russia, and South Korea. I previously wrote about it here.

Under both Lopez and Echeverria, Mexico began to suffer financially. While growth continued, inflation and currency devaluation had seen the currency devalued from $1 USD being able to buy $12.50 MXN, to $1 USD being able to buy a whopping $150.29 MXN. Worse, Mexico had to borrow heavily in order to stem the tide, and it borrowed in foreign currency, meaning all these debts only became more and more expensive.

Miguel de la Madrid managed to win the 1982 Presidential elections with 74.3% of the vote. This is when the economic reality began to catch up to Mexico, with growth being near 0 for the entire term, and disposable income fell in every year. High unemployment drove many to the United States.

However it is the 1988 election where our modern context really begins.

The ruling PRI had one party that traditionally would always oppose it, PAN. A Right-wing party, strongest in Northern Mexico, near the United States, PAN would tend to average 15% in Presidential elections. Recently, however, a number of smaller left-wing parties had risen up and won seats, fueled in no small part by the seats in Congress won due to the 1977 electoral reforms. They decided to put forth a common candidate, Cuauhtemoc Cardenas. On election night, early results had Cardenas ahead of Carlos Salinas de Gortari, the PRI candidate, but then there was a "breakdown of the system" used to tabulate votes. Once results began again, the PRI candidate was now ahead, and manage to win the election.

President Madrid later would admit the results had been falsified. Exactly how does not seem to be spelled out anywhere, but from my experience working with election numbers, it is quite clear to me exactly what was done. In short, each Cardenas vote was only counted as half a vote. Turnout in areas he did well was down, whereas turnout in areas he did not do well was not down as far; these discrepancies can be all but eliminated if you simply double his vote total, making turnout figures similar to both 1982 and 1994.

One problem for the left is when I run the numbers, even if their vote total doubled, they would only have a tiny majority in the House, if at all, and would have lost the Senate. Regardless, Salinas was declared the winner and sworn in as President.

It was during Salinas' term that Hyperinflation struck, and the Peso was re-valued 1000 fold. However, starting on January 1st 1994, NAFTA took effect. This helped propel the PRI to a legitimate victory at the polls, with Ernesto Zedillo winning 48.7% of the Presidential vote, and the party maintaining majorities in both chambers of Congress.

It was in 2000, however, that everything would change.

Continued in Part 2.