Saturday, September 18, 2021

teddy's thoughts: Liberal win, Maybe a Majority??

 Note that this is not a Prognosis. It is just my thoughts. You could easily convince me any of these riding 'calls' are wrong. However, the map is done. I'm not updating any of these before the election results are fully in. 

The results are as follows:

LIB 169 // CPC 107 // NDP 38 // BQ 22 // GRN 2 //

This puts the Liberals on the cusp of a majority, and, would be a majority if an opposition speaker were found. That being said, many ridings are uncertain (indicated by "dots" in the riding on the map) so the chances of exactly these results are slim. Instead, we'll find out over the new few days exactly where the balance of power will be. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

California Recall

 I wanted to share a way that I look at the recall that may be helpful to those trying to understand the margin of victory. In order to do so, I want to start with the 2003 recall, as, I feel it has a great comparison. For the record, those numbers were as follows:

4,976,274 Yes on Recall
4,007,783 No on Recall

4,206,284 Schwarzenegger
2,724,875 Lead Democrat
1,161,287 Next Lead Republican
0,242,247 Lead Green
0,323,224 Everyone Else
0,326,140 did not vote on 2nd ballot

As you can see, Schwarzenegger took more raw vote than the "no recall" vote for Gray Davis. 

Let me make some assumptions. These assumptions will allow me to present this data in a way that's easiest to understand. First, lets assume the all of the people who backed Davis (and thus voted No on recall) backed the Lead Democrat. These, along with people who voted in the recall, but, did not vote on the second ballot (for a replacement, should 'yes' win the recall vote), are, combined, the "pure" votes for Davis. If we do this, we get the following:

4,206,284 Schwarzenegger
3,051,015 Pure Davis
1,726,758 all others

As you can see, Schwarzenegger clearly "wins" the election. (edit: correction to the following) -  he won more votes than davis, and a total of 47% overall


Lets compare this to the results of the 2021 recall. Lets keep in mind that not all ballots may yet be counted. However, lets go ahead with the results as they stand right now. 

2,373,551 Larry Elder
1,064,788 Other Republicans
1,415,917 Democrats
0,203,089 Other Parties
4,080,083 did not vote on 2nd ballot

3,297,145 Yes on Recall
5,840,283 No on Recall

There are a lot of people who did not vote on the second ballot. For this election, I am combining the did-not-vote with all the Democrats, for the "Pure Newsom" vote. The result is as follows:

5,469,000 Pure Newsom
3,641,428 all other options

As you can see, not only did Newsom clearly "win" the vote, but by a much wider margin than Schwarzenegger did in 2003. 

And that, is all I wanted to say.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

14SEP2021 update and Norway results

 The final results from Norway are in and are as follows:

13 - SV (Socialist Left) [Socialist]

48 - Ap (Labour) [Social Democracy]
28 - Sp (Centre) [Nordic Agrarian]
89 - Left Coalition (new government)

8 - V (Liberal) [Euro Liberal]
3 - KrF (Christian Democratic) [Christian Democrat]
36 - H (Conservative) [Conservative]
21 - FrP (Progressive) [Neo Nationalist]
68 - Right Coalition (new opposition)

8 - R (Red Party) [Communist]
3 - MDG (Greens) [Green]
1 - PF (Patient Focus) [local interest]
12 - Others

It is still unclear exactly which parties the government will consist of. 

In Japan the LDP is up in the polls, likely as a result of PM Suga's announcement that he is stepping aside. More as it develops.

Bulgaria looks set to enter yet another election, but polls suggest ITN may suffer from their refusal to form a coalition. 

In Israel, more polls continue to show New Hope failing to meet the threshold. 

Monday, September 13, 2021

Norway election - early results

 Results are coming in for the Norwegian election. More than half the ballots have already been counted, despite polls only closing roughly 25 minutes ago. This is the advance vote. It, generally matches what the polls suggested would happen. The current results are as follows:

14 - SV (Socialist Left) [Socialist] 
48 - Ap (Labour) [Social Democracy] 
24 - Sp (Centre) [Nordic Agrarian] 
86 - Left Coalition (new government)

3 - V (Liberal) [Euro Liberal] 
7 - KrF (Christian Democratic) [Christian Democrat] 
37 - H (Conservative) [Conservative] 
20 - FrP (Progressive) [Neo Nationalist] 
67 - Right Coalition (new opposition)

8 - R (Red Party) [Communist] 
7 - MDG (Greens) [Green] 
1 - PF (Patient Focus) [local interest]
16 - Others

General thinking seems to be that Ap, Sp, and SV will be core parts of the new government, but that the Greens might be rotated in, in place of the Red Party. As such I've put both in the "other" area. Technically, the 3 parties hold a majority of their own, but, it would be quite a narrow majority, and some extra room to move is likely what the new government is going to be looking for. 

A note that PF is a local health-based party, it seems similar to the UK's ICHC party, which also won 1 seat in a general election at some points.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

maps, misclicks, and guesses.

 I wanted to share a map I've been keeping. The map comes from a German election projection website. Apparently, in German, the word for an election projection is equal to English's "prognosis". I quite like this, and think I shall borrow it in the future. 

The below is not a prognosis, or a projection. It's far sloppier. It's my semi-random thoughts. There is always a chance I misclicked a seat or two, but those seats will always be unremarkable. Most of my errors, so far, have been from misclicks. Once I even accidentally put an NDP seat in Moncton instead of Saint John for a NB election. Clicking too fast and not paying attention. 

This is a map I've not paid attention to.

That does not mean its useless. Except for any misclicks (and history shows I can make as many as about 1 in every 300 clicks) the seats you see are accurate. However, I am not giving this my "I've not misclicked any seat" seal of approval. That means I'm not interested if you do find a misclick. A seat that obviously should be for one party, but isn't for some reason. Additionally, this are my sloppy thoughts. I don't have any deep thinking on any of these seats. As such, if you say "this is wrong" I'm liable to say "okay" and move on. I am uninterested in discussing any of these seats. 

All of these are gut calls. I've taken a look at and other projection websites for Germany and just kinda 'shot from the hip' in deciding which way to resolve things when sites disagree. There's no heavy math behind any of them. Maybe one seat, I said "eh, I think X will win it, and since Y is supposed to win by only 7%, I'm gonna flip it" while in another seat I've said "hmmmm... naw 7% is too much for a flip."

This has all been done quickly. It is mostly accurate. It is not totally accurate, nor is it meant to be. It is meant to be a reflection of my thinking. It is not meant to be a reflection of my work.

Regardless, here is the map:

As you can see, the numbers obviously do not match the seats on the map. That is because, as I explained here, Germany elects half (or more) of its MPs via proportional representation, and this map only shows the geographical constituencies that elect single members via FPFP. 

I wasn't intending on ever sharing this map on this blog. However, I wanted to make clear that I often have maps that reflect my thoughts that are never meant to reflect my work. When I intend for the maps to be a reflection of my work, I explicitly say it is a projection in the text. Not on the map, but in text. I understand that this can be confusing, and this is why I'm introducing that new word "Prognosis" into my repertoire. It's a word I'm aware of, but have hardly ever used. This will help differentiate when I am sharing something I consider reflective of my work, and when I'm just sharing something that I am sharing that I consider reflective of my thoughts. 

Yesterday, on twitter, and here, I was unclear about what my maps, and my post, were. I will be more clear on that in the future. For the rest of this month, and, potentially, to the end of the year, I will explicitly declare what I'm sharing is, and, what it is intended to mean. At the end of the period, I will make an individual post that simply clarifies this, so that I can point to it in the future. 

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Quick thoughts (maps) on Canada (election)

 Just some maps reflecting my current thoughts on the election. FTR the final total would be 

141 Lib
130 CPC
39 NDP
26 BQ

The maps:

Just note that this is just a quick look. I do not have any deep thoughts on any of these particular ridings. 

Friday, September 10, 2021

Norway headed to left-wing government

 Lets hop right into the numbers, obtained by averaging the 2 most recent polls:

11 - R (Red Party) [Communist] 
16 - SV (Socialist Left) [Socialist] 
44 - Ap (Labour) [Social Democracy] 
21 - Sp (Centre) [Nordic Agrarian] 

92 - Left Opposition Coalition 

7 - V (Liberal) [Euro Liberal] 
8 - KrF (Christian Democratic) [Christian Democrat] 
33 - H (Conservative) [Conservative] 
21 - FrP (Progressive) [Neo Nationalist] 

69 - Right Government Coalition 

8 - MDG (Greens) [Green] 

8 - Others

These numbers have, more or less, been fairly consistent. As such, unless something unexpected happens, the opposition left-wing alliance will win this election.

Reminder that the election is scheduled for Monday (13th September 2021) and that Norway is in the central European time zone (CET) meaning that polls would close in the early afternoon in Canada.

Monday, September 6, 2021

06SEP2021 update

 In most places, the most recent trend mentioned on this blog, is continuing. A few specific notes.

Norway votes a week from today. I will do at least one post between now and then with a projection.

In Japan, the Prime Minister has decided to step down. I am not certain why, while he has weak polling numbers, the LDP has easily won with numbers like this in the past. Perhaps the parties have access to more accurate polling - I've previously mentioned Japanese polling is horrifically vague (they don't seem to ask people who they are leaning towards if they are undecided)

There are a number of candidates. Kishida Fumio ran in 2020, but did poorly in public polls. He is similar to where Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide is in terms of overall political lean, but with a differing approach. He is polling much better this time.

The likely victor, however, is Kono Taro. He's been endorsed by Suga, and, by Suga's main opponent in 2020. He's served in cabinet, and has been a MP since 1995. His policies appear very moderate, even potentially "liberal" in scope. 

I will keep an eye on the situation and let you know how things develop. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

September (2021) calendar

 Just a quick post to show you this:

This is what the month looks like, politically. 

A few notes.

First, I've included Labour Day, here in Canada, as, it traditionally has been seen as having an impact on polling and elections. 

Second, I've indicated countries using 3 letter short-forms. CAN being Canada, ICE being Iceland, and so forth. Note that German elections also have elections for two of the German states alongside the federal election.

Lastly, this calendar is presented the same as the one on my wall, I'm aware that ISO 8601 suggests Monday as the start of the week, but all the easily-accessible calendars I can find in my part of the world start on Sunday and always have. As such, it is the system I am used to, and am sticking with it. 

Monday, August 30, 2021

30AUG2021 updates

 Things are heating up politically as we approach election season. Jumping right into the numbers, I've done a single-poll mathematical projection for Germany:

175 SPD
115 GRN
95 FDP
70 AfD
50 LNK

As you can see, in this poll, the SPD had a healthy lead. The existing SPD-CDU coalition would not have a majority, meaning a third party would need to be brought in. Additionally, a SPD-GRN-LNK coalition would have a majority. Note however that this estimates the total number of seats at 650. More on that later.

I've also done an estimation for Japan

310 - LDP
30 - NKP
80 - CDP
15 - JCP
15 - ISH
15 - OTH

Note that Japan is hard to estimate due to their strange attachment to using approval polling instead of vote intention polling. Beyond that, even the vote intent polling that is available often does not come close to the results in the same way they do in most countries. As such, a degree of guesstimation has to be done in order to determine numbers like this. 

Back to Germany, I've managed to find a website that seems to do election predictions; here is their latest prediction for the first-ballot constituency seats:

Note that Germany only elects half it's MPs from these seats, with the other half coming from the proportional lists. This is why parties like the Greens, AFD, and Linke are expected to win many times as many seats as shown, and why the FDP can win near 100 seats despite not having a single 'dot' on the map. Note that the map shows the CDU winning 181 seats, but I only have them at 140. Why is this? Simply; Germany provides overhang seats to prevent a party winning more seats than it "deserves". 

Take a look at Bavaria on the map. It is one of the two southernmost states, the one on the right. Munchen (Munich) is its capital city and shown in a small inset. The map currently shows 5 Green victories and 41 seats for the CSU (the Bavarian sister party of the CDU) Polling, however, shows the CSU only at about 35% in the state. By default, Germany assigns the same number of PR, or, List seats to a state, as it assigns geographic seats. This means that of a grand total of 92 seats exist in Bavaria. Of those 92, however, the CSU could win 41. This, however, is 44.565% of the seats, far more than the 35% they would "deserve". As such, the number of list seats gets increases until the CSU is 'only' winning 35% of the total seats. This would require 117 seats, meaning that an additional 25 seats have to be added to the Bavarian list, bringing it's number of list seats up to 71 (remember, it is only "supposed" to have 46 seats). This is a 1.54x increase. As this would unbalance the representation between all the various states, all other states now get a boost to the number of list seats that exist within their states as well, also by a factor of 1.54. This means the grand total of 299 list seats nationwide now becomes 460 seats. This gets added to the 299 geographic seats, for a grand total of 759, far above my estimated total of 650. This would bring the CDU/CSU coalition up to 161 seats for my single-poll projection, and, 'single poll' is exactly why that number does not match the multi-poll german-based election projection; IE, using a single poll can be more inaccurate, but, using a multi-poll system can miss fresh and hot trends. 

I'm bringing up the number of geographic seats, expected to be won by party, for a simple reason: What we are seeing is a massive and radical change from the past. Last election, the AfD won 3 geographic seats, the Left Party (Die Linke) won 4, ad the Greens won 1. In both 2013 and 2009, the AfD won 0, the Left won 4, and the Greens won 1. 2005 saw the Left win 3, and the Greens 1, while 2002 saw the Left win 2, and the Greens just 1, which was their first ever. In 1998 and 1994 the Left won 4, and in 1990, they won 1. 

Continuing back, in West Germany, we see a grand total of 0 geographic seats being won by a party that is not the SPD or CDU/CSU in elections in 1987, 1983, 1980, 1976, 1972, 1969, 1965, and 1961. In fact, you have to go back to 1957 to find a smaller party winning seats; in this case, the FDP won 1, and the AfD-like "German Party" won 6. 

1953 had far more, seeing 14 FDP seats, 10 German Party, and 1 for Zentrum, while 1949 had 12 for the FDP, 5 for the German Party, 11 for the "Bavaria Party" and 3 for Independents. 

Meanwhile, in East Germany, the system provided for 0 geographic seats at any point, and so, there is nothing to look at. Weimar Germany also had no geographic seats, meaning you have to go all the way back to 1912, before the introduction of any form of Proportional Representation, to find more results to look at. If you are interested, you can view such a map on that election's wikipage, but, as it does not relate to my point, I will not be doing so myself. 

Instead, I look back to the current prediction from and see that the Left is expected to win a record 5 seats. The AfD is expected to go from 3 to 13. The Greens are expected to go from 1, to 19. In fact, 19 would be the largest number of geography seats won by a "small party" in the history of Germany, more than the 14 the FDP took in 1953. Additionally, since 1960, not a single geographic seat in West Germany has been won by any 'small' party, yet the Greens look set to take 15 of them. 

Assuming these projections are correct, a total of 37 geographic seats will be won by a "smaller" party in 2021. This would be 37 of 299, or, 12.4%. This beats the 10.3% elected in 1953 (25 of 242) but not the 31 of 242 that won in 1949 (12.8%) 

Regardless, assuming this trend holds, it will certainly be of note in the history of elections in Germany, and may indicate a coming realignment in its political system.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Projections for Germany & Norway

 I must admit I made a mistake when I forgot to add this to yesterday's post:

150 SPD
120 GRN
85 FDP
70 AfD
45 LNK

A quick and rough mathematical poll average projection for the German election, rounded to the nearest 5. 

To make it up, I also ran the Norwegian polls through a quick 3 poll average:

9 - R (Red Party) [Communist]
17 - SV (Socialist Left) [Socialist]
9 - MDG (Greens) [Green]
44 - Ap (Labour) [Social Democracy]
22 - Sp (Centre) [Nordic Agrarian]
8 - V (Liberal) [Euro Liberal]*
7 - KrF (Christian Democratic) [Christian Democrat]*
35 - H (Conservative) [Conservative]*
18 - FrP (Progressive) [Neo Nationalist]*

* Government (68) [85 for majority] 

The left is clearly going to win the election, but the question is what coalition will come. Currently, R, SV, Ap, and Sp have some sort of alliance, and said alliance has a majority (92) on these numbers. 

Monday, August 23, 2021

23AUG2021 update

 The PC party of Nova Scotia has won a majority government, as, most readers likely already know. 

In Germany, the SPD and CDU/CSU have tied in a recent poll, at 22% each. It will be interesting to see if this will be part of some kind of bump for the party, or, if this is a marker for momentum that can carry through the remainder of the campaign. 

This boost has also helped the party in local elections in Berlin and Mecklenburg, where the party is also up. Again, I'll continue to monitor for the impact.

In Czechia, the governing party appears to be pulling ahead of its two opposition coalitions, but remains below their result in the previous election. Their main coalition partner, the social democrats, are polling below the threshold. They may end up needing a coalition with one of the two main opposition alliances when all is said and done.

Things should heat up, politically, as we enter September. 

Monday, August 16, 2021

16AUG2021 update

 Nova Scotia votes tomorrow. The most likely result seems to be a Liberal victory; but there are some reports that polls say the Tories could win. Frankly, the NDP could even win. Along with the pollster paywalls, we also are simply seeing fewer polls, especially in the smaller provinces. As such, any attempt by me to make a projection would be foolish. 

In Bulgaria, the country looks, potentially, to be headed back to the polls. The situation is unclear at this point, but I will keep you up to date as news develops.

I've poked my head into the Zambian election; but only insomuch as to determine that the result is probably legitimate; though I'm not fully solid on that just yet. 

In Germany, the SDP appears to be surging. Olaf Scholtz is their candidate for Chancellor, he is the current vice chancellor, and finance minister. I will monitor the situation as it develops. Scholtz is a more moderate member of the party, and would be more likely to continue the grand coalition, instead of working with the Greens, should he win and have said option. 

In Czechia, there are three main coalitions vying for seats in the parliament. ANO, the government, is somewhat liberal, while PaS leans a bit to the left and SPOLU leans a bit to the right; all three could, however, be defined as "liberal" though the latter may be more comfortable thinking of itself as conservative. I will dig into this deeper as the election approaches. 

Lastly, in Iceland, polls suggest the following:

14 - D* - Independence (Moderate Conservative) 
8 - V* - Left-Green (Eco-Socialist) 
8 - S - Social Democratic (Social Democratic) 
8 - P - Pirate Party (Pirate) 
7 - B* - Progressive (Nordic Liberal) 
7 - C - Reform (Liberal) 
4 - J - Socialist (Socialist) 
4 - M - Centre (Populist) 
3 - F - People's Party (Pro Disability) 

Current Government* - 29 (32 for majority)

Unsure what this would mean in terms of potential coalitions; but, as always, I continue to follow the situation. 

Sunday, August 15, 2021

canada to hold election, sep 20th, 2021

 Canada is going to the polls in September.

My current thought on possible results is as follows:

250-110 LIB
180-70 CPC
160-20 NDP
45-20 BQ
5-0 GRN
5-0 PPC
5-0 MAV

There will be more as the election continues; but, we will not be covering this as close as previous federal elections. Pollsters and their paywalls have left me with no choice but to scale back on all of my coverage of Canadian elections. 

In the future, I may tie in my patreon and other funding to helping to pay to get past those paywalls; but, for this year, that will not happen. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

10AUG2021 updates

 In Bulgaria, the lead party has, again, changed its mind, and is now seeking a minority government. 

Norway has been seeing the Centre party doing well. They are similar to other nordic "Centre" parties; which makes them hard to classify in the canadian context. They are perhaps closest to the Liberals. The party has been polling at around 17%, and, has been polling over 15% for over a year; it's previous best election result was under 11%, meaning they could make history. They are currently part of the governing left-wing coalition; but with a strong enough result, they could decide to change that. 

Germany is having state elections alongside its national elections. I want to look at these.

In Berlin there is a pan-left government (SPD-Lnk-Grn) lead by the SPD. Polls suggest such a government would win a majority; but, with the Greens as the new lead party. 

Mecklenburg has a grand coalition (SPD-CDU) but polls are unclear on if they can be re-elected to a majority; it would be close. A pan-left government would have a majority, however, as would a 'Weimar' coalition of the SPD-CDU-FDP. 

Thuringia was originally going to hold elections at this time, but they've been cancelled. The state held elections just last year, but suffered a crisis, and so snap elections were planned; but such elections were cancelled as it would require a majority vote in the legislature, and no such pro-election majority exists. Polls suggest the current Linke lead pan-left government would have been re-elected. 

Friday, August 6, 2021

General Updates - 06AUG2021

 I may not be able to make an update on the 9th, so, I'll do some updates here.


Since the last update, the lead party has changed their mind, and decided to go it alone in a minority; then, changed their mind, and decided for a coalition again. It looks like they are considering the socialists over the Turkish minority liberal party.


No 'prediction' changes since July, Instead, I wanted to look, quickly, at some of the parties not expected to win seats. 

First; there are a number of parties that are overtly anti-administration. They include, but are not limited to, the liberal Yabloko party, the Green Alternative, and the Communists of Russia. All are expected to do very poorly. There are also parties that seem very pro-establishment. One is the New People party, that I will talk about later. Others include the left wing Party of Freedom, green Ecological Party,  Lastly are parties that are only moderately pro-establishment, like the right-wing Party of Growth, moderate Civic Platform, the Pensioner party, and the hard right Rodina party.

New People, which is moderate, but leans slightly right, has been polling well; and by that I mean, at about 3%, where the threshold is 5%. It is possible they could enter the Duma; being a counterpoint to the more progressive Just Russia party. 

Lastly, I want to go over the upcoming elections, and, the other elections I'm still following:

Norway - Sep 13
Russia - Sep 19
Iceland - Sep 25
Germany - Sep 26
German Lander - Sep 26
Czechia - Oct 9
Iraq - Oct 10
Japan - Oct 22
Montreal - Nov 7
Argentina - Nov 14
Post Election:
Bulgaria - gov formation
Israel - unstable? coalition
France - spring 2022
Italy - summer 2023

This will make the coming fall quite a "big" year, in terms of elections. Germany, Japan, and Russia are all large, powerful nations voting this year. I will detail more about these upcoming elections in future posts. Note, however, that just because something is on the list here, does not guarantee I will cover it; and, conversely, I may decide to cover things not listed. 

Monday, August 2, 2021

02AUG2021 updates

Let us start with news out of Israel, which enshrines the rotation of office between Bennet and Lapid into law. Bennett still has a way out, as outlined in the article, by joining a government lead by someone else; but simply agreeing to this shows that my assumption may have been wrong that Bennett would stab Lapid and never allow him to come into office. 

In Italy, I continue to monitor the polls. Here is part of the polling shown on Wikipedia, with some columns cut out for clarity. 

We are getting very close to an expected FdI #1, PD #2 poll. FdI is lead by Giorgia Meloni, who, pending on the coalition formed after the next election, could become the first female Prime Minister of Italy. Part of her party's rise is that FdI is based outside the north, while Lega has traditionally been a regionalist, and sometimes separatist party, based in Northern Italy. It would be somewhat (though, not very) like if the Bloc Quebecois here in Canada were reform and were to manage to appeal to voters in other parts of the country. It would be very easy for a national party with similar policies to convince people that they actually do not want to vote for the new Bloc Canada. This is part of why Lega, formerly Lega Nord, is running into difficulties.  

Alongside this is the simple fact that Lega has been sitting in government, off and on, since the last election. FdI, however, has not. As such, 'opposition' voters, who oppose the government, will naturally be more drawn to the party. As well, FdI is a more extreme right than Lega is. 

As always, I'll keep an eye on the situation and keep you all updated.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Polling Paradox: the Crowded Bus Paradox

 I've found some mention of a "Crowded Bus Paradox" online, but it's always been poorly explained. Additionally, its impact on polling data is seemingly non-existent. I want to outline an example to help explain why I feel this is important. 

Lets imagine a fictional city. In this city is a train line; perhaps a subway, perhaps some form of LRT, or perhaps commuter rail. Regardless, on this train line, is a station. The one we are using in our little example. At this station is a bus line. On this bus line, a bus departs every 5 minutes, right on schedule. 

People walk to the station to catch the bus. One every minute, to be exact. The train also uses this station, it arrives and departs at 10 minute intervals, and on each train, are 5 people who use the bus line we are looking at.

Now. What will happen. Lets assume its 2:00pm.

At 1:56pm, a passenger walks up. Another at 1:57, 1:58, and 1:59. At 2:00pm a 5th passenger walks up. At the same time, a train arrives, and 5 people get off the train. Also at the same time, the bus is ready to depart, and so 10 people board the bus. 

What happens next?

Well we continue to get 5 people walk in, so the next bus leave with 5 people on board. Remember, no train arrives at 2:05pm, the next one arrives at 2:10pm. 

Next we have another bus with 10 passengers departing, followed by one with 5, and one with 10, and one with 5, and so on to infinity. 

So, a statistics agency hires a polling firm to get some data. They ask the bus drivers. "How many people are on your bus". Averaging the answer, they get 7.5

Now, they ask the passengers. "How many people are on your bus". Averaging the answer, they get 8.3

But wait! How? Where did these additional people come from?

Up to now you've probably been looking at this from a driver's point of view. 10, then 5, then 10, then 5. But look at this from a passenger's point of view. 

You can split this 10-5-10-5-etc thing into two groups. One group with 5 passengers, and one group with 10. This is a total of 15 people. Of those 15, 10 of them get on buses with 10 people, and 5 on buses with 5 people. This means that 10 people see 10 people on the bus, and 5 see 5 people on the bus.


125/15 = 8.3333333

Lets assume for the sake of argument that 8 people is the most that can sit on our tiny little bus. 

If you were to look at the total provided by the drivers, you'd find that only half the buses are overcrowded. However, if you ask the passengers, two third of them say they are on an overcrowded bus.

Now we have 50.0% vs 66.7%. 

So, we have radically different conclusions from the exact same data, simply changing based on how you look at it.

So. Why am I posting this? It is a bit unusual, given what I usually post about. There are a few reasons. One, is that from time to time I see polls asking people to estimate things about others, and the results of those polls are always far off from base. Part of the reason is related to this paradox. It also explains why people can experience things (like an overcrowded bus) that the data (how many buses are overcrowded) suggests are uncommon, at rates that seem to imply the data is faulty. Lastly, I have a few posts I hope to make in the future that may require referencing back to this post, and this paradox. As such, I felt it was good to 'get it out of the way' now. 

I'm still going to post a regular weekly update on monday; but I also hope to make additional posts based on some stuff I've been working on that are not directly related to the blog; in particular, looking at historic and past elections; in particular, in germany. 

Monday, July 26, 2021

26JUL2021 updates

 In Bulgaria, ITN has come to its senses, and is trying to put together a coalition of other reformists. As outlined, that would have 112 of the 121 they'd need for a majority. A reformist coalition that's in a minority situation could still govern based on getting issue by issue support from other parties. Additionally, it would be fairly easy for such a government - if it provides good governance - to be re-elected to a coalition majority should the traditional parties in opposition block reformist legislation. 

In Germany, I've run a quick poll-based prediction. it is as follows.

188 C/U (142 CDU  / 46 CSU )
130 Grn 
117 SPD 
91 FDP 
78 AfD 
46 Lnk

As you can see the CDU (along with the CSU) is far from a majority, and even a CDU-GRN coalition would not have a majority. This means a three party coalition is likely at this time, with the only question being if that will be CDU-SPD-FDP, which is likely, or the less likely, but still possible CDU-SPD-GRN "kenya coalition". There is always a tiny chance of a GRN-SPD-FDP "traffic light" coalition, but I'm, not seeing it at this point. I note that while a CDU-SPD-FDP coalition does not have an official name, it is very similar to the "Weimar Coalition" of parts of the 1920s, and also contains the colours of the German Flag.

I continue to monitor other countries. In Italy, we are getting close to the FDI and PD both overtaking the League. I'll let you know when that finally occurs. I've also been working on comparative election results from germany going back over 100 years. I'm hoping to have a post about that up somewhat soon. 

Monday, July 19, 2021

19JUL2021 updates

 In Bulgaria, the victorious ITN party has decided to form a minority government, with no coalition partners. They only have 65 seats (ISMV only ended up with 13), but with the other reformists, they do have 112, which is still short of 121. Such a government may be very weak, assuming it can even get into office by passing any needed confidence votes. It is likely this is a political ploy as it will say to the voters that "everyone else" is out to stop them, and therefore, they need a majority. 

Russia closes in on its own elections. My current thinking is as follows

270 - UR (110/160) [pro-putin] {-73}
72 - CPRF (45/27) [communist] {+30}
61 - LDPR (40/21) [hard nationalist] {+22}
42 - SRZP (30/12) [moderate] {+19}
5 - Oth (0/5) [various] {+2}

The first/last number indicates the number of proportional/constituency, seats won.  While this is a loss of many seats for United Russia (Putin's party), they've been this low before in the legislature, taking only 223 seats in 2003, and 238 in 2011. 

For comparison, the two parties that would form United Russia took a combined 141 seats in the 1999 legislative elections (held a few weeks before Putin became President) The communists took 113 in that election, and, 52 in 2003, 27 in 2007, 92 in 2011, and 42 in 2016. The Nationalists took 17 in 1999, 36 in 2003, 40 in 2007, 56 in 2011, and 39 in 2016. There was no clear predecessor to Just Russia (SRZP) in 1999, but the Rodina party took 37 seats in 2003. Just Russia then took 38 in 2007, 64 in 2011, and 23 in 2016.

The TL:DR of that number-filled paragraph is "nothing unprecedent is expected" 

I'm keeping an eye on things in Germany, Iceland, and Norway; all of whom are holding elections this fall, but as of today, nothing to post. 

Monday, July 12, 2021

Bulgarian election

With a small number of votes left; the results are as follows:

64 - People [ITN] (+13) - Reformist
63 - GERB (-12) - Conservative
36 - BSP (-7) - Socialist
34 - Democratic [DB] (+7) - Reformist
29 - Rights [DPS] (-1) - Liberal/Minority
14 - Stand Up [ISMV] (+-0) - Reformist

This is a big win for the reformists, who have gained 20 seats from the traditional parties. Regardless, they have not reached the 121 seats they need for a majority, standing at 112. What the lead party; "There is such a People" or, ITN, will need is what we in Canada would deem winning a confidence vote. In short, they would need a majority of the assembly to either back them, or, agree not to block them. From what I can tell, DP seems willing to form a coalition government with ITN. I'm not clear on ISMV, but, previous reports suggested they'd be willing to either support it from outside the government, or, join such a government. 

What's important is that with 112 seats, the reformists are close enough to the 121 mark to attempt to govern as a minority. They could, on an issue by issue basis, rely on the support of one of the other three parties. They could also try to peel off MPs from the other parties, and, with time in government, these outsiders can prove trustworthy enough to increase their vote in the next election if they are defeated on a reformist issue. 

As such, this is generally good news for Bulgaria, but it remains to be seen what kind of coalition, if any, will form. 

Saturday, July 10, 2021

10JUL2021 updates

 First, I did a quick rough projection of Manitoba using current polls that show the NDP and Tories might swap popvote totals when compared to the previous election. That resulted in the map here; which was quickly drawn on top of the base map from election-atlas


The election is still shaping up similar to the previous one. Neither the pro-reform, nor the anti-reform camps will likely be able to form a majority coalition. The "difference" this time is that the leading reformist party, ITN is seen as open to a coalition either with the socialists, or the pro-turkish minority liberal party. 


As often happens for the summer, elections simply die down. Nothing else big/important is coming up until September, when we have Norway, Russia, Iceland, and Germany! 

Thursday, July 1, 2021

01JUL2021 updates

 I've decided to do a single-poll projection for Italy, to show what the 3 largest parties being "tied" actually looks like:

84 - 20.70% - FdI (hard nationalist)
83 - 20.30% - Lega (neo nationalist)
76 - 18.80% - PD (moderate progressive)
67 - 16.60% - M5S (left populist)
28 - 7.00% - FI (conservative)
16 - 3.90% - A (progressive)
11 - 2.70% - SI (socialist)
9 - 2.30% - Art.1 (left progressive)
9 - 2.10% - IV (liberal)
7 - 1.80% - +Eu (liberal pro-EU)
6 - 1.50% - EV (green)
4 - 1.00% - CI (liberal conservative)

As you can see, they are not on exactly the same number of seats, but rather, are close to it. 

I am also following other upcoming elections, but none of them are 'good news'; Bulgaria for example, appears set to mostly re-elect the same parliament that could not cobble together a coalition, except with more hard nationalists. Moldova, which has had deadlocked parliaments in the past decade, is possibly headed back to one. Germany has seen the Greens fall back to former levels due to the weakness of their lead candidate, meaning another long and drawn out coalition negotiation post-election, is again possible. 

So, sadly, there is no good news to offer this week. Everywhere pretty much remains deadlocked for the time being. 

Monday, June 21, 2021

21JUN2021 updates

 Not much to update right now, however, I will share with you this:

85 - Democrats (Progressive) 
85 - Lega (Right Populist) 
85 - FdI (Neo Nationalist) 
65 - M5S (Left Populist) 
25 - FI (Conservative) 
50 - Various small left parties 
5 - Various small right parties

It is a preview of things in Italy, where the 3 leading parties (in the polls) have managed to effectively tie one another. Additionally, this would lead to a tie between left and right wing parties. 

Sunday, June 13, 2021

New Israeli Government is sworn in.

 The government mentioned in my previous post has been sworn in. 

One Ra'am MK abstained, meaning the vote was passed 60-59. Some key cabinet posts, held by the party leaders, are as follows:

Naftali Bennett - Prime Minister

Yair Lapid - Foreign Minister (& #1 successor)

Benny Gantz - Defence Minister 

Gideon Sa'ar - Justice Minister

Avigdor Lieberman - Finance Minister

Nitzan Horowitz - Health Minister

Merav Michaeli - Transport Minister

Mansour Abbas - Deputy Minister of Arab Affairs in the Prime Minister’s office

Including the PM and all deputy ministers, cabinet is as follows:

9 - Yesh Atid
5 - Yamina
5 - Blue and White
4 - New Hope
3 - Yisrael Beiteinu
3 - Labor
3 - Meretz
1 - Ra'am

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Shape of new Israeli government

 There is still a day to go, with all the exciting ups and downs that can bring, but, here is what seems to be the shape of the new government:

Naftali Bennett, leader of Yamina, will lead the government for the first half. The plan is that he would then step aside, and Yair Lapid would be the Prime Minister for the second half. This has been something that was done before in Israel in the 1984-1988 term. However, in the subsequent term (in which the grand coalition continued) "the dirty trick" occurred. When Gantz and Netanyahu formed a similar agreement, Netanyahu himself pulled his own trick to enable him to remain Prime Minister. Additionally, Bennett try, very hard, to form a right-wing coalition. As such, I strongly suspect that this new government will not last long enough for Lapid to come to office, and suspect Bennett will form a coalition with Likud as soon as Netanyahu is removed as a member of the Knesset. 

A few notes.

You'll notice I've coloured parties in based on their position on the right-left spectrum. Additionally, I've noted the Arab parties, and the Orthodox parties. Amichai Chikli is a Yamina MK who opposes the new coalition. From what I can determine, he might feel at home with the Religious Zionists. 

Lastly, there is still a day to go before the new government gets approval from the parliament (Knesset). Israeli politics has a tendency to remain uncertain until the final deadline, with deals historically both being approved, and, falling apart, during that crucial last hour. Beyond that, despite the vote being tomorrow, the swearing in will not take place until Sunday the 12th. All of the above is current as of today; but things can still change. As usual, I'll keep you updated as things progress. 

Monday, June 7, 2021

Election results, Mexico and Saxony-Anhalt

 In Mexico, the governing Moreno party has taken roughly 200 seats in the chamber, down 50. The right-wing PAN has taken around 110, a gain of 30, while PRI will take about 70, a gain of 20. Counting is still early, and so the numbers are general. Helping President Lopez-Obrador is that their new ally, the Green Party, is set to take around 45 seats, up from 10. Labour will retain its 40 or so seats, they are another ally of the President. 

In Saxony-Anhalt, the CDU has outperformed expectations. Current count suggests results are as follows:

40 - CDU

23 - AfD

12 - LNK

9 - SPD

7 - FDP

6 - GRN

This would enable a simple CDU-SPD majority, but, it would be the narrowest of majorities, of only one seat. It would, however, enable the CDU to swap the Greens for the FDP if they did decide on the need for a third partner. Counting continues, and these numbers can change. In particular, the current count includes 14 overhang seats; meaning the total numbers could change radically as the number of overhang seats changes; while the overall balance would remain the same. This large number of overhang seats comes from the CDU currently winning 40 of the 41 constituencies in the state in counting. 

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Elections tomorrow in Mexico and Saxony-Anhalt

 A short post. Tomorrow Mexico holds elections for its parliament, and the results are expected to roughly mirror the last election. Polls are as follows:

Morena 40%-45%
PRI 15%-20%
PAN 15%-20%

Saxony Anhalt will be the more interesting location. Polls suggest the following:

CDU 25%-30%
AfD 22%-28%
LNK 10%-13%
SPD 10%-11%
GRN 9%-11%
FDP 6%-8%

with the Free Voters list at 3%, below the threshold. 

The current government is an unusual CDU-SPD-GRN coalition. It is very likely that following the election, the coalition will change, but, will likely retain the CDU at its head. The main concern is if the AfD can overtake for first place. Even if they do, their participation in any coalition is rather unlikely. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

New government in Israel

 Israel's first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, was from the Mapai party. That party went on to become Labor, including a period as part of the "Alignment" alliance. In 1977, Menachem Begin, leader of Likud, became the first Prime Minister to not be from Labor. 

In 2001, Ariel Sharon, Likud leader and Prime Minister, founded Kadima, while in office. After his strike, Ehud Olmert took over as Kadima leader. He too, was from Likud. 

Today, a third party enters the list.

Yair Lapid has informed the President that Naftali Bennet is to become Prime Minister.

Bennett has never served as an MK (member of parliament) for any party except the one's he has lead. While a member of Likud from 2005 to 2008, he never was elected to office under that party's banner.

There is still a chance it can all go wrong. The new government has a week or so (12 days it seems) to pass a vote of confidence. Should they fail, new elections will be held.

Once they take office, the new Knesset will look like this:

17 - Yesh Atid (left-centre)
8 - Blue and White (left-centre)
7 - Yamina (right-wing)
7 - Labor (left-wing)
7 - Yisrael Beiteinu (right-wing)
6 - New Hope (right-wing)
6 - Meretz (left-wing)
4 - Ra'am (arab, right-wing)

30 - Likud (right-wing)
9 - Shas (orthodox)
7 - UTJ (orthodox)
6 - Zionist (right-wing)

6 - Joint List (arab, left-wing)

This government will be difficult to manage, presuming it does indeed manage to pass. 

There are still details to work out between all the parties. 

Friday, May 28, 2021

Updates - 28MAY2021

 Nothing much to update. Israel still is struggling to form a coalition government. 

On June 6th there are a number of interesting elections. Saxony-Anhalt in Germany, and national elections in Mexico. Bulgaria votes on the 11th of July. Beyond that, we are headed into another quiet time for politics. Things will pick up in the fall with elections in Russia, Germany, Norway, Iraq, Japan, and Chile, as well as Berlin, and Mecklenburg. 

Friday, May 21, 2021

Updates - 21MAY2021

 Jason Kenney survived the rocky week, but the long term survival of his leadership remains in doubt. I do, however, continue to follow politics around the planet. Updates are as follows:

Israel - the recent violence has, supposedly, lead to a deal between Bennett and Netanyahu; however, Lapid has the current mandate, and says he will not give it up early; meaning there's likely no movement until June 2nd, when his mandate expires. I will address this more in due time.

Elsewhere, there is not much to update. There are a number of elections in the early part of June I'm tracking, on the 6th in particular. 

In personal news, I will be getting my vaccine on the 8th!

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Explosive day in Alberta Politics

 Today, the UCP caucus met to discuss that party's political troubles. A prime topic of discussion was the leaks to the media. This was reported by the media, as the story had been leaked to them. 30 minutes later, they posted a new leak to say the story about the leaks was being discussed at the leak meeting. At this meeting, two MLAs were nominated to be expelled from the party.

This is the latest information as of 15 minutes ago.

Should they be expelled, it could encourage other MLAs to defect from the party. Should the motion fail, Jason Kenney could be out as Premier within the hour. 

The 15 minute leak silence may mean the motion has failed.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Updates for 12MAY2021

 Israel is likely headed back to another election. Regardless of the cause, the recent upswing in violence is very likely to make any anti-bibi coalition all but impossible. There remains a small chance for a Bennett lead right-wing government to still emerge, however.

France has not seen polls change; Macron still defeats LePen 55-45 or so in the final round, and, both still advance to said round; but, my own gut is telling me LePen likely is going to win. There are all sort of intangible reasons for this; but France just "feels" like its ready to elect a radically hard-right President.

Tasmania results have firmed up. It appears the final results are as follows: 13 LIB // 9 LAB // 2 GRN // 1 IND. The one Independent, leans left politically. 

Italy, the parties continue to converge. Rough estimates of current support: M5S 17% // PD 19% // Lega 21% // FdI 19% - what is interesting is that M5S continues to slowly rise and Lega continues to slowly fall. All 4 of the largest parties are converging around 20% of the vote. 

Sunday, May 9, 2021

UK update - 09MAY2021

 UK held its local elections over the weekend and I want to sum up some of the results.



English Locals
The general trend is that the Tories are up.

LAB mayor Sadiq Khan re-elected, 55-45, over CON Shaun Bailey. 

Some thoughts:

One of the biggest changes from recent elections is the absence of a strong hard-right party. In the past two decades, UKIP, the BNP, and other such parties have often been able to make some gains; but here we see a fairly strong rejection. There are still 3 (of 143) councils left to declare, but the combined total of UKIP, RUK, and "Liberal Party" wins is 3 councillors; contrasted with 3 undefined "others", 43 Residents Association members, 248 Independents, 143 Greens (subtotal of 437), plus 572 LibDems, 1332 Labour councillors, and 2313 Tories. This (3) is down from a combined 49 last time.

In Scotland the SNP has actually gained a seat; but, generally, the results are very similar to the previous election. The same can mostly be said for Labour and Wales, but with the absence, this time, of any hard-right parties. Tory strength seems to be driven, somewhat, by weak LibDem and Hard-Right results. This contrasts with Labour, which is facing a growing Green threat on its left. 

Friday, May 7, 2021

Updates - around the world 07MAY2021

 UK local elections are taking longer than I expected to count; I will try to summarize results tomorrow, or, sunday. 

Bulgaria is going back to the polls, as expected. They will vote in July. Polls suggest the 3 anti-corruption parties are now siting on a combined 41.8% (up from 31.36%) while the traditional parties are on a combined 51.6% (slightly up from 51.0%). I expect the former to only continue rising. 

Mexican polls suggest the coming June elections will have a result similar to the 2018 elections.

I've made a very rough prediction for the Russian elections this fall:

285 putin's party 
70 communists 
55 nationalists 
40 moderates

And a similarly rough prediction for this fall's German elections:

180 Greens (Coalition) 
150 CDU/CSU (Coalition) 
100 AfD 
70 SPD 
50 FDP 
40 Linke

Lastly, Bibi's term to try to become PM has expired. Some parties shifted their recommendations; I've outlined this below:

Likud, Shas, UTJ, and RZ
52 members. Bibi last time, and Knesset this time

Yesh Atid, B&W, Labor, YB, Meretz
45 members. Lapid last time, and Lapid this time

New Hope, Joint List (except Balad)
11 members. No one last time, and Lapid this time

7 members. Bennett last time, and Bennett this time

Balad, UAL
5 members. No one last time, and No one this time

Had the Knesset faction won, it could have meant that the Knesset could nominate who would get the next chance to become PM. Of course, even had they won, the President would have had to agreed with this. Regardless, Lapid ended up with 56 recommendations, above 52 for the Knesset, and 7 for Bennett.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Update; Canada round up, 05MAY2021

Expected Election Date (or, my guess, if a minority)
Summary of results I expect

This fall
Liberal majority, gain of 2 dozen seats from the Tories.

Nova Scotia
Either right after the Federal election, or, Spring 2022
Lib Majority, gain of 4-5 seats from the tories. Houston stays on.

Summer 2022
PC minority, Libs second. 50-40-30 seat split, roughly. No deals, no coalition, minority lasts 2 years at most.

Fall 2022
CAQ re-elected to another majority, takes seats from PQ. PQ could be reduced to 2 or fewer seats. 

Spring 2023
NDP majority, alternative hard-right party takes a few seats as well

Fall 2023
PC majority. Libs and Greens might tie at 2 or 3 seats each. Possible the combined opposition benches contain less than 3 members. 

Fall 2023
NDP majority, tories down to ~20 seats. Pallister resigns as leader. 

Too far in the future to project

Looking at the Senate while I'm here, current standings are as follows:
42 - ISG (centrist and liberal, non-partisan)
20 - Conservative (right-wing, partisan)
12 - CSG (right-wing, non-partisan)
12 - PSG (left-wing, non-partisan)
5 - others (non-affiliated)
14 - vacant

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Liberals win in Tasmania

 Unclear if it is a majority of a minority; but it is possible, but perhaps likely.

According to ABC, the Liberals are on 12 seats, compared to 7 for Labor, and 2 for the Greens. There are 4 seats in doubt. 

Most seats have a party winner; even if a few don't have a specific MP that has won. 

Lyons has elected 3 Liberals and 2 Labor members; Braddon has also elected 3 Liberals, and 2 Labor members; while Franklin has elected 2 Liberals, 2 Labor members, and 1 Green. All of these match the results last election. 

Bass has elected 3 Liberals, as they did last time, and 1 Labor member. Labor could end up with 2 as they did last time, or, the final seat may go Green. 

Clark meanwhile is where the attention is. 2 Liberals have won seats, as well as 1 Labor member and 1 Green. Labour also took a 2nd seat last time, back when the seat was known as Denison, however, they will not be winning a 2nd seat this time. This seat has been the site of much drama. 

The speaker, who holds a seat here, quit as a Liberal after being told she would not be allowed to run again as a Liberal candidate. This was counter-balanced by a former Labor member, who lost in 2018 but won a countback (after a member retired) and re-entered the assembly as an Independent. She has since crossed to the Liberals. She is one of the two Liberals could take the final seat. The other contender is an Independent, Kristie Johnston. She may have benefited from the chaos in this seat, and her electorally successful terms in municipal politics. She could take the seat; and if she does, she would be the first Independent to win a seat since 1996, back when Tasmania had 7 seats per division (vs the current 5). This would be a feat, as, previous to 1996, the last win was in 1982, and before that, 1959 when two Independents won seats. Independent victories were more common prior to this. Still, there have been 20 Independents, total, elected since the 1909 adoption of proportional representation. 

Regardless, the Liberals are likely to hold on to power, but may have to do so in a minority situation. 

Friday, April 30, 2021

Many updates! 30APR2021

 Within the past few hours and days, things have gotten moving around the world, politically.


In Israel, it is becoming more and more clear, at least to me, that Naftali Bennett has a good chance of becoming Prime Minister within the next few days and weeks. There is still a chance for another election, and, a chance Bibi holds on; but right now, the smart money is with Bennett. I'll save discussing this a bit more for a later post, as, I have many updates in this post.

In Palestine, the elections have been delayed. I will also address this in detail in a later post, where I'll also explain some of the technicalities and weirdness that places like the Seam Zone cause. 


The coalition process is moving along to its next step. While there is some agreement that more time is needed, there is also a desire to get a comprehensive covid plan on the table. Will update as more comes.


The Australian state of Tasmania votes tomorrow, May 1st. (or, "Today" in Australia, as this post will go up at about 4am local for Tasmanians) Polls suggest the governing Liberals are likely to be re-elected, but with no guarantee they'll get another Majority. I will post what we know of the results in tomorrow's blogpost.


I've seen enough in new polls to declare significant movement. The new poll average, very roughly, is as follows:

191 - GRN
182 - CDU
110 - SPD
85 - FDP
84 - AfD
56 - LNK

The Greens, polling as high as 28% in some polls, would win their first election, ever, at the federal level, in Germany. Note that I've used 709 seats for my calculation, as, this is the current number of seats, even though the election is expected to produce far fewer seats due to less of a need for overhang seats. 

Their next best showing was 10.7% of the vote in the 2009 election. 

This would not be enough for a Green-Social Democratic government; but would be for Green-Christian Democrat government. This would mean Merkel's party remains in government, but, as a Jr Partner. It is, of course, possible for a the Liberal/Libertarian FDP party to join a GRN-SPD government; and these numbers could even see a GRN-SPD government supported by the hard left Linke party. 

Things are expected to change as the details firm up, and the election date draws closer; but there's a very good chance the Greens could win this in the end. People are a bit tired of Merkel's party, and the chancellor candidate they've offered this election seems sub-par, while the Greens have offered up their own candidate this time, who seems quite popular. My money would be on the Greens winning the most seats and votes, and, heading the next government coalition; with Annalena Baerbock becoming Chancellor. 


British local elections have managed to sneak up on me this year. County-level elections are taking place in various locations across England. 

In Wales, the Senedd is also up for election. Polls suggest Labour is up by about 2 points from last election, and the Tories are up about 6 points. The Welsh Nationalist PC is about level, while the LibDems have lost 4 points. The 12.5% UKIP took last time has vanished, but two "UKIP-like" parties are each at 4%. Labour can be expected to either retain their seats, or gain additional seats, based on this. Currently they hold 29 of 60 seats, and are supported by the LibDems and some Independents. This could, roughly be expected to continue; but the exact counts need to be seen.

Scotland also votes at the same time. Regionally; which impacts the proportional seats; The SNP is down 5 points, while the Greens are up by 2. The other parties (which currently hold seats) are steady, with the new Alba Party, lead by Alex Salmond, makes up the difference, sitting at around 3% or so. In the Constituency vote, the parties are all within a point or two of what they took last time; but the SNP seems potentially slightly down. If that plays out, the SNP could lose their majority. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Arlene Foster resigns as DUP leader

 The First Minister of Northern Ireland, Arlene Foster, has resigned as leader of the DUP. She has also resigned as First Minister. She'd been facing pressure to go in recent weeks.

The pressure stems from the Brexit deal, which, according to those in the DUP who oppose it, but a border between Northern Ireland and Britain. As Unionists, such a concept is fundamentally in opposition to the entire concept of what a Unionist thinks Northern Ireland is. 

As such, there is every chance that the next DUP leader will take a more hardline, more pro-Unionist stance on issues. This may make working with Sinn Fein much more difficult. 

Two moderate candidates for the top job are Jeffery Donaldson, MP; and Gavin Robinson, MP. 

However, there is thought that the job of DUP leader, and the role of First Minister, be split. Edwin Poots, MLA and Agriculture Minister is probably in the best position to become the next First Minister. He is a hardliner, and may be someone who SF has difficulty working with. 

There is time to sort all of this out. Foster will remain DUP leader until the 28th of May, and First Minister until the 30th of June. 

I will be keeping a close eye on all of this as it unfolds. 

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Updates for 25APR2021

 Again, little to update. I added one of my maps to the wikipedia page on the Yukon election, cause nobody else has yet. Nothing of note out of Bulgaria or the Netherlands, but there are signs of movement elsewhere. Germany and Italy are very close to having trends of note, I just need a few more polls to confirm things. 

Israel is where the biggest changes are. The upcoming Palestinian elections have caused disputes in Jerusalem. This is playing into government formation, and how it plays out remains to be seen. A cynic might think that Bibi is trying to inflame the situation to bolster his own support, if that is indeed the case, it may not be enough to save him. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Updates for 20APR2021

 Nothing much to update. The Tie in the Yukon has been won by the NDP, so the final standings are 8-8-3. The Dutch still seem to be forming a coalition government of some sort, while Greenland seems to have settled on the expected Ataqatigiit-Naleraq coalition, with Atassut support. In Germany the CDU has had a slight bounce while the Greens have announced a chancellor candidate for the first time. Bibi's chances of a coalition have narrowed, and it now looks like he may be out after all. 

When there is movement on one of the fronts I'm following closely, I will let you know. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Yukon election and other updates


7477 - 39.35% - Yukon Party - 8 seats
6142 - 32.32% - Liberal Party - 8 seats + 1 tie
5356 - 28.19% - NDP - 2 seats + 1 tie
26 votes - All Others

The results are in, and nobody has a Majority. 

It is all but impossible for the Yukon Party to end with more seats. That would require a 22 vote swing in Whitehorse West from any special ballots. This is extremely unlikely given the number of said ballots left to count. The single riding with a tie has no Yukon Party candidate, and, counting that tie as an NDP win, the Liberals still have 8 seats, the same number as the Yukon Party. As such the Liberals will be able to test the confidence of the house. Both the Liberal leader and Yukon Party leader accepted as much in their speeches. 

Any media outlets that have yet to call this for the Liberals are being pedantic. While the opportunity remains for the government to change hands after the legislature first meets; as it did in BC after the 2017 elections, or NB in 2018, the custom in Canada is to recognize the incumbent as the "winner" of the "election"

The most likely next step is for some kind of deal between the Liberals and NDP. There are three ways that can play out.

1 - "A Deal" - the weakest kind of deal - a one off "we will give you X if you give us Y", where the Liberals trade support on the throne speech for something the NDP wants to see

2 - "C&S" - Confidence and Supply - The NDP agrees to support the liberals as the government, voting for their throne speech and budget - in return for a number of policy points they wish to see implemented.

3 - "Coalition" - This means the Liberals and NDP will both supply members to the cabinet, both be part of "the government" and both govern the province together. 

Each of these has a history in Canada. The first has been used many times Federally. The second's most famous occurrence was after the 1985 Ontario election, when it was called an "Accord", but was also the result of the NDP-Green agreement after the 2017 BC election. Outright coalitions have been somewhat rare in modern times, but have happened. 1991 in Saskatchewan between the Liberals and NDP is an example. The most famous example is probably the alliance of the Progressives and the Liberals in Manitoba; which lead to the effective merger of the two parties. 

My current guess is that we will see a C&S agreement between the two parties. What actually happens will depend a lot on the personalities of the two party leaders, and their caucuses. 

Outside the Yukon:

Greenland and the Netherlands continue to slowly work towards a coalition government, as does Israel and Bulgaria. While none of them have seen positive progress (IE, an event has made a coalition more likely) all of them, especially the latter two, have seen negative progress (something that makes a particular coalition less likely), but since none of those events rule out a coalition, there is in effect, nothing of note to update.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Bulgaria, Greenland, and Bezalel Smotrich


On April 4th, Bulgaria held general elections. The results were as follows:

75 - GERB (Conservative)
51 - ITN (Anti-Corruption)
43 - BSP (Socialist)
30 - DPS (Turkish Minority)
27 - DB (Anti-Corruption)
14 - ISMV (Anti-Corruption)

Note that these numbers may change as counting continues. 

One issue that makes a coalition difficult is that none of the anti-corruption parties wish to sit with GERB. ITN also does not want to sit with either the BSP or DPS. and both DB and ISMV have reservations about those two parties. 

This makes any potential coalition difficult, if not impossible. It would require all 3 of the non-anti-corruption parties to unite to form a majority. 

I'm keeping my eye on the situation, but as it stands, it is likely Bulgaria will be headed back to another election in a few months, one that the Anti-Corruption parties are more likely to win by a larger margin. 


On the 6th, Greenland voted for a new Parliament. The main issue in the election was development of a mine. The governing Siumut supported the development, while the opposition Atagatigiit opposed it. An election was needed due to the Democrats (who also opposed the mine) withdrawing from government, causing it to lose its majority. 

The results show Atagatigiit taking 12 seats, a gain of 4, while the Democrats have lost 3, and now only hold 3 seats. Siumut has gained 1 seat, while their only other coalition partner has lost their single seat. 

As a result, at least on the mine issue, the new Parliament will look like the old one. Results summary below:

Inuit Atagatigiit - 12 - Left and Sovereigntist 
Siumut - 10 - Left/Centre and Sovereigntist 
Nalerag - 4 - Centre and Sovereigntist 
Democrats - 3 - Right/Centre and Anti-Sovereigntist
Atassut - 2 - Right and skeptical of Sovereigntism

Starting with the first elections in 1979, the Premier has been from Siumut for all, except, a 3 year period from 2019 to 2013, when the Premier came from Atagatigiit. Looking at historical governments, it is possible that Atagatigiit, Nalerag, and the Democrats could form a coalition government. 


I want to quickly introduce Bezalel Smotrich. He is leader of the Religious Zionist party, the party formerly known as Tkuma. The party itself won 4 seats in the recent election. Adding to that is 1 member of Otzma Yehudit,  and Noam. Otzma is extremely far right, to the point that there are often debates on it it should be banned. Noam is extremly anti LGBT. Somtrich, however, himself, is quite far on the right. He has held the following positions over the years:

That Jews should be able to redline Arabs when it comes to selling and buying houses. 

Opposition to "mixed marriages" between Jews and Arabs.

Announced he is proud to be a homophobe.

Supported segregation of Jews and Arabs. 

Supports a Halachic state (the Jewish version of the Islamic "Sharia Law") 

Yesterday, he said that Arabs who do not support Jewish control over the "Land of Israel" (a term that usually means 'including Gaza and the West Bank') should leave. 

In short, he has become "big" enough of a name in Israeli Politics that I will use his name, and not a party name, when summing up polls. 

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

06APR2021 very short updates


While Lega seems somewhat stable at 22%, the other 3 major parties (the Democrats, M5S, and FdI) all seem to be converging at around 18%


Bibi has been selected by the president, after a vote by Parliament, to be the first to try to form a government. It seems unlikely he can form one without somehow peeling away members from other parties. There is an interesting, if a bit crazy, proposal to elect Bibi as President. This would remove the major road block, as many members elected on the right refuse to sit in a government with Bibi. Either way, it seems more likely than ever that Likud will be in the government at the end of the day, even if Bibi's chances of sitting in that government himself remains 50-50. 

Friday, April 2, 2021

Dry season for politics

 Not much is going on with regard to world elections. Both Israel and the Netherlands have run into roadblocks for government formation; but neither have moved in any direction worth reporting just yet. The only election of note this month is in the Yukon; though, I am still keeping by eye on Calabria. There are a few interesting elections coming up in May. 

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Newfoundland "Election" results

 Yesterday, we learned that elections officials are hiding ballots from scrutineers

I spelled out in this post that Canadian democracy is stronger than US democracy because we have scrutineers looking at each and every ballot.

Apparently, this does not apply in Newfoundland. 

Regardless, the so-called results, are as follows:

22 - LIB
13 - PC
2 - NDP
3 - IND

And that's it. No map for this farce. 

This this supposed "election" does not outage you, you are doing it wrong. The one key element that differentiates our healthy democracy from failed democracies is that each party/candidate is allowed to see each and every ballot.





Not some of them. All of them. Not one person trying desperately to look at two different piles, or worse, 10 different piles. One set of eyes, on each ballot. 

I'm not going to humor this process with any more coverage on my blog. Good day. When the lawsuits begin, I'll keep you up to date, and I'll cover the re-do of the election (if that is how the court rules) ina year or two. 

Edited to add - 

I've reviewed the results on twitter and found 6 ridings where I feel the results might be, could be, or perhaps even should be, in dispute. The solution I prefer is to start by looking at the margin of victory. IE the number of votes that the winner took, over the 2nd placed candidate. If the winner took 1000 votes, and the 2nd placed candidate took 900 votes, the margin is 100. Next, compare that, to the number of people who say they were unable to vote. If that number is greater than the margin (IE, lets say 101 people said they were unable to vote), then the losing candidate(s) could request a re-do. This would simply see by-elections called for these ridings, with the member elected today continuing to sit until the by-election results are declared.

As such, with that note in mind, I am willing to discuss the election in a bit more detail and will do so in the following days. 

Regardless, here is the results map:

Friday, March 26, 2021

Israel, two possibilities

 This will be a short post; my building was without power for much of the day. 

It seems two coalitions are potentially possible. I'll outline what they are and what the problems with them are


30 Bibi
16 Haredim
7 Bennett
5 Tkuma+Noam
4 Defectors

Total - 62

The 6 members elected under what I listed as "Otzma" actually make up 4 members of the party formerly known as Tkuma, one from Noam, and one from Otzma itself. Otzma is a racist party, that lies somewhere between parties like AfD and Golden Dawn. Tkuma and Noam are closer to the AfD, though, Noam is fanatically homophobic. 

The 4 defectors would be from the party lead by Gideon Sa'ar; New Hope. 

Such a coalition is likely not going to be all that much more stable than the last few, and would only give Bibi another year or two in office. 


17 Lapid
8 Gantz
7 Lieberman
7 Avoda
7 Bennett
6 Sa'ar
52 - Coalition Government
6 Arabs
5 Left
63 - With outside support

Supposedly, the way this would work is that Lapid would get the votes for PM when parliament opens; but Bennett would be the first to serve as PM. The government would sit for a year, and at the half-way mark, Bennett would hand over to Lapid. Somewhere before that, the Haredim parties would be invited in so that the government would not need the support of either the Arabs or the Left. 

Right now, this is the most likely option, but, it faces some big obstacles. Lieberman has made many enemies over the year, in particular, the Left, Haredim, and Arabs. The plan calls for all 3 to back this. 

Additionally, the existing government was based on a deal that Bibi would allow Gantz to become Prime Minister, only for Bibi to stab Gantz in the back. As such, whomever would serve second in any deal would have to worry about the honesty of their partner. 

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Newfoundland election

 The polls have closed in the NL election... sort of. 

As of 8pm local (IE the time this post goes live) the post offices in Newfoundland and Labrador close for regular business. As ballots must be received (or, if the rules changed, postmarked, by today) this means the "polls" have "closed". One could argue, "perhaps midnight is better", but, my point here is that we have no results.

And we will continue to have no results until noon on Saturday (40 hours from now)

To my knowledge, this is the first time in 100 years that a Canadian election is having its results held back, despite the fact that no one can vote as the polls have closed. This just "does not happen" here. In places like Ireland or the UK it is far more normal to wait until all results are counted to release the results. That, however, is not part of our political culture as Canadians. 

Remember that the original election date was February 13th. We are now 40 days out from that mark. Results are still 2 days away. The move to the 27th (as results day) marks the 5th change, after it was changed to the 1st, then the 5th, the 12th, the 25th, and finally to the 27th. 

Beyond that, 20 people are counting the ballots, when roughly 2400 people would normally do so in the province. 

Beyond that, the election itself was cancelled with under 24 hours notice. At the time of its cancelation, anyone with covid would have been barred from voting. 

Apparently, despite having been in a pandemic for 10 months, none of the members of the minority legislature thought it wise to update the election act to ensure that there would be procedures to deal with the situation. 

The opposition parties are demanding meetings with election officials, but are being refused. Only the government party, it seems, gets to bypass this by having its leader as sitting Premier. 

If it was not for the fact that polls agreed that the government would be re-elected easily, a liberal victory would likely have lead to a massive constitutional crisis in the country. 

In short, the management of this election has been offensive. 

Reports that some voters were told to vote illegally are perhaps the icing on the cake.

This election has been run with extreme incompetence. Only the lack of malice makes any of this in any way acceptable in Canada. 

We should not be relying on the goodness of our officials to ensure a healthy democracy. Things need to change. Now. 

After debating with myself for weeks on if I want to associate myself with this farce by covering the results, I've decided that I will, for the same reason outlined above - lack of malice on the part of the administrators of the election. As such, expect a short post on Saturday with the results. 

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Israeli Elections - Bad news for bibi

 With 88% of votes counted, Bibi's main path to victory has been closed

30 Bibi
16 Haredim
6 Otzma
52 - Core Bibi

17 Lapid
8 Gantz
7 Lieberman
7 Avoda
6 Sa'ar
45 - Core anti-Bibi

7 Bennett
Swing; 59 with bibi, 52 with anti-bibi.

6 Arabs
5 Left
5 Ra'am

~88% of ballots counted

Things can, of course, still change. The formula (Bibi + Bennett = Majority) has been swinging between "YES" and "NO" through the entire count. Ra'am currently sits at 4.02%, above the 3.25% threshold. With so many ballots counted, it would be difficult, but not impossible, for them to plunge back below that number. Given the other results, the most realistic way for Bibi+Bennett to get a majority, is if Ra'am plunges back below the threshold. 

This then leaves open the question of Ra'am itself. 

Ra'am ran its own independent campaign (outside the Joint List of other Arab parties) explicitly because it hoped that a Bibi government would work with it. It now looks like the numbers may have put Ra'am in the exact position it hoped for. The question then becomes; is Bibi willing to work with them, and if so, are Bibi's allies willing to stomach that. 

I will update/edit this post if any new releveling information comes out today, or even tomorrow before sunset (when another post goes up) Such edits will appear below. 

Thursday Morning update:

30 Bibi
16 Haredim
6 Otzma
52 - Core Bibi

17 Lapid
8 Gantz
7 Lieberman
7 Avoda
6 Sa'ar
45 - Core anti-Bibi

7 Bennett
Swing; 59 with bibi, 52 with anti-bibi.

6 Arabs
6 Left
4 Ra'am

~96% of ballots counted

So long as Ra'am remains above the threshold, there is no simple way for Bibi to get his majority. Bibi's allies are unwilling to work with them, at least, enough of them have expressed reservations that make such an alliance all but impossible. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Israeli election - good news for Bibi

 Exit polls suggest the following:

32 Bibi
17 Lapid
16 Haredim
8 Arabs
7 Bennett
7 Gantz
7 Lieberman
7 Avoda
7 Otzma
6 Left
6 Sa'ar
0 Ra'am

These are good numbers for Bibi.

Bibi, plus Haredim, plus Otzma has 55 seats. This means any of the other parties can put them over the mark for a majority. 

The TLDR is that this is good news for Bibi, but not great news. 

Right now, I'd say the odds suggest that Bennett can be brought on board and will support Bibi in government in return for something he dearly wants. 

Remember though, these are exit polls. Things can, and will, change as votes come in. As such, I will make another post tomorrow showing where things stand.

midnight edit - 

Results as of 6:21am in Israel:

31 Bibi
19 Haredim
6 Otzma
56 - Core Bibi

17 Lapid
8 Gantz
7 Lieberman
7 Avoda
6 Sa'ar
45 - Core anti-Bibi

6 Arabs
7 Bennett
6 Left
0 Ra'am

~64% of ballots counted

note that the above was edited with even newer results, an hour later.