Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Looking ahead to 2022

 The year is ending and it is time to look forward to upcoming elections in 2022!

Jan 16 : Serbia Referendum
Jan 30 : Portugal General
Mar 09 : South Korea President
Mar 27 : Lebanon Parliament (if)
April? : Hungary General (date?)
Apr 03 : Serbia General
Apr 10 : France President
May 05 : Northern Ireland
May 08 : Schleswig-Holstein
May 09 : Philippine General
May 15 : North Rhine-Westphalia
May 21 : Australia General (date?)
Jun 02 : Ontario
Jun 12 : France Parliament
Jul 25 : Japan Upper House
Sep 11 : Sweden General
Oct 02 : Brazil General
Oct 03 : Quebec
Oct 09 : Lower Saxony
Nov 08 : US Midterms
Nov 26 : Victoria

Hopefully that's clear enough. I have doubts Lebanon will manage an election on the date listed. Also Hungary's election date is unclear. Also unclear is the election in Australia; however, I've made my best educated guess as to when such elections might occur. 

In general, things will remain somewhat quiet until March, and then get crazy busy in May. While the fall/autumn might seem to not be very busy, keep in mind that snap elections can happen at any time, and we may see a few of those during this period. 

Also note that just because an election is listed here does not mean I will cover it in detail, nor does an election being missing from the list mean that I will not cover it.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Bulgarian government to be sworn in

 Bulgaria is going to finally have a new government. The incoming coalition has been worked out, and the new government is expected to be sworn in tomorrow. The new government will have 134 members, exactly half of which will come from PP (Continue the Change party). 26 are from the social-democratic BSP, 25 from anti-corruption ITN, and 16 from anti-corruption DB. A note that DB has more seats from urban areas (8) than ITN (4) and it thus could be viewed as being more "progressive". 

The cabinet will have 7 PP members, 3 'pro-PP independents', 4 ITN members, 3 DB members, 4 BSP members, for a 10-11 balance between the lead party and other parties; similar to the new coalition cabinet in Germany denying a majority to the lead party. 

PP will hold the post of prime minister, and a number of other key posts such as finance, and health. ITN will hold the foreign post,  DB the justice ministry, and BSP the Labour portfolio. 

Kiril Petkov is the incoming Prime Minister. He has a Canadian connection, having graduated from UBC, and holding a dual citizenship until a few months ago. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Germany's new government sworn in.

 We are in the winter doldrums, when politics slows down in the countries we generally cover. As such, no regular updates, as, nothing has changed, and there is nothing to update. However, one change is the new government of Germany has been sworn in. A list of cabinet members can be found here.

What In find interesting is that the cabinet has 8 SPD members, 5 Green members, and 4 FDP members. Why is this interesting? Because if you went purely based on share of seats in parliament, the SPD would have 9 members, the Greens 5, and the FDP 4. Basically, the Greens and FDP were able to convince the SPD to drop one member. The impact of this is that Cabinet has 8 SPD members and 9 non-SPD members, giving these two parties a majority around the cabinet table. I suspect when I saw the Green and FDP leader smiling at one another during the post-election debate, that this is why. Both knew they had the numbers to make this demand a reality. 

The new government will have 416 members, 210 are from outside the SPD and 206 are from the SPD. From outside the party, 118 are Greens and 92 are FDP. 

Interestingly, in the upper house, the "government" only has 7 seats. In Germany, each state has a certain number of seats in the upper house, and all those seats are under the control of the state coalition government. As such, the 3 members from Hamburg as under the control of the SPD-Green coalition. This means there are not 2 SPD and 1 Green member, but, 3 SPD-Green members. The same is true for the Rhineland-Palatine coalition, which has 4 seats, and the same makeup of the federal coalition. 

I say this is the only "government" members, because all other states have a party outside the government as part of their coalitions. 4 include the left party, while 10 include the CDU/CSU. This means the state CDU parties hold the ability to vote "no" on legislation. However, this 'veto' is only a time lock. The lower house can simply pass the bill again. The 'catch' is that the re-passed bill must have 50%+1 of all lower house members, not just 50%+1 of all voting lower house members. In a coalition of this size, this effectively does not matter, meaning the upper house can only stall bills. The veto, however, is a true veto when it comes to bills that could impact the powers of the individual lander (states). Historically, however, German governments have chosen to work with the upper house to pass legislation rather than against it.

The 416 seat government will be facing off against a 320 seat opposition. A majority of which, 197 members, come from the CDU/CSU coalition. Of those, 152 are from the CDU and 45 are from the CSU. Additional opposition members include 83 AfD members, 39 Left members, and 1 member of the danish minority SSW.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

30NOV2021 updates

 We are into the winter doldrums for politics, but there are a few minor updates.

The czech and icelandic coalitions are now in place. 

I've also run some quick numbers for Italy, and the basic poll average (in terms of seats potentially won at the next election) is as follows:

85 PD (progressive) 
82 FdI (neo-nationalist) 
79 Lega (trump-like) 
64 M5S (left populist) 
32 FI (conservative) 
15 Az (left liberal) 
11 IV (liberal) 
8 EV (green) 
7 A1 (social democrat) 
7 SI (socialist) 
7 +Eu (euro liberal) 
3 CI (moderate)

Lastly, Japan's CDP has picked a new leader. 

Izumi Kenta has won. Mr. Izumi was the furthest 'right' of all the candidates, having stuck with Kibo and the DPP until the final merger. This may indicate a willingness to re-unite and heal the party. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

23NOV2021 updates

 Not much new to report. Germany's coalition is solidifying, The Czech coalition gets sworn in, in a few days. Iceland's coalition is finalizing the details. 

Perhaps the most report worthy thing is that Japan's CDP, its main opposition, is electing a new leader, and the 4 main candidates have emerged. The best way to classify them would be by how they reacted to the party split in the last election. Nishimura stayed with the party. Osaka became an independent. Ogawa became an joined Kibo. Izumi joined the DPP. No polls yet indicate how popular any of them are. 

Monday, November 15, 2021

15NOV2021 update

 The only major update today is the Bulgarian election. 

Results are not complete yet, but it appears that the results will be as follows:

66 - PP (anti-corruption)
59 - GERB (conservative)
33 - DPS (liberal, minority)
27 - BSP (social democratic)
25 - ITN (anti-corruption)
16 - DB (anti-corruption)
13 - Rev (nationalist)

This gives 108 seats for the anti-corruption parties, 92 for the two most traditional parties, 27 for the social democrats, and 13 for the nationalists. 

I want to contrast this with past election results:

I'll try to analyze this more in future posts; but for now, I will say that its quite possible we'll finally get a government this time. PP and DB want one. BSP is also seemingly willing to support them, and, PP and DB seem willing to allow that. This would be only a dozen or so seats short of a majority. It is quite possible that they could try to run this as a minority. However, ITN may support them. I will want to speak about ITN in my next post (when final results are out).

For now, this is all. 

Sunday, November 7, 2021

07NOV2021 updates

 The Czech situation has resolved, with the President able to speak from the hospital. He's confirmed he will appoint a SPOLU-PaS coalition, which, will confirm it's new government next week. As such, I've decided to stop following the government formation unless something changes. 

Bulgarian polls have settled down. Currently, polls suggest the following:

65 GERB (conservative)
45 BSP (socialist)
41 PP (anti-corruption)
36 ITN (anti-corruption)
27 DPS (liberal and minority)
25 DB (anti-corruption)

How that would turn into any potential government coalition remains to be seen. 

In South Africa, municipal elections give a hint at what the next election might look like. In particular, this is a rough estimate. Note, the number in brackets indicate the result in the last election.

201 ANC (230)
95 DA (84)
45 EFF (34)
25 IFP (14)
10 FFP (10)
10 ASA (0)
14 other (18)

If this plays out, the ANC will be sitting on a knife edge of a majority. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

02NOV2021 updates

 Not much to update. We did get one poll in Israel showing Yamina below the threshold, but that is an outlier. There is an election coming up on the 7th in Montreal, but I've not been following it very close. Otherwise, the only new updates are from Japan.

Japan has re-elected its current government. 

The LDP, under new leader, Kishida Fumio, took a left turn and ran as a far more moderate party than it had under Abe Shinzo. This is reflected in the poor results for the left-wing CDP and strong results for the right-wing Ishin party. 

Note that Japan has a parallel system. this means voters cast two ballots, one for their local candidate, and one for the party. As such, you'll see two popular vote figures below, one for the proportional seats, and one for the single-member seats.

The results were as follows:

261 - LDP - 72 PR 34.7% - 189 Dist 48.1% (moderate conservative)
32 - KMT - 23 PR 12.4% - 9 Dist 1.52% (conservative)
293 - Gov - 95 PR 47.1% - 198 Dist 49.6% (conservative)

96 - CDP - 39 PR 20.0% - 57 Dist 30.0% (liberal/progressive)
25 - Ish - 25 PR 14.0% - 16 Dist 8.4% (conservative)
11 - DPP - 5 PR 4.5% - 6 Dist 2.2% (liberal)
10 - JCP -  9 PR 7.3% - 1 Dist 4.6% (communist)
14 - Other - 3 PR 7.2% - 11 Dist 5.3% (see below)

Others, are 3 seats for Reiwa (progressive), 1 for the SDP (social democrat), and 10 Independents (various, mostly liberal/progerssive). 


293 Government 
131 Left Opposition
25 Right Opposition

The government, thus, lost 20 seats, but, kept the 'left opposition' roughly the same size, by losing seats to the right-wing opposition parties instead. 

Events can happen in the few days following an election in Japan, so, I will keep my eye on things and let you know what changes, if anything. 

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Japan election, early results

 Counting continues, and things can shift by 5 or so seats (or more), but, results look potentially to be as follows:

265 - LDP
95 - CDP
35 - NKP
35 - ISH
35 - others

This would be a great result for the LDP, and a poor one for the CDP. 

Monday, October 25, 2021

25OCT2021 updates

 Things are on the move in Czechia. Babis, the Prime Minister, and the speaker of the house (a member of his party), are expected to activate the portion of the constitution that allows them to step in to replace an ailing president. Not to fraudulently give their party a victory, but to ask the opposition leader to form government. While things worked this time, it would only take 2 bad actors to cause this system to break down in entirety. As such, I suspect this will be changed in the future. 

In Iceland, negotiations between the 3 largest parties - who also makeup the current government - are expected to continue. It would retain the same Prime Minister, despite her party losing seats. 

Nunavut holds elections today. I will not be covering it the same way I do elections elsewhere, for the same reason I avoid covering elections in many presidential systems - my focus is on parties in the Westminster and Westminster-like systems. - Nunavut has no parties, and is this impossible to cover in this manner. I will, however, consider looking at the results after the election, to see if I can't lump the candidates into 'parties' (likely incumbent vs challenger) to see if I can't make sense of the results. 

On the 31st, elections occur in Japan. My current thoughts (which have changed since my post over the weekend) is as follows:

255 - LDP
120 - CDP
25 - NKP
25 - ISH
20 - JCP
20 - others

Polls in Japan are notoriously difficult to 'read'. They always include the undecided voters. (Thus, instead of putting a two-party poll at 50%-50% with 20% undecided, it would say 40% and 40%) While this might not seem like a major problem, it is, as, undecided voters in japan like to break for the main opposition party. Often you'll see polls saying the LDP will win 45% of the vote, the main opposition party will win 15%, all other parties will in 20%, with 20% undecided, but, on election day, the LDP wins 45%, the other parties 20%, and the main opposition takes 35%. 

As such it is very difficult to try to interpret polling results. The 2 most recent polls have the LDP at 30% and 38%. the two before that have them at 30% and 33%. The two before that both at 44% while the two before that at 36% and 39%. In nearly any other country, this would cause suspicion at how on earth a party could vary so widely, but in Japan, this is normal. The poll with the LDP at 33% shows the CDP at 21%. the very next poll has them at 10%. Turning this into potential results is thus as much a guessing game as it involves math. 

Worse, just when you think you understand it, all of those above polls are "party vote" polls. Normally polls show "party identification". Those polls, in October alone, show the CDP as low as 5% and as high as 14%, and the LDP as low as 32% and as high as 51%. 

So who knows. I expect the LDP to have a majority, perhaps only with their coalition partner, or, perhaps on their own. We shall find out next week. 

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Observations and update - 23OCT2021

I just got a new patron out of the blue, and I think it's a fan fo the blog! so, lets post everything I have sitting in the queue. 

 just for funsies I combined the last election in the various nordic countries, and put them in a 399 seat parliament.

100 - social democrats
66 - conservatives
65 - right populists
55 - nordic agriarians
38 - leftists
26 - liberals
20 - greens
19 - christian democrats
10 - others

In the IRL nordic council, the agriarians, liberals, greens, and christian democrats, sit as a single group:

101 - 'centrists'
100 - social democrats
66 - conservatives
65 - right populists
38 - leftists
10 - others

Given politics of the past 4 years in the nordic countries, this would lead to a centrist-social democrat coalition.

I've run a quick but simple prediction/projection of japan; but its not been very rigorous. Regardless, results were as follows:

270 - LDP
105 - CDP
25 - NKP
25 - ISH
20 - JCP
20 - others

Also, a quick run down of Iraq's election results, a summary:

75 - Pro Sadr
63 - Pro Kurd
51 - Pro Iran
38 - Centrists
33 - Others
38 - Unknown

It's likely that Sadr and Kurd forces will form the core of the new government, perhaps one which will include some centrists. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2021


 A day late on this one, apologies for that. 

The reality, is there's not much to update. However, we do have two somewhat significant updates.

First; I'm adding Hungary to the list of countries I'm keeping my eye on. The opposition parties have united into a single electoral coalition, and are polling neck and neck with the government. More on this later.

In Italy, we finally have a poll that I've seen coming for some time. It shows FdI, the far-right party, at 20.5%, and, in second place, PD, the Progressives, at 20.2%. Lega has fallen to 19.8%, they are Trump-like. The left-populist M5S is at 15.8%. 

Czechia is having some trouble, with the president's illness now leading to accusations of treason by his staff, who may have forged his signature. 

As always, I'll keep you updates as things develop. 

Monday, October 11, 2021

11OCT2021 updates

Coalition negotiations in Czechia have been complicated by an illness that has incapacitated the President. Unlike the US, there is no "Vice President" to simply step in. Additionally, some in the ANO party are trying to form a coalition with the right-wing opposition. This could fracture ANO, which would leave the rump of the party more to the left. 

In Norway, the Labour and Centre parties have agreed to form a government. They have a combined 76 seats, which is short of the 85 needed for a majority. There are 24 seats to the left of the coalition politically, and, 75 to its right. It is likely it will not have a difficult time finding other parties to help pass its agenda. 

No news from other nations on government formation, but it appears that in Iceland, talks between the two largest parties continue, while in Germany, a traffic light coalition continues to negotiate. 

In France, a candidate to the right of Le Pen has potentially been polling in 2nd place for the Presidency, while a moderate Conservative could also make the 2nd round, and if so, has a chance at defeating Macron. 

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Czech Election results

Results are all but final. I've broken out the alliances into parties here for ease of understanding:

Note that I've listed the alliance before the name of the party. 

72 - Govmnt - ANO (Liberal Populist)
33 - P-STAN - STAN (Moderate Right)
23 - SPOLU  - KDU (Christian Democrat)
20 - indpndt - SPD (Populist Neo Nationalist)
14 - SPOLU  - TOP (Conservative Liberal)
4 - P-STAN - Pirates (Pirate)
34 - SPOLU - ODS (Liberal Conservative)

ODS, STAN, KDU, and TOP, all which have similar enough base ideologies, would have a combined 104 seats. It is extremely likely they form government, perhaps including the Pirates, who were part of an electoral alliance with STAN. It should be noted that, technically, all the parties have already agreed to form a coalition, but, I suspect the pirates may end up left out in the end. 

Important to note is that the Social Democrats and Communists both failed to enter Parliament. This jives well, narratively, with Babis' loss, as, the main reason behind it, was his alleged former ties to the communist government, (some suspicion he worked with the secret police). As such, some are saying this election marks the end of the post-communist era for Czechia. 

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Czechia government defeated

 Counting continues, but the ruling ANO party appears to have taken only 72 seats. Only 4 parties/alliances have made it into Parliament this time, with the 4th being the anti-immigration SPD, at 20 seats.

SPOLU has taken 71, they are a right-wing alliance of parties, while the Pirates and "Mayors" alliance has taken 37. They are expected to form a coalition government. 

More as it develops. 

Monday, October 4, 2021

04OCT2021 updates

 Japan is entering its election phase. I will be updating with expected results, but, the LDP can be expected to gain seats, likely.

Beyond that, I've been working on some personal improvements, as such, today's post is extraordinarily short. apologies about that. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Kishida Fumio to lead LDP and Japan

 Kishida Fumio has won the LDP leadership and will be the next Prime Minister of Japan. He defeated Karo Tono, who was seen as the more moderate candidate. This comes as a bit of a surprise for many. Kishida is from Hiroshima, and opposes nuclear weaponry. Kishida may end up governing in a much more moderate way than some may expect, but only time will tell. I will, as always, continue to monitor how this impacts polling in Japan. 

Monday, September 27, 2021

27SEP2021 updates (so many updates!)


Lets jump right into the latest polls:

ITN is down from 23.8% to 13.5%
DB is down from 12.5% to 11.9%
IBG is down from 5.0% to 3.3%

GERB is down from 23.2% to 22.6%
BSP is up from 13.2% to 14.5%
DPS is down from 10.6% to 9.8%

PP is new, and sits at 10.8%

Anti-Corruption is down from 41.3% to 39.5%
Establishment is down from 47.0% to 46.9%

As you can see, voters look set to harshly punish ITN for their refusal to form any sort of coalition. PP, for the record, is an anti-corruption party. 

I will keep an eye on the situation as it develops


I will be doing a post later this week expanding on this


Final results are in.

205 SDP
196 CDU/CSU (151/45)
118 GRN
92 FDP
83 AfD
39 LNK

The SDP has won, but by a smaller margin than expected. Analysis of this will come later as coalition discussions progress. A pan-left coalition is not possible, as, it does not have a majority, so, the most likely coalitions will include both the Greens and FDP. The only major question is which lead party will join, and currently, the SDP looks most likely.

In the election in the northern state of Mecklenburg, the SDP has won 34 seats, compared to 14 for the AfD, 12 for the CDU, 9 for Linke, 5 for the Greens and 5 for the FDP. The existing coalition is SDP-CDU, but the SDP may opt for a coalition with LNK instead this time. They do not have a majority with just the Greens. 

In Berlin, the existing pan-left coalition retains a majority and is likely to continue. The SDP won 36 seats, compared to 30 for the CDU, 24 for LNK, 32 for GRN, 13 for AFD, and 12 for FDP. 


Results are as follows:

16 - D - Independence (Moderate Conservative)
13 - B - Progressive (Nordic Agrarian Liberal)
8 - V - Left-Green (Socialist Green)
6 - S - Social Democrats (Social Democratic)
6 - F - Peoples Party (Pro-Poor, slightly populist)
6 - P - Pirate Party (Pirate)
5 - C - Reform Party (Green-Liberals)
3 - M - Centre Party (Gunnlaugsson Liberals)

The existing D-B-V coalition would retain a majority, but such a coalition has always been a bit unwieldy. 

D-B are 3 seats short of a majority. As such, I could see the two of them find another party to sit with. the Centre party is the best option ideologically, but Gunnlaugsson is still tainted by his involvement in the panama papers. Reform may be an option, as may the Peoples Party. The Peoples Party is generally seen as a party that wants to help the poor and the disabled, but, has faced accusations of racism against its leader, however, it's leader has not only disavowed past statements, but made policy counter to said past statements. How all of this plays out remains to be seen.

In Europe it is not uncommon for a month to pass without any significant news on coalition development. Norway still has no news, for example. I, as always, will monitor the situation, and keep you all updated. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Canadians return similar parliament to Ottawa

 Over the next few hours, days, and weeks, I'll have much data to share, but for today, just a quick post. In short, we've returned a Parliament that looks an awful lot like the last one. Some statistics of note are as follows:

While things can change as a million votes remain to be counted, the popular vote has broken down as follows:

CPC 34.0% (-0.4%) 
LIB 32.2% (-0.8%) 
NDP 17.7% (+1.8%) 
BQ 7.7% (+-0%) 
PPC 5.1% (+3.5%) 
GRN 2.3% (-4.2%) 

Current seats is as follows; but note mail-in ballots have to be counted. Hence the 'ranges' in brackets: 

158 LIB (152-164)
119 CPC (114-120)
34 BQ (30-34)
25 NDP (25-33)
2 GRN (2-2)

Notable wins include a CPC gains in the Atlantic, a Green in Kitchener Centre, 2 Liberals AND 2 NDPers from Alberta, and the Tories doing very poorly in the Vancouver area.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Russian election results

 Russia held elections yesterday. The results are as follows. Note that this is only about 90% of ballots counted.

I've been asked if I believe these are the results, and I do. Much of the unfairness in systems like this - which countries like Russia and Iran use, and, countries like Serbia and Chile have used in the past during their dictatorship periods - is that it is actually possible for the government to lose, it just usually requires more than half of the vote to oppose them.

2011 is a good example, Outside of this election, Russian elections tend to actually report the number of ballots cast. In 2011 it seems likely that Putin's party had indeed won a plurality, but not a majority. Keep in mind that the various parties in Russia hold various positions on the "Kremlin" axis. Many in the west see things in a Pro vs Anti light, but in reality, most voters in Russia ignore that axis. Parties like Just Russia are just as happy to operate under a Pro-Kremlin system as they would be to operate under an Anti-Kremlin system, and so, do not rock the boat. 

The Kremlin has also been accused of running spoiler parties. IE Parties that are similar to anti-Kremlin parties, but, are Pro-Kremlin, with the objective of taking away votes from parties that are not supportive enough of the political status quo. For example, Russia has two "Green" parties, one that is Anti Kremlin and one that is Pro Kremlin. For ease of reading, I've lumped the various Anti Kremlin and various "Spoiler" parties into one. Regardless, none of them won any seats. 

Most of the "cheating" done under these political systems is done before we even get to the stage where people are voting in the election. Parties are shut out of media access, and played as hostile. Even if every vote has been counted as it has been cast, the 'propaganda state' has ensured that people simply do not even want to vote for certain parties. Yabloko is the main party that suffers from this. It is a liberal, anti-kremlin, and pro-west party. In a system that is fair, and has been fair for all of this time, I would expect them to have around 15%-25% of the vote. However, after so many years of being played down in the current system, they would struggle to reach 10% of even if the system suddenly became what we in the west would consider fair. 

As to the results,

The Communists finish second, again. The party's vote is widespread, and as a result, they've only managed to win a handful of constituencies. This is not a sign of cheating, simply that the party has widespread support. It would, in fact, be expected to have widespread support, as, this is what we saw happen to Communist parties in the former eastern bloc. If their support was patterned more like a 'normal' party, they could have been expected to win an additional 20 or so constituency seats. Regardless, they've gained about 10 seats from last election.

The Liberal Democrats are the biggest losers. The name of the party might be misleading. The party is extremely nationalistic. Their leader, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, is Trump before Trump was Trump, but more racist. Zhirinovsky founded his party during the Soviet era, when the Soviets decided it was time for an opposition party, but one that had been carefully crafted. They've lost half of their seats this election.

Just Russia has managed to remain somewhat stable, gaining perhaps 3 seats. I still view them as one of the intended successor parties should United Russia ever lose. They are not pro-kremlin puppets, but they are also not anti-kremlin and thus wouldn't necessarily break apart the 'kremlin system', and would instead 'replace' United Russia as 'the' Kremlin. At least, this is what Putin expects. One can never tell. Regardless, the party remains where it was, more or less, at the last election.

New People are the big winners. The party is, as its name suggests, new. They are shaping up as a moderate but conservative alternative to Just Russia. Their position on the pro-kremlin spectrum is unclear, but, they are matching the pattern of the founding of Just Russia. That being a "spoiler party" seed that grows into a kremlin-neutral alternative. It is always possible for the party to shift on this spectrum, as, it has the potential to either become more pro-kremlin, or, even anti-kremlin. Additionally, it has elements that are liberalish in nature, and could move from the centre-right to the centre-left with the right circumstances. 

United Russia, Putin's Party, wins the election as expected. They look set to take about 320 or so seats, down 20 or so from the last election. They will thus retain a supermajority needed for constitutional amendments. They sit at 49.5% of the vote, but, could manage to break 50% with the final few votes to count. This puts them in a good position to continue building the kind of Russia that Putin wishes to see. In fact, with the lack of Communist gains and the shrinking of the Liberal Democrats, they stand in perhaps a better position than before, even if they've lost seats, with Just Russia and New People ready to step in should United Russia do something too unpopular. It just remains to be seen if these latter two parties can be kept from straying too far from Putin's laid out path.

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.