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
Lets jump right into the latest polls:
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.
196 CDU/CSU (151/45)
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:
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
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
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
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
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:
4,007,783 No on Recall
2,724,875 Lead Democrat
1,161,287 Next Lead Republican
0,242,247 Lead Green
0,323,224 Everyone Else
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:
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.
1,064,788 Other Republicans
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:
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
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
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:
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
I wanted to share a map I've been keeping. The map comes from election.de 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 election.de 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
Just some maps reflecting my current thoughts on the election. FTR the final total would be
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
Lets hop right into the numbers, obtained by averaging the 2 most recent polls:
11 - R (Red Party) [Communist]
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
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
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.