Friday, October 23, 2015

Canadian election statistics

Canada has just (Oct 2015) held a federal election that saw Party A, which became the Government at the 2011 election, slip to Opposition status, while Party B has now become the Government.

It's a huge change, yet statistically it has tiny roots:

In 2011 the Government received 39.6% of votes.
In 2015 the Government received 39.5% of votes.

In 2011 the Opposition received 30.6% of votes.
In 2015 the Opposition received 31.9% of votes.

A little math shows that if just 3.8% of the voters had switched their allegiance from Party B to Party A, that would have tipped the balance. So that tiny percentage controlled the outcome of the election.

That's significant because:
In 2011, 61.1% of eligible voters voted.
In 2015, 68.5% of eligible voters voted.

The increase in participation was 7.4%, more than enough to sway the election. A large part of that increase is thought to represent first-time voters.

The next federal election will be held in 2019 (or earlier, though that's unlikely). Four years is a long time in politics, and the close numbers suggest that - provided there's a level playing field for all the parties - anything may happen then.

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