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Monday, August 29, 2005

No Vote Redistribution

There has been talk around the blogosphere that party votes that go to a party which does not reach 5% are redistributed in proportion to the successful parties party vote. Some have said this would benefit Labour. For example, if Destiny got 2% but no electorate seats, their 40,000 votes would go as follows (based on currrent polling) - 40% of them to National, 43% to Labour, 7% to Greens etc. This is incorrect.

I was speaking to a candidate from another party who was explaining MMP at a meeting and he was explaining the redistributed vote myth. He showed me an email from the Chief Electoral Office which confirmed party votes are not redistributed in the circumstance just outlined. They are simply 'wasted'. What does this mean?

At the 2002 election, National received 425,310 party votes (20.93%). This entitled them to 27 seats. They won 21 electorate seats so were entitled to 6 list seats. So, National gained a list seat for every 70,000 (approx) party votes.

This year, I expect National to win more electorate seats. Maybe 5 more, so, say 26 in total. At their current polling (say 40%, or 800,000 votes) they are entitled to 48 seats. They would get 22 list seats. So, they elect a list MP every 37,000 votes (approx).

ACT is currently at 2%. That is about 40,000 votes. Even if all those votes went to National (remote at best) it may elect 1 more MP. Yet, based on the number of electorate seats National wins, it may not. One thing for sure, this would still not be enough to form a centre-right government. ACT's supposed 'wasted' votes are not redistributed (so as to help Labour) and they would almost certainly not help form a centre-right government.

Take from this what you want.

Posted by Gooner | 8/29/2005 08:27:00 PM

7 Comments:

Blogger RightWingDeathBeast said...

Gooner did you get my email?

8/29/2005 09:11:00 PM  
Blogger Gooner said...

Just got it, ta. That's fine.

8/29/2005 09:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All the talk about how many votes each list seat costs is just misleading. There is no way any major party is going into overhang.

Much easier just to say that paty votes matter, electorate votes (for major parties) are completely, utterly worthless.

8/29/2005 10:01:00 PM  
Blogger JamesP said...

Sure they aren't "redistributed" in the sense that a vote for ACT (under 5% and with no electorate) is credited to Labour. However, the fact that the votes are not counted means that additional weight is given to the votes to parties that did make the threshold. Which mathematically has an identical effect to if the votes had been redistributed in proportion to the other parties vote.

Consider an election with 100 party votes cast as follows:
Labour 49 / 100 = 49%
National 48 / 100 = 48%
Act 3 / 100 = 3%
Assuming for this scenario ACT doesn't win an electorate seat then the 3 votes for ACT are discarded. This leaves a total of 97 valid votes from which the party vote percentages are then counted. (Also assume the electorate seat distribution of Labour / National doesn't cause an overhang)
Labour 49 / 97 = 50.52% = 61 seats
National 48 / 97 = 49.48% = 59 seats
Which is exactly the same result as if the 3 votes for ACT had been distributed between Labour and National in the ratio of 49:48. Of course, if ACT won a seat in this scenario then a National + ACT coalition would have a majority.

8/29/2005 10:10:00 PM  
Blogger Bren said...

James is right. It doesn't matter if you just don't count wasted votes or allocate them proportionally to another party. You get the same result.

Also your last paragraph is incredibly suspect. According to my calculations, National would get 2 extra seats (possibly 3) if the 2% ACT vote went to National. It doesn't matter how many electorate seats National wins (unless of course, it wins an overhang - very unlikely)

8/29/2005 10:45:00 PM  
Blogger peterquixote said...

ACT gain 1% peoples votes tonight because rodney on TV# with kids and heather and say freedom and prosperity,

8/30/2005 12:46:00 AM  
Blogger Gooner said...

I stand corrected re Bren's comment. The number of electorate seats affects only the list MP's, not the number of seats. Mea culpa.

8/30/2005 08:55:00 AM  

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