Stochastic Elections Canada 2011 Results


It is time to announce the results from Stochastic Elections Canada for the 41st General Election.

Every vote counts with the stochastic election process, so we had to wait until all election results were validated and certified before we could announce our results. With the traditional voting methods, a seat can flip from a preliminary 110 vote lead for the Conservative Party to a 9 vote lead for the NDP. However, stochastic election results are not very sensitive to small changes to the number of votes counted. The distributions for each candidate are typically only slightly adjusted.

Now that the last judicial recount has been completed, we can announce our MP selection.

2011 Stochastic Election Simulation Results
Party Seats Seat Percentage Vote Percentage
NDP-New Democratic Party 108 35.1% 30.6%
Conservative 107 34.7% 39.6%
Liberal 58 18.8% 18.9%
Bloc Québécois 20 6.49% 6.04%
Green Party 14 4.55% 3.91%
No Affiliation 1 0.325%

Results by province and by riding are available (electoral districts on page 2).

The results were generated from Elections Canada data. One hundred and fifty-seven elected candidates differ from the actual 2011 election outcome. The Liberal party holds the balance of power in this parliament.

The results are a surprising turn of events with the NDP gaining one more seat than the Conservative party even though the Conservative party has more popular support. However, Steven Harper remains prime minister until he resigns his post or his government is defeated. With more popular support than the NDP and with only a one seat deficit, he just might elect to remain prime minister.

Even though on average sortition produces proportional representation, this sort of reversal can happen. If you look at the seat expectations you can see that there is reasonable amount of overlap with the NDP and Conservative distributions. Given that the number of seats the two parties will have is anti-correlated, the chances of this reversal are perhaps somewhat more likely than those graphs indicate.

Many proportional election systems require candidates to run under a party, or at least it is advantageous to be a run under a party. One notable advantage of sortition is that independent or unaffiliated candidates are not disadvantaged. This year Helena Guergis was reelected to her seat in Simcoe—Grey. Helena Guergis has held this riding for the previous two stochastic elections. Even though she was kicked out of the Conservative party, she ran unaffiliated and gathered a respectable 13.4% of the vote in her riding. This was enough support to give her a reasonable chance to continue to represent her riding.

This is only one example of the results of a stochastic election. Because of the stochastic nature of the election process, actual results may differ.

In Canada’s election process, it is sometimes advantageous to not vote for one’s preferred candidate. The stochastic election system is the only system in which it always best to vote for your preferred candidate. Therefore, if the 2011 election were actually using a stochastic election system, people would be allowed to vote for their true preferences. The outcome could be somewhat different than what this simulation illustrates.

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