Current Party Standings (plus more metrics to come...)

Won in last general election1661033441  308
By-election vacancies-9-3-3    -15
By-election wins825    15
Left the caucus-3-7-2-3  -3-18
[Re-]Joined the caucus1 11121218
Vacancies      -2-2
Current standings16395352227306

Party Scorecard – 2011 General Election

May 9th, 2011

---- 2 ±±±± 1 ±±±± 0 ±±±± 1 ±±±± 2 ++++

Just before the election began, we looked at some election metrics designed to help measure the progress of Canada's political parties during the campaign.

While some of them were financial and thus won't be known for this campaign for awhile, it might be a good time – with nearly all the validated results in – to take a look at the party scorecard.

Party Scorecard – 2011 GE

2011 GE Lib NDP Grn BQ Cons Rest
Seats 34
2nds 76


Seeing the results this way is pretty amazing now: the NDP gained nearly 2 million votes during this campaign, nearly doubling their performance in 2008. The Conservatives gained another two-thirds of a million votes, while the Liberals dropped around 850 thousand, and the Bloc shed just over a third of its support.

One measure that could be a candidate for a leading indicator is the number of ridings in which the party was rebate eligible. The full time series is given here, although note that the criterion for being rebate eligible changed from 15% of valid ballots down to 10% in 2004, and so really I've shown the number of ridings where the party obtained 10% of the vote or greater in order to be comparable.

Number of Ridings Where a Party Obtained 10% of Valid Ballots or More in a General Election, 1988-2011

Prty 1988 1993 1997 2000 2004 2006 2008 2011
Lib 286 293 298 296 306 281 269 217
NDP 244 60 120 87 194 212 243 306
Grn 0 0 0 0 3 7 42 8
BQ   74 73 73 74 73 71 65
Cons         251 301 298 283
CA/Ref 25 186 192 207        
PC 294 221 233 144        
Ind/Oth 4 11 3 3 6 4 5 5

[Click on image to open full-sized version]

Number of Ridings Where a Party Obtained 10% of Valid Ballots or More in a General Election, 1988-2011

What's interesting to note is that the period 1988-2011 seems to have represented a full electoral cycle, and one that's returned Canada's House of Commons to basically a three-party system, albeit one with the three main parties in a different order, but also with representatives of a few smaller parties as well.

We'll continue with more metrics next time.

Note that nine ridings (all remote ridings, or those with a few remote communities) are still in the "preliminary result" stage. As soon as all the ballot boxes can be returned to the returning offices for the official counts, those ridings will be moved to a "validated result" stage. Meanwhile there are or will be at least four recounts to be concluded as well, before the final results can be published.

17 Responses to “Party Scorecard – 2011 General Election”

  1. Wilf Day says:

    Amazing: the NDP is the most national party, below 10% in only Crowfoot and Portage-Lisgar. The Conservatives fell below in 23 Quebec ridings and did not run in a 24th, Portneuf–Jacques-Cartier. (I can’t find the 25th.) Their worst was 3.5% against Gilles Duceppe, followed by McGill Ph.D. student Sébastien Forté with 4.3% in Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie (perhaps the press does not interview all McGill student candidates.)

    How can the governing party be so absent in one-third of the ridings of Quebec?

  2. Shadow says:

    Wilf that’s a very arbitrary metric to define who’s the most “national”.

    All parties are strong and weak depending on the region.

    The NDP got 16.8% in Alberta, the CPC got 16.5% in Quebec.

  3. janfromthebruce says:

    Shadow, I believe was referencing how many ridings each party received a rebate from by gaining 10% or more from the total number of ridings. Thus, the NDP will get rebates back for 306 ridings in comparison to Conservatives with the number of 283, with a difference of 23 less rebates because their candidates did not receive 10% of the vote in those ridings.

  4. Wilf Day says:

    Jeffrey Simpson wrote on Saturday that “the New Democrats are nowhere in vast swaths of Canada outside Quebec.” That was true in 2008, where the NDP got less than 10% in 65 ridings, not getting its expense subsidy, indicating a token campaign. That was three in PEI, 25 in Quebec, 21 in Ontario, one in Manitoba, 11 in Alberta, 3 in BC, and Nunavut.

    To my surprise, on May 2nd the NDP got less than 10% in only two ridings. Do we need a new definition of “nowhere?”

  5. David Young says:

    When it comes to the NDP, if Jack Layton were to walk on water, media types like Jeffrey Simpson would scream ‘Jack can’t swim!’ (Thanks to Chantal Hebert for that line!)

    It is utterly useless to bother to listen to any of the unabashedly biased commentators, who will be anti-NDP untill they die.

    They’re just not worth listening to.

  6. Shadow says:

    Wilf i’ve never heard the party rebates used as a definition for whether a party is present in a region.

    Usually whether there is representation in caucus from a province is the standard used.

    But if we are going to use party support then why 10% ? Somewhere between 20% to 25% seems more appropriate.

  7. Shadow, Wilf: I’ve just been toying with what measures would be sort-of “leading indicators” of later growth (like technical analysis of the stock market).

    It would not be the absolute number of ridings one got the rebate in, but a change in the number of such ridings, is what I’m hypothesizing.

    The NDP started to move up on that measure quite a bit last time, while the Liberals started their downward movement last time as well. Not the Bloc though. So it’s still imperfect.

  8. Oliver Kent says:

    I don’t think you really want to suggest that your work is akin to technical analysis in the stock market, which is about as scientific as astrology. Mind you, astrology is profitable stuff.

  9. Philip says:

    The original quote came from MargaretTHatcher (I believe)and was:

    If my critics saw me walking over the Thames they would say it was because I couldn’t swim.
    Margaret Thatcher

  10. Wilf Day says:

    Shadow, the NDP is most certainly present in Saskatchewan, even though it won no seats. And a campaign getting over 15% is not a token campaign. We could discuss whether to use 10% or 15% as the cutoff.

  11. Bob Smith says:

    While the NDP number is impressive, it’s worth noting that the last federal party to get 10% of the vote in 306 ridings was Paul Martin’s Liberals in 2004 – i.e., just as the wheels were starting to fall off the Liberal bus, so I wouldn’t read too much into it.

  12. Shadow says:

    Wilf we’re talking about a vote share that reaches a critical mass, such that it could one day lead to a seat gain or at least get the party attention.

    That’s at least 20%.

    If you look at somewhere like Alberta outside the city of Edmonton the NDP are nowhere.

    Or outside of St. John’s in Newfoundland, or outside of Charlottetown in PEI.

    And even in seats where they did well i’d be interested to check out the poll by poll results. It wouldn’t surprise me if their report was highly concentrated in the city portions of other ridings.

    Regardless, we could construct all kinds of criteria and come to different conclusions.

  13. Masse says:

    Let me get this straight, for the first time in the history of the NDP, they win 103 seats, become official opposition and came in second in an additional 121 seats (last election came in first or second in 102 seats – net increase of 122). They also get rebates in all but two ridings in the country. And Bob you are suggesting that the wheels are about to come off?

  14. Adam Sobolak says:

    Maybe even more incredible to consider is that the NDP *still* managed to be in second place in *both* of those seats where they fell short of 10%…

  15. Tyler Kinch says:

    Bob, the difference is that the NDP is gaining. The Libs were falling in 2004.

  16. Wilf Day says:

    Of the 103 NDP MPs, in Quebec we find 27 women and 32 men. In the ROC we find 13 women and 31 men. This Quebec result is typical in any election with no incumbency factor. That’s how the election of the first Scottish Parliament achieved such an reknowned proportion of women.

    Perhaps it follows that, given enough turnover, we’ll eventually reach 50% women in Parliament without taking any special steps?

    However, Equal Voice members aren’t willing to wait that long, nor should they: history is on their side.

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