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Archive for November, 2011

Update 21:31

New update with 69% of the vote counted.  Results now a lot more certain.

Total seats for National party.

Total seats for National party.

National to win 60 to 63 seats.

Total seats for the Labour party.

Total seats for the Labour party.

Labour to win 32 to 35 seats.

Total seats for the Green party.

Total seats for the Green party.

Green party to win 13 to 14 seats.

Scenario analysis.

Scenario analysis.

A National PM.

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Update 20:45

Still too early to make comments on the electorate results, or results at the candidate level, but things are now stable enough to make national-level predictions.

Histogram showing the total number of seats National are expected to win in parliament.

Histogram showing the total number of seats National are expected to win in parliament.

Simulated distribution of seats for National now showing double peak. National a lot better off if NZF don’t make 5% than they are if they do.

Scenario analysis.

Scenario analysis.

National still predicted to lead government, but probability of majority rapidly falling. There is now a reasonable probability that the Maori party will hold balance of power.

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Update 20:21

Election results now coming from Elections NZ, not TVNZ.

NZF creeping up in the new simulated percentages, as the polls are progressively given relatively less weight and Elections NZ results given relatively more weight.

Raw party vote percentages for each party::
National : 49.47 % +- 2.39 %
Labour : 28.56 % +- 2.16 %
Green : 11.82 % +- 1.34 %
ACT : 1.85 % +- 0.33 %
Maori : 1.08 % +- 0.24 %
Progressive : 0.04 % +- 0.03 %
United : 0.59 % +- 0.24 %
NZ First : 4.22 % +- 0.73 %
All Other : 2.06 % +- 0.34 %
TOTAL : 100.00 % +- 0.00 %

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Update 19:39

Blackout over.

I will be making periodic updates tonight using a mix of data from the pre-election polls, combined with updates from TVNZ as they come in. Updates from TVNZ will be taken as is, and for the uncounted vote I will assume it falls according to the polls, with a bit of a fudge factor to counteract the bias from early reporting electorates. Electorates will also be awarded to the winning party where known, otherwise they will be calculated as usual according to the Uniform National Swing model.

It’s a pretty rough system, but I think better than doing nothing and waiting until 1AM before we start hypothesising on coalition outcomes.

I won’t be beating any of the TV stations for electorate level predictions, but hope to give them a run for their money on the composition of parliament. We’ll see if it works.

Raw party vote percentages for each party::
National : 49.44 % +- 2.52 %
Labour : 28.81 % +- 2.28 %
Green : 11.61 % +- 1.41 %
ACT : 1.85 % +- 0.35 %
Maori : 1.03 % +- 0.26 %
Progressive : 0.04 % +- 0.03 %
United : 0.56 % +- 0.26 %
NZ First : 3.88 % +- 0.77 %
All Other : 2.77 % +- 0.36 %
TOTAL : 100.00 % +- 0.00 %

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Democracy Ahoy!

Never voted in NZ before, and haven’t been here for an election since I was 15. Getting kind of a weird vibe.

Democracy ahoy.

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Election Day Welcome

Looking at the stats there is a lot of traffic today coming from seach engines, presumably first time visitors. Welcome! Make yourselves at home.

Most of you will find what you are looking for on the front page, and for those of you who arrived after a search including the word “epsom”, I’m sure Google will send you where you want to go.

For those interested I am on Twitter at @kiwipollguy, and will be commenting tonight as the results come out. I was hoping to have live results updates and see if I could beat the TV News in calling the election, but it will require a few hours coding, and the weather’s looking great, so it may end up just being commentary.

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There is a lot of information out there on tactical voting, some of it good, and some not so good. One common misconception though is that there is no point in voting for the Maori party because a vote for the Maori party is a wasted vote, in the sense that it will not help elect anybody to parliament because of the Maori party overhang. This is correct in the technical sense, but misses the point a bit.

There will be an overhang in parliament after the election, which will be caused partly by the Maori party winning more electorate seats than they would be entitled to given their share of the vote. However, a vote for the Maori party, whilst being a wasted vote, will work to reduce this overhang by removing seats from other parties.

Consider the following two scenarios:

  1. The first scenario is that predicted by current polling.  In this scenario the Maori party win 4.8 +-/ 0.8 seats in a parliament with a total of 124.8 +-/ 1.1 seats.
  2. In Scenario #2 we assume the turnout is exactly the same as the last election: 2,344,566 votes.  We then assume that an additional 10,000 people who would have otherwise stayed home instead turn out to vote for the Maori party.  What happens now?  The overall effect of these extra 10,000 voters on the party vote isn’t huge, but the effect on the seat distributions is non-negligible.  In this scenario the Maori party still win 4.8 +-/ 0.8 seats in parliament, exactly the same as in Scenario #1. But the total size of parliament drops to a total of 124.2 +-/ 1.0 seats due to a reduction in the overhang.

What happens to the missing 0.6 seats under Scenario #2?  They come from the other parties with probabilties in proportion to their party votes: National would lose approximately 0.3 seats, Labour would lose approximately 0.2 seats, and the Green party would lose approximately 0.1 seats.

It might not seem a huge difference given a hypothetical situation with an extra 10,000 voters rustled up out of nowhere.  But when you consider the cost of an extra backbencher’s salary, about $141,800, this works out at an expected saving for the NZ government $9 per year for each of the next three years for each additional party vote for the Maori party.

Wasted vote or otherwise, politically-neutral voters who want to cast a protest vote could do a lot worse than party vote Maori party.  There is a difference between a “wasted” vote and an ineffectual vote.

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