Monday, January 28, 2013

Could Pupatello Have Won?

This is some swirling stories right now going on that Hoskins was supposed to give Sandra Pupatello his support this past weekend, described here in the Globe and Mail. I look forward to the tell-all book from Eric on this, but until then, we get this story that does no favours for Liberal unity.

While it isn't like people are tearing each other apart, this semi-feud between Sandra Pupatello and Eric Hoskins got old the second it reared its head.

I obviously don't know the details of whatever agreement Hoskins and Pupatello had, and I don't care - the convention played out like it did.

But.... I can't help but be curious as to whether it would've made a difference if Hoskins had given his support to Pupatello. Thus, I shall propagate the bullshit and see where it goes.

Thanks to the great work done by CalgaryGrit and Eric at 308.com, we have seen the breakdowns of the convention's rounds, how the candidates grew their support, etc.

Eric Hoskins dropped out after the first ballot. I don't know how many of his 150 delegates moved over to Wynne, but let's go with a healthy 90% because, hey, I like to be fair (and that seems to have been what the third ballot movement was at). That's 135 delegates, with 15 free-roamers. In our alternate scenario, those 135 delegates will go to Pupatello instead, while the extra 15 we'll give to Wynne.

Here's what it would've looked like on the second ballot:

Pupatello: 952 - 45.9% (+6.5%)
Wynne: 630 - 30.2% (-5.9%)
Kennedy: 285 - 13.6%
Sousa: 203 - 9.7%
Takhar: 18 - 0.9%

That's a good show for Pupatello, putting her right at edge, a full 6% ahead of where she was in reality.

However, once we go to the third ballot using the same numbers we saw transfer in reality, +49 for Pupatello, and +400 for Wynne:

Wynne: 1,030 - 50.7% (-6.3%)
Pupatello: 1,001 - 49.3% (+6.3%)

A much closer race, though still a Wynne, er, win - more interestingly, take away the 15 Hoskins delegates I gave to her on the second ballot, and its a literal 1-vote difference, with Pupatello leading.

But, the greater thing to ponder would've been Charles Sousa - had Pupatello been in such a commanding position on the second ballot, would he have moved his support to Pupatello instead? If he did, that would've given Pupatello a commanding lead, had the vast majority of his delegates gone over, like they did to Wynne in reality.

But, that's just one hypothetical. Most assume Sousa, who seemed closer to Pupatello on the rather flimsy left-right scale we attributed to the leading candidates, would direct his supporters there. Even though in reality Pupatello still lead Wynne on the second ballot, he didn't move to Pupatello's camp. One has to ask themselves whether Sousa might've still gone to Wynne, sort of a coalescing of the "anti-Pupatello" vote.

Another thing to consider is whether or not Sousa, or Hoskins for that matter, could've gotten their delegates to move en masse to Pupatello, like they did to Wynne. I never got the impression Hoskins and his supporters were leaning to Pupatello as a second choice, and no significant portion of Sousa's delegates obviously went to Pupatello when their candidate supported Wynne.

There are a lot of variables to consider, some which support the notion that Pupatello could've pulled it off with Hoskins' support, some muddying the waters. Technically, no one can be sure of what the result would've been had this supposed "deal" gone down the way Pupatello expected it would.

At the same time, I can't help but think it would've made Pupatello, at least by the second ballot, pretty much an unstoppable force. It would require major rebellion on the part of Hoskins' delegates to stop that kind of momentum, and I just can't see it happening.

But, that's just me. You guys can reach your own conclusions.

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