Saturday, October 19, 2013

The case for, and against, a progressive merger - based on math!

First, I want to address members of the audience from the UK, Australia, and places like that.

It's Math not Maths. Sorry :P but it is. Mathematics is not a plural, you can not do a single mathematic. Sure the original greek was a plural, but in it's use in english, Mathematics is not plural. This video explains it better than I can If you enjoy fun with numbers as much as I do, you'll enjoy this youtbe channel.

Back on topic.

The recent Ekos poll - the one showing us doing well that everyone is gabbing about - also has "second choice" results.

Now I'll warn you, I am going to make an assumption, and I'll explain why.

I am going to assume that the Liberals and NDP are "known quantities", political parties that people either like, or dislike, or love, or hate. I am also going to assume the Greens are, mostly, an "unknown quantity", meaning that most voters - not all but most - do not love, hate, like, or dislike the Greens, they have yet to develop a solid opinion of it.

According to the poll, we have some of the following results:

I hope the colours are not too hard to read.

There seems to be 45%-50% of people from each party that fully support a merger. Using the total figures, this gives us a result. Multiplying 36.3% by the 49.1% gives us 17.8%. Taking the same for the NDP gives us 11.2%. This gives us a total of 29%

We can thus presume based on these numbers that 29% of voters are fully supportive of a merger.

Great, right? 29% for us and 26.1% for the Tories!

Except, there are some Liberals and New Democrats who have the Conservatives as their second choice. 6.5% in particular.

29% for the Progressives, but 32.6%, that's terrible!

That's not all. There are a large number of NDPers and Liberals who have the Greens as their second choice. 11.4% in fact, more than the current Green base support. This means we are looking at the following:

32.6% - Con
29.0% - Pro
17.9% - Grn

Even worse, some Liberals and New Democrats have expressed that they have no second choice. If we take those voters out - and considering what happened with the Alliance-PC merger - this is reasonable (actually, many PC voters went Liberal, and, perhaps shockingly, more went Green) This means rather than a total 100% pool of voters, we are working with 89.5%, which means the real numbers are even worse. This pushes the Tories to 36.4%, which could edge into a majority if things went right for them.

But, what if the Greens join!

Well, for starters, convincing people to merge just two parties is hell. Three? That's just about impossible.

But what if we could? Just add 29 by 17.9 right? Nope. Remember from earlier that there are far more people who dislike the Liberals or the NDP than who dislike the Greens. So lets go back to our math. Only 4% of voters (Greens) would switch over. This brings our Progressive total up to 33%. Great! We beat the Tories finally! Nope. 0.6% would switch to the Tories, meaning we now sit at 33% for the Progressives and 33.2% for the Tories. Take away the non-voters and what do we have?

37.6% - Con
37.4% - Pro

Well that's still pretty good right? Look how close we are? If we target the seats right, we can win!

Except... Look back at that table I posted. At the current poll.

36.3% - Lib
26.1% - Con

That's right. We've managed to go from a possible majority government under Trudeau to a possible minority under Harper by merging the parties. It's not like I'm using different polls. I'm using this poll. A terrible poll for the Tories, and even in this poll, you can't make the case for merger.

But Teddy, I can hear you say. Are you not pro-merger, so long as it's with the Greens? Well yes, I am. I do not see the same Anti-Liberal or Anti-NDP feeling mirrored in anti-Green feeling. Because of that I see more people willing to support a merged party including the Greens. I see second tier support possibilities; something that I do not see with the Liberals or NDP. What do I mean by that?

Lets presume a merger between the Greens and the Liberals. For starters, given the respective sizes, I actually don't see many, if any, Liberals leaving. The same is true, I say, for a merger between the NDP and the Greens. So what do we get with Green mergers with either the Liberals or NDP? Lets find this out. Lets also take our second tier support. That means of the 2.2815% Greens that'd otherwise vote NDP, 1.02 of them will vote Liberal. (6.5*0.351*0.449)

39.1% - Lib
26.7% - Con
26.1% - NDP

37.2% - Lib
28.0% - NDP
26.7% - Con

I don't know about you, but I like these options far better.

Remember though. This is based on an assumption - I think a CORRECT assumption - that the NDP and even the Liberals turn off voters. If you have any evidence or logical reasoning explaining how this is not true, please feel free to detail it in the comments.

1 comment:

  1. I decided to see what would happen if all No 2nd voters went along with the merger. You'd end up with 39.5% over 32.5%, or, a ratio-lead of 1.21. Compare to the current lead of 1.39

    And remember, this is not some kind of poll where the Tories are already doing well. This is their worst poll in a very long time.