DR’s exitpoll 19.55

DR offentliggjorde en exitpoll kl. 19.55.

Jeg har sendt den gennem et program til at beregne mandatfordelingen, og resultatet er her.

Hvis det holder, er det interessant. Der er snævert flertal til S + SF + DrV + EL, men hvis Socialdemokraterne får mindst to nordatlantiske mandater, vil der også være flertal med LA i stedet for EL.

Jeg blogger igen, når der sker mere i løbet af aftenen.

“Canvassing” og forholdstalsvalg

Iflg. Ritzau var Helle Thorning-Schmidt ude for at stemme dørklokker i dag.

Det lyder måske ikke så udenlandsk, men det er en idé, hun har hentet i Storbritannien (som hendes mand jo er fra), hvor det kaldes “canvassing”: “Det er noget, man har gjort i Storbritannien i mange år […], siger Helle Thorning-Schmidt. […] Omkring en halv million dørklokker regner partiet med at stemme i løbet af valgkampen. […] Partiet har kortlagt, i hvilke kvarterer tvivlere og andre potentielle S-vælger kunne tænkes at bo.”

Jeg må indrømme, jeg ikke er overbevist om, det er en god idé.

Grunden til, man bruger denne metode i Storbritannien (og i USA), er, at man dér bruger flertalsvalg i enkeltmandskredse (“first past the post”), og det betyder igen, at de allerfleste valgkredse er helt sikre, og man derfor kan koncentrere sine resurser om måske 5% af valgkredsene. Det er så få, at når man sender partiaktivisterne ind fra de resterende 95% af valgkredsene, kan man rent faktisk tale personligt med stort set alle vælgere i kredsen.

Men Danmark har jo forholdstalsvalg, så alle stemmer tæller lige meget. Hvis man altså sætter alle kræfter ind på at tale personligt med 10% af vælgerne, er der så meget andet, man ikke kan gøre, og det kan nemt betyde, at man mister opbakning blandt de resterende 90%.

Hvis artiklen taler sandt, og Socialdemokraterne virkelig har tænkt sig at føre valgkamp på britisk manér, vil jeg spå, at de får et meget dårligt valg den 15. september.

Into the rose garden

The UK has finally become a normal European country.

That must be the unavoidable conclusion from the fact that we’re now ruled by a real coalition government, bringing together liberals and conservatives.

I welcome it.

It’s not that I’m fond of the Tories at all. However, it was clear that Labour were very, very tired and in need of some time in opposition to regain their strength.

I was also very worried about what a majority Tory government would do, in particular whether they would ruin our relationship with Europe beyond repair.

I would have loved to see a pure LibDem government, but it was never realistic for the party to jump from about 60 seats to more than 325.

So I think the Lib-Con coalition is the least bad option. As I wrote back in October:

Of course, it’s unlikely that the LibDems will get a majority, but it’s not at all impossible that the Tories will need their votes to gain power, which would be a great outcome: The LibDems could prevent the Tories from doing anything really stupid in Europe, and the two parties could probably agree on a feasible economic recovery plan.

I don’t agree with those LibDem supporters who think the party had to team up with Labour. If you can only work with one party, why don’t you join them instead? Also, I’m sure teaming up with a tired party would simply have lead to a Tory landslide shortly after the savage cuts (that unfortunately are necessary) had been implemented.

I also don’t agree with those who think the LibDems should have remained pure and refused to govern. If you get a chance to implement a large part of your manifesto, is that not better than seeing other parties’ manifestos implemented instead?

Politics is the art of the possible (to quote Bismarck), and if you just want to be idealistic and not see how sausages are made, you should probably put your efforts into charity, not politics.

The Times has found an appropriate poem, Burnt Norton by T. S. Eliot:

Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose garden.

They then conclude that “David Cameron and Nick Clegg dared to open the door into the rose garden.”

I wouldn’t be quite so enthusiastic about it, but I think this government is a better outcome of this election than I had dared hope.

Second-guessing as a feature of FPTP

3D Character and Question Mark
Originally uploaded by ????

Although the LibDems advanced by about 1% in votes, they lost a few seats.

I presume it’s because Cleggmania made the LibDem focus their resources on seats that would be winnable on a 5% swing to them instead of pouring time and money into their existing seats.

It’s a huge problem with FPTP that unless you have unlimited resources, you have to guess which seats you might feasible win or lose, and then concentrate on those. If you get it wrong, it might cost you dearly.

The same applies in a different way to voters:

Nobody likes to waste their vote (apart from my father-in-law), and that means people are likely to vote tactically.

However, voting tactically means guessing which parties that the contest is really going to be between and then vote for one of them, which again means that getting it wrong will mean you’ve wasted your vote.

I really hope the LibDems will manage to use this hung parliament to achieve electoral reform!

Respect for votes

It often appears to me that votes are not really respected in the UK.

For instance, many overseas voters got their ballot papers too late to vote, but nothing is done about it.

Also, there are often issues with postal voting fraud, but very little is done about it.

Finally, the BBC were just now reporting that many voters were turned away at some polling stations after queuing for more than half an hour because they didn’t have the resources to let them vote before 10pm.

Phyllis suggested that this attitude might be due to first-past-the-post normally delivering such clear results (as well as disenfranchising half the electorate) that a few missing votes wouldn’t really change the picture.

I’m appalled.

All votes should be respected, even if it means delaying the count!

Con 298, LD 108, Lab 212

Ballot box
Originally uploaded by ratinasock

Most of the last polls before tomorrow’s election are now out, and they seem to point to a result along the lines of Con 33-37, LD 26-29, Lab 24-28.

There’s also a Scottish poll predicting Con 17, LD 22, Lab 37, SNP 21.

If I put the average of the figures into the Electoral Calculus Regional Predictor and shift LibDem support slightly towards the north of England, I end up with a seat prediction of Con 288, LD 98, Lab 232.

The Tories seem to be doing better in Lab-Con marginals, but this is to some extent cancelled out by the LibDems doing better in Con-Lib marginals.

Let’s therefore assume that Labour lose another 20 seats to the Conservatives, and that the LibDems win another 10 seats from the Tories, and we end up with my final prediction for tomorrow: Con 298, LD 108, Lab 212.

In many ways this would be an excellent result: The Tories would probably end up in power, but without being able to do whatever they fancy. Labour would have to find a new leader, and the LibDems would have demonstrated how bad the electoral system is if they got more votes but fewer seats than Labour.