Monthly Archives: March 2009

Mayotte Referendum 2009

The French oversea island of Mayotte will become the 101th department of France in 2011 following a referendum, approved by 95.22% of voters. Mayotte will therefore be a DOM like Guadeloupe, Martinique, Guyane, and Réunion.

Mayotte, the fourth island in the French Comoros, rejected independence in 1974 with 65% against. In the three Comoran islands, 95% voted in favour. The Comoran government still claims Mayotte and considers it illegitemately occupied by France. Mayotte was first a territorial collectivity and since 2000 it is a departmental collectivity.

With this massive vote in favour, Mahorans will receive full advantages associated with the status, including the RMI and other financial benefits. However, the 1905 law on separation of church and state will apply to Mayotte and polygamy will be illegalized. For that reason, the only supporters of the NO were imams and prominent Islamists (95% of Mahorans are Sunni Muslims). All political parties in Mayotte supported the YES (any party supporting the NO would have been politically destroyed). However, the PCF in France did not support the YES, saying that the Comoran and AU claims are legitimate.

Mayotte, which has a general council, will remain institutionally similar. Unlike the 4 DOMs, Mayotte will not have a regional council simultaneously to a general council. The 4 other DOMs will probably have the option of choosing such a setup in the near future.

YES 95.22%
NO 4.78%
turnout 61.02%

Montenegro 2009

A parliamentary election was held yesterday in Montenegro, the second since Montenegrin independence in 2006. As expected, the incumbent left-wing pro-European Coalition for a European Montenegro led by (slightly corrupt) Prime Minister Milo Đukanović was easily re-elected.  Montenegro uses d’Hondt proportional representation with a 3% threshold for non-Albanian parties. There are 5 Albanian seats elected separately. There are two Serb coalitions, the Socialist People’s Party (SNP), federalist and pro-European; and the New Serb Democracy, a new party formed by the People’s Party (SNH), the Democratic Serb Party (DSS) and the People’s Socialist Party (NSS), more nationalistic and right-wing (although the NSS is left-wing, the SNH is larger). The Movement for Changes is a centre-right liberal party opposed to Đukanović. It did not support any side in the 2006 referendum, saying that Đukanović (YES) was too ghastly. Many say they supported the NO/Unionist side. Seat numbers for the SNP are compared to the SNP’s 8 seats as part of a coalition with the SNH and DSS (11 seats). New Serb Democracy is compared to Serb List in 2006.

Coalition for a European Montenegro (DPS+SDP) 50.8% winning 47 seats (+6)
Socialist People’s Party 16.1% winning 15 seats (+7)
New Serb Democracy 9.0% winning 8 seats (-4)
Movement for Changes 6.1% winning 5 seats (-6)
Democratic Union of Albanians 1.5% winning 1 seat (-)
FORCA 1.0% winning 1 seat (+1)
Albanian List 0.9% winning 1 seat (-)
Albanian Coalition 0.8% winning 1 seat (+1)

The Liberal Party-Bosniak Party has lost all 3 seats, and the Albanian Alternative did not run.

Of the 5 Albanian seats, the DPS-SDP won 26.9% and 1 seat, the Democratic Union won 22.3% and 1 seat, FORCA won 13.3% and 1 seat, the Coalition won 13% and 1 seat, and the List won 12.3% and 1 seat.

No breakdown of data by municipality, but it will be interesting once such data is available. Map when that’s out.

Blast from the past: Sardinia 2009

I was just reminded that I hadn’t wrapped up the early February Sardinian election. So, just for the sake of finishing this. As a reminder, Ugo Cappellacci, the right-wing PdL candidate supported by Berlusconi, defeated the leftie incumbent Renato Soru.


Ugo Cappellacci (PdL) 51.88% (9 regional seats)
Renato Soru (PD) 42.94% (1 regional seat)
Gavino Sale (IRS) 3.06%
Peppino Balia (PS) 1.55%
Gianfranco Sollai (SN) 0.55%

Regional Council*

PdL 30.20% (+7.97%)  27 (+12)
UDC 9.04% (-1.24%) 7 (-)
Sardinian Reformers 6.79% (+0.85%) 5 (+1)
PSd’Az 4.29% (+0.46%) 4 (+2)
UDS-NPSI 3.48% (-1.44%) 2 (-)
MPA-PPS-La Destra 2.25% (-2.3%) 1 (-2)
Right 56.05% (+4.3%) 44 seats (+13)
PD 24.77% (-6.94%) 18 (-12)
IdV 5.04% (+4.05%) 3 (+2)
PRC 3.16% (-0.93%) 2 (-3)
Red Moors-Greens 2.54% (+1.72%) 1 (+1)
PdCI 1.91% (+0.05%) 1 (-)
Democratic Left-MpS-UIS 1.64% (+1.64%) 1 (+1)
Left 39.06% (-0.41%) 26 seats (-11)
PS 2.33% (-1.43%) 0 seats (-3)
IRS 2.06% (+0.93%)
SN 0.45% (-0.13%)
UDEUR 0% (-2.63%) 0 seats (-3)

* Note: PdL is compared to the sum of Forza and AN in 2004. MPA-PPS is compared to the PPS alone in 2004. UDS and PSd’Az ran independently in 2004. PD is compared to the sum of DS, Daisy, and Progetto in 2004. Left totals excluding UDEUR (no clue where those bastards went) and PS (ran separately in 2009). Red Moors (PSd’Az dissidents) compared to Greenies alone in 2004.

Personally, I think this is a sad result for Sardinia and a good man like Soru, but then, I always try to keep personal opinions out of my blog posts (unless I really hate something). Statistically, this is a significant victory for Berlusconi’s PdL and the centre-right, and certainly a good sign for the PdL in the 2009 EU elections and most importantly the 2010 regional elections, where the left has tons of ground to defend (the ’05 series). Also a good sign for di Pietro’s gang (Italia dei Valori), which is apparently at 8-10% nationally. They keep gaining ground despite the centre-left in general losing ground.

Macedonia 2009

The first round of the Macedonian presidential election was held on March 22. Incumbent Social Democratic President Branko Crvenkovski is not standing for re-election. The candidates are:

Gjorgje Ivanov, VMRO-DPMNE (ruling centre-right)
Ljubomir Frčkoski, Social Democratic Union of Macedonia
Nano Ružin, Liberal Democratic Party (historically SDSM’s coalition partners)
Ljube Boškoski, independent (centre-right, relaxed of all criminal charges in The Hague)
Agron Buxhaku, Democratic Union for Integration (Albanians, and VMRO-DPMNE’s coalition partners)
Mirushe Hoxha, Democratic Party of Albanians
Imer Selmani, New Democracy (new mostly Albanian party)

And the results, initial results, as of March 23.

Gjorgje Ivanov (VMRO-DPMNE) 33.95%
Ljubomir Frčkoski (SDSM) 19.81%
Imer Selmani (New Democracy) 14.51%
Ljube Boškoski 14.40%
Agron Buxhaku (BDI) 7.27%
Nano Ružin (LDP) 3.92%
Mirushe Hoxha (PDSH) 2.99%

So, around 25% for the Albanians, which is roughly equal to their size in Macedonia. But probably we’re not seeing the whole picture. Selmani, called the Macedonian Obama, has been able to appeal to non-Albanians apparently, but I highly suspect his voter base is still largely Albanian (PDSH+BDI combined polled about 21% in the 2008 election). The data by municipality/region will allow us to see what Selmani’s base was.

Anyways, a big lead for Ivanov, but far from victory still. I suspect that Albanians tend to vote for the SDSM quite massively in VMRO-SDSM runoffs. They did go massively for Crvenkovski in 2004. But then I suspect that Boškoski voters will go for Ivanov. In the end, I would say that Ivanov has the best chances to pull off a win.

Slovakia 2009

The first round of the Slovakian presidential election was held yesterday. Despite it being a largely ceremonial position, Slovakia’s president is directly elected by the people since 1999. Before 1999, the Parliament elected the President.

In 2004, Ivan Gašparovič of the small Movement for Democracy (HZD) defeated his former ally and Prime Minister, the controversial Vladimír Mečiar of the People’s Party – Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (ĽS-HZDS).

Ivan Gašparovič, seen as a moderate nationalist by most, is running for re-election supported by his small HZD (which has no MPs) but also by Smer, a left-wing nationalist party and the largest party in government, and by it’s quasi-fascist junior coalition partner, the Slovak National Party (SNS). Iveta Radičová, a former cabinet minister in a centre-right cabinet has united all the parliamentary opposition, led by the centre-right Slovak Democratic and Christian Union – Democratic Party (SDKÚ-DS). Radičová is also supported by the Hungarian Coalition (SMK-MKP), the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), and the extra-parliamentary Civic Conservatives. Other candidates include František Mikloško of the Conservative Democrats (split off the KDH), Zuzana Martináková of the liberal Free Forum, Milan Melník supported by Mečiar’s collapsing ĽS-HZDS (the third party in the Smer-SNS coalition), Milan Sidor supported by the Communist Party (KSS) and Dagmar Bollová (former KSS member).

The electoral commission decided that to win the first round, a candidate must win 50%+1, but also a majority of eligible voters.

The results of the first round are:

Ivan Gašparovič (HZD-Smer-SNS) 46.71%
Iveta Radičová (SDKÚ-DS-MKP-KDH) 38.05%
František Mikloško (KDS) 5.42%
Zuzana Martináková (SF) 5.12%
Milan Melník (ĽS-HZDS) 2.45%
Dagmara Bollová (ex-KSS) 1.14%
Milan Sidor (KSS) 1.11%

Turnout: 43.63%


Looking at it geographically, Radičová is the Hungarian areas + Bratislava. Banská Bystrica, that blue county in the centre is weird. But she only won it by a very thin margin. Of Radičová’s victories, only 5 of the 14 counties she won did not vote for the MKP (Hungarian Coalition) in 2006. It also seems as if Gašparovič ate up Mečiar’s 2004 support base in northern and northeastern Slovakia.

Gašparovič is quite popular and will probably win in the runoff. And he’ll probably win big. Sadly.

Queensland 2009: 70% counted

Now that one was a shocker. With 70% of the votes counted, the Labor Party has won a comfortable majority for the fifth time in a row, despite suffering a largeish swing against them. The Liberal National Party has failed to make any large gains, and its leader, Lawrence Springborg has stepped down.

With approximately 70% counted, or 1700 out of 2418 booths, here are the rough stats. Seats are the current ABC predictions, and will probably change.

Labor 42.69% (-4.23%) winning 53 seats (-5)
Liberal National 41.07% (+3.15%) winning 25 seats (+7)
The Greens 8.23% (+0.24%) winning 0 seats (-1)
Daylight Savings Party 1.01% (new) winning 0 seats (new)
Family First 0.81% (-1.08%) winning 0 seats (±0)
One Nation 0.54% (-0.06%) winning 0 seats (-1)
Indies 5.65% (+0.97%) winning 4 seats (±0)

ABC has four seats “in doubt”, or TCTC. These are:

Chatsworth: ALP lead (50.51%). 73.3% counted. Southern Brisbane.
Cleveland: LNP lead (50.05%). 71.2% counted. Eastern Brisbane.
Gaven: ALP lead (50.53%). 69.1% counted. Gold Coast hinterlands.
Redlands: LNP lead (50.12%). 70.6% counted. Eastern Brisbane.

I also classify the LNP-held seat but notionally Labor seat of Mirani as marginal: the ALP leads with 50.15% with 68.1% reporting.

[Current, as of 16:51] LNP gains from Labor (including TCTC)

Aspley: 53.6% PP. Traditionally Liberal northern Brisbane seat.
Burdekin: 52.5%. Notionally Labor, but held by an LNP incumbent.
Clayfield: 56.1%. City of Brisbane (north). Notionally Labor, but held by an LNP incumbent.
Cleveland: see above
Coomera: 51.8%. Gold Coast. A large swing to the LNP (10.5%)
Hervey Bay: 55.3%.
Indooroopilly: 55.7%. Wealthy western Brisbane. Held by Ronan Lee, the ALP > Greenies MP. It seems like Ronan Lee won’t outpoll Labor on first prefs.
Mudgeeraba: 53.7%. Gold Coast.
Redlands: see above

[Current, as of 16:58] ALP gains from LNP (including TCTC)

Mirani: see above

Those other interesting races. In Condamine, it looks like the official LNP candidate will defeat the LNPdiss/Ind candidate by a large margin, it’s 61.4% for Hopper (LNP) right now on 2PP. No ALP gain in Beaudesert after all, but Pauline Hanson has performed wellish, with around 21.7%, but far behind the LNP and slightly behind Labor. Exhausted ballots seem very high there after preferences. Hanson voters probably just marked her box, like she told them to do. Also, it seems One Neuron has lost its last MP. Dalrymple is 52.3% LNP on 2PP against One Nation.

Maps and stuff when they’re done counting.

Queensland 2009

An election in the Australian state of Queensland will be held on March 21, 2009. The last election was held in September 2006, and Queensland’s Legislative Assembly has a 3-year term (unlike all other Australian states). Labor Premier Peter Beattie, in office since 1998 and re-elected with a large majority in 2006 resigned in 2007 and was replaced by Anna Bligh. Queensland uses the Alternative Vote form of IRV to elect 89 MPs in 89 single-member electorates. However, preferential voting is optional in Queensland, unlike in most other Australian states. It used the FPTP system 1860 to 1892. Until 1942 it used an unusual form of preferential voting called the ‘contingent vote’ . In 1942 the FPTP system was reintroduced until it was replaced in 1962 by the ‘full preferential’ form of AV. In 1992 this was changed to the current optional preferential AV-IRV system.

Queensland has had a unique political history, and has unique political traditions. Firstly, Queensland is quite pro-incumbent and constituencies re-elect their “one time wonders” or “oncers” even if they’re politically opposite to the constituency itself (for example, a wealthy traditionally Liberal constituency re-electing a Labor MP). In 1899, Queensland had the first ever socialist government under Labor premier Anderson Dawson. In 1922, Queensland’s Labor government abolished its upper house by stacking it with pro-dissolution members who voted to dissolve themselves. From 1968 to 1987, Queensland politics were dominated by Sir Joh Bjelke-Peterson, or Sir Joh for short, the leader of the Country/National Party, a right-wing agrarian farmers’ party. For most of the post-war era Queensland was severly malapportioned, firstly at the benefit of Labor and then at the benefit of Sir Joh’s Nats. Labor, and later National, created electorates that had huge differences in size: in 1956 (Labor era) the largest seat has 26k voters and the smallest one had just 4k voters. Rural seats dominated by miners, powerful trade unions, and farm workers voted Labor; and since there were a lot more rural seats than there were urban (more right-wing) seats, Labor won most elections. However, demographic and socio-economic changes under Sir Joh shifted this malapportionment (or Bjelkemander) to the advantage of the rural Nationals. As Labor’s vote generally became more and more urban, the Nationals dominated the countryside. The Bjelkemander allowed the Nationals to win the most seats even if Labor far outpolled them (in 1972, the National Party won just 20% of the votes but the most seats and the Nats became the senior coalition partner in a Liberal-National coalition). The Bjelkemander, while weakening Labor, also worked against the Liberals (even though they were Sir Joh’s shaky coalition partners), also concentrated in urban areas. Labor returned to power in 1989 and gradually ended the Bjelkemander. However, there remains, to this day, a disparity between % votes and % seats. In 1995, Labor won a majority with 45 seats against 43 for the Coalition (Liberal and National) and one Independent. However, following a by-election loss for the ALP in 1996, the Indie supported a National-Liberal coalition. This government was defeated in 1998 and replaced by a Labor minority (later majority) government. However, 1998 was marked by the far-right One Nation Party led by Pauline Hanson winning 22.7% (second place) and 11 seats. Labor won a landslide in 2001, 2004, and 2006. Here are the 2006 results:

Labor 46.92% (-0.59%) winning 59 seats (-1)
Liberal 20.10% (+1.60%) winning 8 seats (+1)
National 17.82% (+0.86%) winning 17 seats (+1)
The Greens 7.99% (+1.23%) winning 0 seats (±0)
Family First 1.89% (new) winning 0 seats (new)
One Nation 0.60% (-4.28%) winning 1 seat (±0)
Other 4.68% (-1.15%) winning 4 seats (-1)

Here is the estimated 2PP result.

Labor 54.9%
Liberal-National Coalition 45.1%

In 2008, the Queensland Liberals and Nationals merged to create the Liberal National Party, under the leadership of former National leader Lawrence Springborg. The LNP is the first such merger in Australia (not counting the Country Liberals in NT), although mergers between state (and federal) Liberals and Nationals have often been discussed as both are quasi-perpetual coalition partners “The Coalition”. The LNP has tried to put on the Liberal garb, to appease Liberal voters in urban centres such as Brisbane who might have been reluctant to endorse a merger between urban Liberals and rural Nationals.

There has been a redistricting since the last election, giving this map of notional figures. This map is based of the Tally Room’s downloadable Google Earth map of the 2009 election. Do note that Ronan Lee in Indooroopilly crossed the floor from the ALP to the Greens in 2008. He his shown as a Green on this map, although he was elected as ALP in 2006. You’ll notice that the LNP is particularly weak in Brisbane, where they hold one seat on notionals (Moggill) and have 2 MPs in Brisbane proper (Moggill and Clayfield, a notional ALP seat). They are also weak on the Gold Coast (you know, the place with high rise and surf), where they hold only 3 of the 10 seats. The LNP probably has a majority of seats in all other regions. The four Indies include 2 conservatives (1 of them, Liz Cunningham in Gladstone backed the Nat-Lib coalition from 1996 to 1998 but the other back Labor from 1998 to 1999). One is a former One Nation MP now an Indie, and I can’t make heads or tails of Chris Foley in Maryborough.



Current polling indicates a very close race: the last poll gives a 2PP result of 51-49 for the Liberal Nationals (and a primary vote of LNP 43, ALP 41, Green 8, Other 8, Family First <0.5%). However, they seem to indicate a large swing in Brisbane, where LNP gains are primordial for the LNP to win this election.

However, ABC’s election-swing calculator indicates that the LNP needs atleast 52.7% of the 2PP vote to get a hung parliament, and 53.2% for an outright majority. Below 52.7% 2PP LNP, the swing calculator sez the ALP rules supreme. However, this is a statewide swing and doesn’t take into account regional swings or other local factors.

Below is my attempt at a prediction. Remember to be kind, since this is my first stint at predicting Australian elections.I based these on my rough knowledge, ABC’s electorate profiles, Tally Room’s prediction, and another prediction I read online. Obviously, there are some electorates I’m really not sure about, but did my best to figure something out.



This map gives Lab 43, LNP 42, Ind 4.  If I can count correctly, which isn’t a given.

A few notes now: Beaudesert could fall to the ALP on the back of a fight between former One Nation leader Pauline Hanson and the LNP. Pauline Hanson could do well, and end up giving the seat to Labor. In Condamine, I’ve had a bit of a toughie deciding between former Independent now LNP MP Ray Hopper and former LNP now Independent MP Stuart Copeland. I’ll say Hopper wins, but Copeland could very well win too, especially since Labor is calling on their voters to second preference him. Finally, a toughie in Dalrymple which is notionally LNP but has 2 MPs: 1 LNP and 1 One Nation following redistribution. I predict LNP here, but I have no clue how Rosa Lee-Long (ONP incumbent) will hold up. Interesting to watch.

On the note of preferences, Labor is apparently worried that less Green voters will second pref Labor, and this could hurt Labor a lot in some cases, some MPs counting on a flow of Green>ALP votes to win. Remember that preferencing is optional in Queensland. However, the Greens and Labor have signed a preference deal in some electorates. The Greenies will receive preferences from Labor in Indooroopilly for former Labor MP Ronan Lee, while the ALP will receive Greenie preferences in fourteen seats: Ashgrove, Aspley, Barron River, Broadwater, Cleveland, Everton, Gaven, Greenslopes, Mansfield, Pumicestone, Redcliffe, Redlands, Southport and Whitsunday. Most of these are marginal Labor seats.

This will be a close one for sure. I might blog once more before Saturday if there’s more stuff. In the meantime, toy around with ABC’s election calculator.

El Salvador 2009: Final

The TSE has released final results of the Salvadoran presidential election and data by department. The TSE reports approximately 62% turnout.

Mauricio Funes/Salvador Sánchez Cerén (FMLN) 51.32%
Rodrigo Ávila/Arturo Zablah (ARENA) 48.68%

The map looks like this. Funes won only 6 departments, while Ávila won 8. However, Funes won the most populous department, San Salvador, where 830k votes were cast, with 54.53%.


On another note, Funes has stated that he looks forward to working with President Barack Obama and the United States has stated the same thing.

Antigua and Barbuda 2009

Elections were held in the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda on March 12. In 2004, the United Progressive Party led by Baldwin Spencer defeated the quasi-dictatorial Antigua Labour Party (ALP) of the Bird family. The ALP had been in power since 1981.

The ALP, still led by the Bird family, has gone through a leadership crisis recently, and will likely continue with this second electoral loss. Here are the quasi-final results.

United Progressive Party (UPP) 51.16% winning 9 seats (-3)
Antigua Labour Party (ALP) 46.95% winning 7 seats (+3)
Barbuda People’s Movement (BPM) 1.14% winning 1 seat (±0)

The UPP-ally BPM’s only seat, the constituency of Barbuda, is at risk of falling to the ALP in a recount. Indeed, current tallies indicate that the BPM incumbent has won 474 votes against 473 for the ALP. Below is a map of the result, using a base map from Adam Carr’s interwebs page.


El Salvador 2009

With around 90% of the votes counted in the Salvadorian presidential election, the left-wing FMLN candidate, Mauricio Funes, a 49-year old former journalist, has won the election. It is the first time that the former far-left guerilla group has won the Presidency in El Salvador. The conservative ARENA has held power since its victory in 1992 elections, and its candidate (and current President) Antonio Saca won over 57% of the votes by the first round in 2004 (the FMLN won only 35.7%). The ARENA-ally PCN and the Christian Democrats ended up not running, claiming that they had no chance.

With very high turnout (86.2%), these seem to be the result given by a lot of international sources. However, the TSE’s website is, as always, broken.

Mauricio Funes/Salvador Sánchez Cerén (FMLN) 51.1%
Rodrigo Ávila/Arturo Zablah (ARENA) 48.9%

Funes has already claimed victory, and the TSE has recognized his victory.

Hopefully more stuff later.