Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The permutations to a Tory Majority

Circle any 12 of these ridings where the Tories finished in 2nd place with at least 30% of the popular vote, and there is your majority. Infact, here is a fun little math excersize for all you students getting ready to go back to school and who may be learning finite math next week. A political party needs to win 12 out of 54 ridings to win a majority government. How many possible combinations of 12 choices can be made from this list of 54 ridings where the political party gets their majority? (*Hint* it's a pretty big number!)

Here they are, listed in order of Tory share of popular vote.

Brampton West
Mississauga South
Don Valley West
New Westminster--Coquitlam
York Centre
Vancouver South
Sault Ste. Marie
Western Arctic
Etobicoke Centre
Vancouver Quadra
Skeena--Bulkley Valley
Winnipeg South
Richmond Hill
BC Southern Interior
Etobicoke--Lakeshore ironic how this made the list
Chicoutimi--Le Fjord
Esquimalt--Juan de Fuca
Ottawa South
Pickering--Scarborough East
Mississauga--Brampton South
London North
Mississauga East--Cooksville
Kingston and the Islands
Nipissing--Timiskaming my riding of birth
Don Valley East
Newton--North Delta/Newton--Delta-Nord
Hamilton Mountain
Burnaby--New Westminster
Etobicoke North/Etobicoke-Nord
Scarborough Centre


  1. Interesting.

    Except for one thing.

    You are assuming that Harper has the support to maintain what he has today.

    He doesn't. Not even close.

    Stephen Harper is governing right now with the weakest voter support in our history. To just assume you can pick 12 ridings and think you can win a majority shows pretty starkly how out of touch y'all have become after just 4 years.

    All of the Conservative Quebec seats are up for grabs. Same for the GTA, especially parachuted candidates and mediocre performers like Lisa Raitt. Lots of seats up for grabs in BC, Saskatchewan and Manitoba too. Even the Conservative near-hegemony in Alberta is at risk: certainly the NDP seat is at risk to the Liberals but there are other Calgary and Edmonton seats where the Liberals are close.

    The Conservatives thought it was impossible not to grow their minority governments into a majority in 1926 and 1980 too.

    Both times they lost out to a rejuvenated Liberal Party that better caught the spirit of Canadians at the time.

  2. I never said it was going to happen, I simply pointed out how many different ways it could happen. It is simple probability theory. I am not nearly as emotional about it as Mr Ted Betts is. A short movement to the right is far more likely than a big shift to the left. Be pragmatic.

  3. I would love to know what seat in Calgary he thinks is close to a Liberal take over.

  4. Yes and his link was rather irrelevant as well, but-cha know, if Stephen Harper's name is at the top of a list that creates a negative impression, count on a Liberal to spin it like a top.

  5. Ted Betts,

    To assume that the Liberal Party is rejuvenated and ready to capture the spirit of Canadians is quite pathetic. Tell me one fresh, new and important policy the Liberals have come up with since Ignatieff took over. Our economy is just starting to recover, you think an election brought by the Liberals is going to "inspire" Canadians? Please.

    And don't even give me that rubbish about winning seats in Alberta and Saskatchewan (besides Wascana). At the current level of Liberal support, I'd say keep on wishing, friend. Keep on wishing.

    I say 4 years in the wilderness has really made you Liberals lose it. Such a shame.

  6. um...we won Winnipeg South. Its Rod Bruinooge's riding...you might mean Winnipeg South Centre, where we have a real chance with a competent candidate this time

  7. Go to the UBC election forecaster.


  8. I've got my own Excel Spreadsheet, and I see some very plausible gains in Anglo-Canada to close the majority gap. I suspect that the turnout will be higher this time around, from the apatheic voters who are against the coalition.

    Expect the Coalition Question to be asked to most local candidates, which will make this campaign very difficult for Liberal candidates in regions that are not fond of the Lib-NDP-Bloc Coalition. Considering that the CPC need to gain about 10,000 votes in several key ridings, we can expect Harper will hold most of the current seats, if NOT outright win a substantial majority.

  9. Etobicoke-Lakeshore is not a surprise, the PC's have held it not that long ago. It is my riding and I would like nothing better than to stamp Iggy's passport, gone.

  10. Well iceman, the answer to your question is "54 choose 12". BTW, it's the number of combinations (where order doesn't matter) that we want, instead of the number of permutations (where order does matter).

    Anyway, yah it's a huge number, comparable to the number of bridge hands that can be dealt--52 choose 13, or 635,013,559,600.

  11. Ooops, just saw that you used "combinations" in the posting.

    Anwyay, ted, your credibility took a big hit when you speculated about a Liberal win here in Calgary. Their biggest problem is in recruiting high profile candidates.

    Even in my riding of Calgary West, where Rob Anders is supposedly the "weakest link" in the Tory chain, the Libs could only recruit a disgraced ex School Trustee, who lost by over 21,000 votes.

    Back in 1997, now mayor (then alderman) Dave Bronconnier ran as a Lib against (then Reformer) Rob, and got his ass kicked by over 9,000 votes.

    Nobody wants to run for the Libs around here !