Livejournal voting, 27 May - The Snow In The Summer or So-So

27 May 2008
The Legend of Bilan Fitzpatrick

We're almost tempted to apologise for coming back to it, but it's our blog, and we'll do what we damn well please. This Livejournal vote really is a rum do. Even though the count will now proceed by the rules described, there are other unusual aspects to the arrangements. Voters may alter their ballot after they've cast it, and it's possible to obtain a running total of the votes cast so far. In turn, that allows us to take a punt at the top two, and gauge the possible winner.

As of just after 1100 GMT to-day, the total votes cast were:

1st pref - 18014
2nd      - 15996
3rd      - 14824

The leading contenders are:

Cambler (ED)      726   1050    672
Jameth (ED)      3948   2470   2077
Legomymalfoy (F) 5201   1670   1159
RM (LJU-F)       1866   3807   1264
Squeaky19 (LJU)  1070    880   1315
Vichan (F)        825   1200   2349

There appear to be three overlapping factions here, which we'll referring to as English Democrats, Fandomites, and LJ United. These contenders account for 75% of first-preference votes.

To start our model, we have to make a fairly large assumption: that the other minor candidates will all be eliminated, and that their votes will not make a huge difference to the distribution. For the first run-through, we're going to ignore them, and assume that these six are the only ones in the election. We will return to effective preferences of these voters later.

In the six-candidate model, the eliminations will proceed as follows:

Now we'll bring the lower candidates back in. Assume that the lower candidates will have allocated their lower preferences in the same proportion as everyone else. Divide the second and third preferences by 4, remove the preferences we've already allocated, and that leaves the following remainders:

C   0   262   168
J   0  -175   514
L   0   122   281
R   0   311   291
S   0   171   327
V   0   286   587

Our objective is to reduce the 2nd preference column to 0. Move these votes from 2nd preference to 1st (Jameth gets 0, as he cannot have fewer votes), repeat the calculations, and stop.

The net result, if our transfer matrix is correct, suggests that it's RM's second preferences, and Squeaky19's third preferences, that will decide the vote. The process stops with Legomy on about 6100 votes, Jameth on 5950, and RM with about 3250 votes. Not all of these will be transferable; indeed, we expect the majority will become NENT because of the truncation on preferences. How they split will determine the result; we cannot determine how the 3rd preferences will go, and certainly cannot determine if the result would be affected by considering 4th preferences.

Even after adjustments, we've still got a negative figure for Jameth's 2nd preferences, and adding his 2nd and 3rd preferences still leaves us about 200 short. Legomy, on the other hand, has about 200 3rd preferences unaccounted, which suggests that either a majority is voting J-L, or that our model is under-estimating her support. Similarly, we may be over-estimating Jameth's support.

The question for the constituency, and one on which we have no position, is this. Would you rather have Legomymalfoy, who is an establishment candidate? Would you rather have Jameth, who polarises opinion and is associated with shady activities? Would you rather have RM, who is supported by the socialist faction led by Mark Kraft? Or would you rather have pictures of cats in silly poses pretending not to speak the Queen's English?

Further results have been prepared for Wednesday and Thursday.

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