Vote Tory get Lib Dem

What better way to spend a Christmas morning than playing around with the D'Hondt method? That's the formula that calculates the distribution of seats in the regional ballot of Welsh Assembly elections.

It's actually quite simple. You take the votes cast for any given party in the region and divide it by the number of seats they already have in that region (including constituency seats) plus one. You do this until all four regional seats are filled.

Why is this important?

Well, basically, the way people vote in the constituencies has a significant impact on the distribution of seats in the regions. And it isn't good news for the Tories.

One of their key targets for 2007 is Clwyd West. They hold the seat in Westminster and are only 400 votes behind in the Assembly. Now, if they win this seat, they are immediately at a mathematic disadvantage in the region. Depending on whether gains or losses are made elsewhere, the likely beneficiaries are Labour or the Lib Dems.

In fact, I've worked on a few possible permutations, and the Lib Dems need only increase their regional vote slightly to take two of the North Wales regional seats.

So, vote Tory, get Lib Dem.

Of course, given that the boundaries have been re-drawn in the constituencies of Caernarfon and Conwy, there's no telling quite how it will all work out. But it just goes to show how difficult it will be for any party to make significant gains come May 3rd.

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posted by Blamerbell @ 2:06 pm,


At 5:23 pm, Anonymous seren said...

Well spotted. The Tories have reached a high-water mark in terms of seats in the Assembly - all but one of their AMs won a regional list seat. So for every constituency seat they win, they'll probably lose a list seat.
This is also the case to a lesser extent for the Lib Dems and to a certain degree with Plaid.
But it works the other way for Labour due to their imbalance in constituency seats - even if they go into meltdown (as I think they will) and lose many constituency seats they will only pick up one list seat.
I think Labour could lose seven constituency seats (Conwy, Clwyd W, Clwyd S, Llanelli, Vale of Glamorgan, Cardiff S and Penarth, Cardiff N, Caerffili, Carmarthen E and Dinefwr are all vulnerable to either Plaid or Tories) and - apart from Alun Davies in Mid and West Wales - won't pick up one list seat as a result.
What could happen is that Tory gains in constituency could knock them off the list and see Plaid sneaking a few more list AMs.
What fun!


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