European Parliament Elections: The Wonder of Wikipedia

Wikipedia hosts not only basic factual information regarding the recent elections but excellent analysis as well, particularly regarding the relative efficacy this time of preference voting with  3 out of 13 getting positions thanks to preference voting: Zaborska (KDH), Mikolasik (KDH) and Paska (SNS–though helped perhaps by his famous Smer namesake?).   Full information is here.,_2009_(Slovakia)

Thanks to a reader for pointing it out and…I suspect…for providing the said analysis.

1 thought on European Parliament Elections: The Wonder of Wikipedia

  1. With regard to 3 out of 13, it depends how you look at it.

    Three of the thirteen are people who would not have got their positions if preference voting didn’t exist (as it doesn’t in Britain), as their list positions would not have been high enough.

    However, given the system exists as it is; if (for example) Peter Stastny’s 41847 personal voters had all gone and voted for another candidate then he wouldn’t be in Parliament either, as that candidate would have jumped into the top two of the SDKU ranking and it would be irrelevant that Stastny was in the top two of his party’s submitted list – so he could be said to owe his position to preference voting too. There are (including Stastny) a further 8 candidates about whom this could be said(*), so we could also say that 11 of the 13 got their positions due to preference voting.

    The “ranking is done on order of preference votes” rule doesn’t apply for candidates who get preferences from less than 10 percent of their party’s total voters (and each voter is allowed to use 0, 1 or 2 preference votes so the total cast is something like 150 percent). The party’s own list ordering only determines who is elected if a party has won more seats than it has candidates who have gained more preference votes from more than 10 percent of its voters. This applied for SMER only this time. Elected on this basis were Monika Smolkova (who was also the fourth most preferred SMER candidate although she received votes from only 5,97 percent of SMER voters, so would also have been elected if the 10 percent rule didn’t exist) and Katarina Nevedalova (who actually ranked 10th in terms of preferences from SMER voters and could truly be said to owe her position exclusively to the party’s own ordering).

    I don’t have numbers on this, but my understanding is that in National Parliamentary Elections this has much less impact on who is elected. Even though each voter gets 4 preference votes (not 2), and a candidate only needs 3 percent of his party’s voters to support him (not 10). Because a party in parliament must have at least 8 MPs, and the preference votes tend to be concentrated around nationally known politicians who are at the top of the list anyway, there are always seats available to be given out in list order to candidates who don’t have the personal preferences. Again I don’t know if this is true, but I perhaps recall seeing someone write that the only one guy out of the 150 elected in the 2006 election was a person from lower down the list who had been elected solely through preference voting – if I recall correctly he was from SMK.

    (*) This is a bit more complicated in the case of SMER candidates, because if all their preference votes moved to *one* candidate, there would still be only three party candidates with support from more than 10 percent of SMER voters, and Benova, Zala or Manova would still get elected on the basis of the list ordering – it is still true however that they would have been out of parliament if their preference votes had fallen in a particular pattern to several candidates, (so the safest place from their point of view for those votes to be is their own basket) – and it is also true that the part of the electoral law under which they were elected was preference voting, not the party list.

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