Monday, October 23, 2017

Edmonton Election 2017

Another election has come and gone, and apart from a handful of new faces the biggest news is all the new stats! Let's take a look:

First of all, turnout was abysmal. A total of 194,826 people voted, resulting in a voter turnout of 31.5%. The best (blue) and worst (red) areas of the city in terms of voter turnout are shown here:




The colouring of the map is a bit funky since the mean and median are rather far apart, but it gives a decent impression of what happened. In general, it looks like neighborhoods around the river valley voted more often than neighborhoods away from it, which is interesting. The massive difference between the high (66.9%) and low (9.3%) turnout is absolutely astounding to me, and might suggest fairly significant challenges with connecting with voters in certain areas (especially if they can't see the river, apparently...).

Voter turnout can also be measured in a few other ways, including attrition along the ballot. For instance, of everyone who voted, 1.5% neglected to vote for a mayoral candidate, and 1.9% neglected to vote for any council candidate. 26.3% of voters picked a Catholic schools ballot vs. 66.6% Public ballots, and even then 6.5% of Catholics and 9.8% of Publics didn't end up voting for a school trustee anyway. Oddly enough, the total number of Catholic + Public voters doesn't equal the total number of voters, so I'm not entirely sure where the remaining 7.1% of voters did for school board...


Lighter colours represent 'under votes', or people who didn't make a pick for that particular round of voting.
Don Iveson was re-elected mayor with a solid victory. His support levels in Edmonton aren't dissimilar from last election, and are shown here (darker colours meaning higher support).






Iveson's support in general seems very solid in the center of the city, and a bit weaker in the north and southeast than the rest of the city. All that being said, his support ranged from 59.5-85.9% so he has a strong mandate from every part of the city.

Finally, similar to last election, I've taken a look at which councillors' support correlates most or least with the mayor's. Last year, it turned out that a general pattern emerged where the councillors whose support most often correlated with high mayoral support also generally agreed with the mayor on votes. This year, the correlations between councillors and the mayor are:


I'd say this supports the theory from last election - last term, McKeen, Esslinger, Knack, Walters, and Henderson all voted alongside the mayor on more than 80% of non-unanimous votes, while Banga, Caterina, and Nickel (76%, 75%, and 46%, respectively) agreed with the mayor less frequently. While the mayor has had a strong track record of gaining majority support for non-unanimous bills, it does seem as though the candidates who do better in polls where the mayor does worse to tend on average to disagree with him more often than not.

That suggests that perhaps this council will be a little bit closer in voting record than the last one - the four new councillors all showed up in the middle of the pack for mayoral correlations, so likely either they are wildcards for agreement with the mayor, or as new candidates their reputation hasn't yet been tested. Only time will tell!

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