Statatics from Election Results
11-06-2015, 03:02 AM
Post: #1
 Bill (Smithville NJ) Senior Member Posts: 470 Joined: Dec 2013
Statatics from Election Results
I'm placing this in the "Not Remotely HP Calculator" but I guess an HP Calculator could be used to analyze this.

This past Tuesday, we had a local election. I saw the following summary of the results in the local paper:
Code:
 Township Council               Vote-Count    Percent Tony C. (Rep)   2,650     18.78% Tony D. (Rep)   2,427     17.20% Rich C. (Rep)   2,309     16.37% Jim G. (Dem)    2,239     15.87% Tom S. (Dem)    2,185     15.49% Joyce P. (Dem)  2,043     14.48% Tom M (Ind)       252      1.79% Write-In            3      0.02% Total          14,108     100.0

Now for some general information.
(Rep) is the Republican Party
(Dem) is the Democratic Party
(Ind) is the Independent Party

Since the Township Council is composed of
three members, each voter was to vote for
three choices. The three could be the three
Republicans, the three Democrats or any
combination.

What struck me in the table of results printed by
the newspaper was that there was NOT 14,108
voters. Since each voter voted for three candidates
the actual number of voters was only about 4,702.

I'm guessing the newspaper just enter the election results
into a standard spreadsheet which generates the percentages.

The results of the election was that the three Republicans were
elected to new terms.

The question is: could this data be presented in a better manner to reflect the final results?

One way would be to look at the republicans versus the democrats.
This would be 53% Rep. versus 47% Dem.

What are some other meaningful statistics?

Thanks,

Bill
Smithville, NJ
11-06-2015, 09:03 PM
Post: #2
 walter b On Vacation Posts: 1,957 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Statatics from Election Results
(11-06-2015 03:02 AM)Bill (Smithville NJ) Wrote:  ... could this data be presented in a better manner to reflect the final results?

One way would be to look at the republicans versus the democrats.
This would be 53% Rep. versus 47% Dem.

What are some other meaningful statistics?

First of all, one should talk about 14 108 votes, not voters. But the newspaper - if quoted correctly - did this properly.

Second, "meaningful statistics" strongly depend on local election rules. If the candidates were on party lists, I know many countries where such a voting would result in two Reps and one Dem being elected in the council. This might better represent what the voters wanted. If, however, it's a strictly personal election, well, then the three guys gaining the most individual votes take the council. Such is life.

d:-/
11-06-2015, 09:49 PM
Post: #3
 CR Haeger Member Posts: 275 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Statatics from Election Results
Don't all "Tonys" or "Rich" candidates win elections in NJ?
11-07-2015, 06:46 PM
Post: #4
 Bill (Smithville NJ) Senior Member Posts: 470 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Statatics from Election Results
(11-06-2015 09:03 PM)walter b Wrote:  First of all, one should talk about 14 108 votes, not voters. But the newspaper - if quoted correctly - did this properly.

Second, "meaningful statistics" strongly depend on local election rules. If the candidates were on party lists, I know many countries where such a voting would result in two Reps and one Dem being elected in the council. This might better represent what the voters wanted. If, however, it's a strictly personal election, well, then the three guys gaining the most individual votes take the council. Such is life.

d

Hi Walter,

Unfortunately, the newspaper article below the table did refer to "14,108 Voters" which is what got me looking at the actual data in the table. It's very common here for the papers to throw around numbers without really understanding what they are actually saying.

And you are right, we could end up with two from one party and one from another in a three person council. And from the variation in the table, some voters did choose to split their vote among the two parties.

Bill
Smithville, NJ
11-08-2015, 03:17 AM
Post: #5
 Brian D Junior Member Posts: 23 Joined: May 2015
RE: Statatics from Election Results
Somewhat related: each election season there are published polls with a lot of questions, and you can often find the raw data and use linear algebra to discover how many people of each party were polled, and curious glitches/anomalies/flat-out-lies such as how many people of each party answered each question. In some polls you discover wildly fabricated results such as people switching parties between questions, or a negative number of voters of some party, etc.
11-08-2015, 05:46 PM
Post: #6
 BruceH Senior Member Posts: 506 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Statatics from Election Results
Only slightly related to Bill's original post, in 2014 the Republic of Ireland held elections for local councils across the whole of the country. As you may know, Ireland uses the single transferable vote system of proportional representation, which can be tricky to understand and harder to explain.

Fortunately there's a nice little animation available which shows exactly what happens. Just click on any of the constituencies listed using a Javascript enabled browser.
11-08-2015, 10:45 PM
Post: #7
 Bill (Smithville NJ) Senior Member Posts: 470 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Statatics from Election Results
(11-08-2015 03:17 AM)Brian D Wrote:  Somewhat related: each election season there are published polls with a lot of questions, and you can often find the raw data and use linear algebra to discover how many people of each party were polled, and curious glitches/anomalies/flat-out-lies such as how many people of each party answered each question. In some polls you discover wildly fabricated results such as people switching parties between questions, or a negative number of voters of some party, etc.

Hi Brian,

I spent some time wading through one of the early presidential polls to see what it was based on. If I remember correctly, it was an on-line poll of 330 people. The participants were selected from a pool of people who had participated in a minimum of one on-line poll per day for the past year. This got me thinking: Who are these people that take the time to answer a poll daily?

Of course, I find polls a pain and refuse to answer polls and questionnaires as matter of personal policy. Every time I take my car in for service, the dealer mails be a questionnaire about my service visit. The questions are not designed to give any valid information back to the service department. My favorite question was: How well do you feel the mechanic did his work? How would I know? I spent my time in the service waiting area and never met the mechanic or watched him work.

Bill
Smithville, NJ
11-08-2015, 10:54 PM (This post was last modified: 11-09-2015 12:11 AM by Bill (Smithville NJ).)
Post: #8
 Bill (Smithville NJ) Senior Member Posts: 470 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Statatics from Election Results
(11-08-2015 05:46 PM)BruceH Wrote:  Only slightly related to Bill's original post, in 2014 the Republic of Ireland held elections for local councils across the whole of the country. As you may know, Ireland uses the single transferable vote system of proportional representation, which can be tricky to understand and harder to explain.

Fortunately there's a nice little animation available which shows exactly what happens. Just click on any of the constituencies listed using a Javascript enabled browser.

Hi Bruce,

I wasn't aware of STV. Very interesting. I read the Wiki but got a little confused, but the animation helped clear it up.

Thanks for posting this.

Bill
Smithville, NJ
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