Time to think about voting power

I’m surprised that this hasn’t cropped up yet but no one seems to have measured voting power in the potential hung parliament. Tim Harford offers a nice primer for those unfamiliar with the idea. The way to think about it is, what value do individual independents have to form coalitions and win majority votes?

The Shapley-Shubik index seems to me to be appropriate for our current situation. Here are some scenarios. The last one is where the Nationals candidate wins O’Connor but decides to go independent. Notice that Tony Crook is far more valuable to the Coalition than he would be as an independent so you can see what will likely happen there.

Anyhow, this exercise demonstrates that the power of the independents changes little as there are more or less than them but who actually wins more seats amongst the majors matters alot. Specifically, if the major parties can sign on independents as ministers and lock them into their voting block that matters a great deal compared to an informal undertaking.

You can calculate these yourself on Dennis Leech’s website.

2 thoughts on “Time to think about voting power”

  1. This looks like crunching numbers for numbers’ sake.  The Coalition will struggle to form a majority with 72 seats?  That’s not exactly earth-shattering news.  I’m sure Mike Rann didn’t consult Shapley-Shubik before offering ministries to two independents when he led a minority SA government either.
    Wlikie might still win in Denison – projections based on regressions on the individual booth results have him beating the ALP on two-candidate preferred.  That’s not enough to win (he has to avoid being excluded earlier on), but he is a decent chance.


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