# Canada: seat and vote counts by party. Data.

Warren D. Smith, Oct 2015

For each federal election in Canada, 1980-2015 (which is 11 elections in all), we tabulate the number (and percentage) of seats won by each party, the popular-vote-percentage obtained by that party, and the number of "top up seats" that would be required to bring that party's seat count up to proportionality (to within ±1 seat) if among the W seats in parliament T were top-up seats while W-T were elected directly using the same seat-percentages as officially happened. For each election we compute the minimal total number T of top up seats needed to reach proportionality (the resulting T values differ from election to election). We also state the total number C of candidates and V of voters. (0≤T<W≤C<V.) And the gap (difference in vote percentages) between the top and 2nd top party.

Observe that in 8 out of 11 cases, the governing party was given zero top-up seats. That is because, usually, single-winner voting systems (especially plurality) tend to yield overrepresentation (and also the most overrepresentation) by the top party in parliament. In such cases a minimal top-up would only give seats to the nongoverning parties. However, that over-representation is only a trend, not a guarantee; sometimes (e.g. 2008) the top party would deserve top-up seats.

Also note that in 9 out of 11 cases, making 33% (or fewer) seats be top-ups would have been enough to obtain proportionality. And one might conjecture that if score voting – a better single-winner system – had been used instead of plurality voting, then this 33% could safely be decreased (to, perhaps, 25%?). If Canada had had a fixed 33% top-up 67% local-MP composition for parliament, then the average fraction of parliament consisting of MPs elected from the top party and via top-up (simultaneously) would have been about 2%.

2015 J.Trudeau (W=338, C=1792, V=17592778; this is the largest number of voters ever; Gap=7.58%):
```PARTY      SEATS     SEAT%     VOTE%   TOP-UP-SEATS(T=92=27.22%)
Liberal      184     54.44     39.47     -0.9
Conservative  99     29.29     31.89     35.9
NewDemocratic 44     13.02     19.71     35.0
BlocQuebecois 10      2.96      4.66      8.7
Green          1      0.30      3.45     11.3
(Independent)  0      0.00      0.28      1.0
```
2011 S.Harper (W=308, C=1587, V=14720580, Gap=8.99%):
```PARTY       SEATS     SEAT%     VOTE%   TOP-UP-SEATS(T=80=25.97%)
Conservative  166     53.90     39.62     -0.9
NewDemocratic 103     33.44     30.63     17.8
Liberal        34     11.04     18.91     32.8
BlocQuebecois   4      1.30      6.04     16.0
Green           1      0.32      3.91     11.3
(Independent)   0      0.00      0.49      2.0
```
2008 S.Harper (W=308, C=1601, V=13834294. This election featured the lowest turnout ever, 58.8%. Gap=9.39%):
```PARTY        SEATS     SEAT%     VOTE%   TOP-UP-SEATS(T=107=34.74%)
Conservative   143     46.43     37.65     22.7
Liberal         77     25.00     28.26     36.8
BlocQuebecois   49     15.91      9.98     -1.0
NewDemocratic   37     12.01     18.18     31.9
(Independent)    2      0.65      0.69      0.7
Green            0      0.00      6.78     21.0
```
2006 S.Harper (W=308, C=1634, V=14817159, Gap=6.04%):
```PARTY        SEATS     SEAT%     VOTE%   TOP-UP-SEATS(T=109=35.39%)
Conservative   124     40.26     36.27     31.9
Liberal        103     33.44     30.23     26.5
BlocQuebecois   51     16.56     10.48     -1.0
NewDemocratic   29      9.42     17.48     35.3
(Independent)    1      0.32      0.55      1.4
Green            0      0.00      4.48     14.0
```
2004 P.Martin (W=308, C=1683, V=13564702, Gap=7.10%):
```PARTY        SEATS     SEAT%     VOTE%   TOP-UP-SEATS(T=86=27.92%)
Liberal        135     43.83     36.73     15.7
Conservative    99     32.14     29.63     19.6
BlocQuebecois   54     17.53     12.39     -0.9
NewDemocratic   19      6.17     15.68     34.3
(Independent)    1      0.32      0.48      0.3
Green            0      0.00      4.29     13.0
```
2000 J.Chretien (W=301, C=1808, V=12857773, Gap=15.36%):
```PARTY        SEATS     SEAT%     VOTE%   TOP-UP-SEATS(T=85=28.24%)
Liberal        172     57.14     40.85     -0.4
Alliance        66     21.93     25.49     29.6
BlocQuebecois   38     12.62     10.72      4.7
NewDemocratic   13      4.32      8.51     16.7
ProgrConserv    12      3.99     12.19     28.4
Green            0      0.00      0.81      2.0
```
1997 J.Chretien (W=301, C=1672, V=12985974, Gap=19.11%):
```PARTY        SEATS     SEAT%     VOTE%   TOP-UP-SEATS(T=76=25.25%)
Liberal        155     51.50     38.46      0.1
Reform          60     19.93     19.35     13.1
BlocQuebecois   44     14.62     10.67     -0.9
NewDemocratic   21      6.98     11.05     17.3
ProgrConserv    20      6.64     18.84     42.0
(Independent)    1      0.33      0.46      0.3
Green            0      0.00      0.43      1.0
```
1993 J.Chretien (W=295, C=2155, V=13667671; this election features the greatest average number C/W≈7.31 of candidates per seat during the period 1972-2015 and probably ever. Also 14 parties contested this election, which was at the time a record high. Gap=22.55%, also highest at least within our data-years. Note also that Reform got more votes but fewer seats than BlocQuebecois):
```PARTY        SEATS     SEAT%     VOTE%   TOP-UP-SEATS(T=91=30.85%)
Liberal        177     60.00     41.24     -0.4
BlocQuebecois   54     18.31     13.52      2.7
Reform          52     17.63     18.69     19.0
NewDemocratic    9      3.05      6.88     13.8
ProgrConserv     2      0.68     16.04     45.6
(Independent)    1      0.34      0.73      1.3
National         0      0.00      1.38      4.0
```
1988 B.Mulroney (W=295, C=1573, V=13175494. Highest turnout 75.3% among elections tabulated here, tied with 1984. Gap=11.10%):
```PARTY        SEATS     SEAT%     VOTE%   TOP-UP-SEATS(T=72=24.41%)
ProgrConserv   169     57.29     43.02     -0.8
Liberal         83     28.14     31.92     31.3
NewDemocratic   43     14.58     20.38     27.5
Reform           0      0.00      2.09      6.0
```
1984 B.Mulroney (W=282, C=1449, V=12548862; this election features the least average number 1449/282≈5.14 of candidates per seat. Highest turnout 75.3% among elections tabulated here, tied with 1988. Gap=22.01%):
```PARTY        SEATS     SEAT%     VOTE%   TOP-UP-SEATS(T=93=32.98%)
ProgrConserv   211     74.82     50.03     -0.4
Liberal         40     14.18     28.02     52.2
NewDemocratic   30     10.64     18.81     32.9
(Independent)    1      0.35      0.31      0.3
Rhinoceros       0      0.00      0.79      2.0
```
1980 P.Trudeau (W=282, C=1497, V=10949536, Gap=11.89%):
```PARTY        SEATS     SEAT%     VOTE%   TOP-UP-SEATS(T=41=14.54%)
Liberal        147     52.13     44.34     -0.6
ProgrConserv   103     36.52     32.45      4.0
NewDemocratic   32     11.35     19.77     28.7
SocialCredit     0      0.00      1.70      5.0
```

Although 1984 and 1988 featured the highest turnouts at 75.3% among the elections tabulated here, these fell short of the greatest turnout ever, which was 79.4% in 1958. I am not sure whether the 22.55% vote-percentage gap in 1993 was the greatest ever. It might be.

### Record high numbers of candidates each year

yearAvg #canddts Max #canddts#ridings with maximal #canddtsWhich ridings
20151792/338=5.30177 102Papineau, EdmontonStrathcona.
20111587/308=5.15259 94Surrey-Sud/WhiteRock/Cloverdale, Laurier/Sainte-Marie, HamiltonEast/StoneyCreek, WestVancouver/SunshineCoast/SeaToSkyCountry.
20081601/308=5.19805101Guelph.
20061634/308=5.30519111Outremont.
20041683/308=5.4642894Papineau, OttawaCentre, VancouverSouth, Saint-Laurent/Cartierville.
20001808/301=6.006641014?
19971672/301=5.55482112?
1996 (by-election)131HamiltonEast.

(Table for years 2004-2015 computed by Brian Goldman from datafiles supplied by Elections Canada. For years 1996-2004 extracted from Elections Canada reports.)

There also were at least three ridings in the 1993 general election (Vancouver Quadra won by E.W. "Ted" McWhinney; Vancouver East won by Anna Terrana; Vancouver South won by Herb Dhaliwal) featuring at least 13 candidates, which might be the all-time record and probably is the record among the elections 1980-2015. (Also at least one riding in 1988 featured 12 candidates.) In any case it seems that ridings have ≥13 candidates only about 1 time in 1000.

### Closer look at the 2015 and 2011 (and other) elections

Parties vs Independents: In 1997, 95% of candidates ran under the flag of a party, only 5% were unaffiliated.

(Much of the year-2015 notes below stolen from a CBC News piece.)

2015: Turnout=69%. (The highest-turnout single riding was Ottawa Centre with 85%.)

24 parties ran candidates (plus there were unaffiliated candidates) but only 4 parties won seats – Liberals, Conservative, NDP, and Bloc Quebecois – and no unaffiliated MPs won.

The ridings with the greatest number of candidates apparently were Edmonton Mill Woods with 8 (Jasvir Deol, Peter Downing, Ralph McLean, Allen KW Paley, Naomi Rankin, Amarjeet Sohi, Colin Stubbs, Tim Uppal) and Hochelaga with 8 (Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet, Marianne Fontaine, Christine Dandenault, Alexandre Dang, Nicolas Lemay, Simon Marchand, Marwah Rizqy, Anne-Marie Saint-Cerny). Warning: my software hack may have been confused by data formatting issues in the 2015 results file, so these "8"s are only lower bounds.

In 22 ridings, the margin of victory was 1.5% or less. The narrowest margin was in Winnipeg's Elmwood-Transcona, where, as of Oct. 21, the NDP's Daniel Blaikie won by 51 votes, 0.1%, over his Conservative opponent, Lawrence Toet, the MP since 2011.

Liberal Judy Foote won the highest share of the vote, 81.8%, in Bonavista-Burin-Trinity. (She'd represented the Newfoundland south shore riding since 2008.)

The winning candidate with the smallest share of the vote – just 28.5% – was newcomer Brigitte Sansoucy, running for the NDP in Quebec's Saint-Hyacinthe-Bagot riding.

Niagara Falls riding had more people on the voters list than any other with 102602, with Edmonton-Wetaskiwin next at 98502. Canada's largest electoral district by area, Nunavut, had the smallest number of voters listed, 19223. (The median size for a riding is about 78600 voters.)

Thirty candidates received 40% or more of the votes but still lost. In St. John's East, incumbent NDP MP Jack Harris got 45.3% of the popular vote, but Liberal Nick Whalen won.

Two candidates with more than 30 per cent of the popular vote finished in third place: Liberal Steve Powrie in B.C.'s Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo, with 30.5 per cent, and in Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River, Saskatchewan's most northerly riding, Conservative Rob Clarke finished third with 30.2 per cent of the votes. He had represented the area – a new constituency – since 2008.

Brian Goldman asked: How many seats were won without a majority? The answer is: 'most of them':

• Liberal 97 of 184 = 53%
• Conservative 57 of 99 = 58%
• NDP-New Democratic Party 42 of 44 = 95%
• Bloc Quebecois 10 of 10 = 100%
• Green Party 0 of 1 = 0%
In total 206 of 338=61% of seats were won without a majority and therefore (perhaps) would not have had the same winner under alternative voting systems. (source.)

2011: Turnout=61%.

How many seats were won without a majority? The answer is: 'most of them':

• Conservative 59 of 166 = 36%
• NDP-New Democratic Party 67 of 103 = 65%
• Liberal 32 of 34 = 94%
• Bloc Quebecois 4 of 4 = 100%
• Green Party 1 of 1 = 100%
In total 163 of 308=53% of seats were won without a majority and therefore (perhaps) would not have had the same winner under alternative voting systems. (source.)

Women: In 2015: 88 women MPs were elected out of 338 total (26%, highest ever); about 33% of the candidates were women. In 2011: 77 women MPs were elected out of 308 total (25%); about 33% of the candidates were women. 1988 was the first time women were above 10%, and 1997 was the first time women were above 20%, of parliament; and in both cases they have exceeded those levels ever since. 24.4% of the candidates were women in 1997.

Number of parties running at least 3 MP candidates: ("Independent" and "unaffiliated" also counted as "parties" for present purpose provided at least 3 independent candidates ran nationwide)

```YEAR    #parties
2015    18
2011    18
2008    17
2006    15
2004    13
2000    13
1997    12
1993    16
1988    14
1984    13
1980    12
```

### The 23 registered political parties as of year 2015

```Alliance of the North
Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada
Bloc Quebecois
Forces et Democratie
Marijuana Party
New Democratic Party
Party for Accountability, Competency and Transparency
Rhinoceros Party
```

### The 10 registered political parties as of year 1997

```Bloc Quebecois
New Democratic Party
```

In 1972 there were only 4 registered parties, which was the lowest count during 1972-2015.

Population: 35.2 million (year 2013).
[Compare: China 1357M, India 1252M , USA 319M, Brazil 200M, Russia 144M, Germany 80.6M, UK 64.1M, Australia 23.1M, Netherlands 16.8M, Israel 8.1M, Ireland 4.6M, Malta 0.42M.]

Land area: 10.0 million km².
[Compare: Russia 17.1, USA 9.9, China 9.6, Brazil 8.5, Australia 7.7, Germany 0.36, UK 0.24, Ireland 0.084, Netherlands 0.042, Israel 0.021, Malta 0.00032.]

Capital: in 1857, Ottawa become the capital. It is slightly on the Ontario side of the Ontario-Quebec border (actually extends over that border, if you count Gatineau), and also lies only about 50-100 km from the USA (New York state) border. In 2011, the populations of the City of Ottawa and the Ottawa-Gatineau census metropolitan area (CMA) were 883,391 and 1,236,324 respectively, making it both the 4th largest city and 4th largest CMA by population in Canada.

Provinces & Territories: As of year 2015 there are 10 provinces and 3 territories:

ProvinceAbbrevPopulation(millions)Area (thousand km²)
OntarioON13.71076
QuebecQC8.21542
British ColumbiaBC4.6945
AlbertaAB4.1661
ManitobaMB1.3648
Nova ScotiaNS0.9455
New BrunswickNB0.7573
Prince Edward IslandPE0.155.7
TerritoryAbbrevPopulation(millions)Area (thousand km²)
NorthwestNT0.0411183
YukonYT0.034474
NunavutNU0.0321936

### Links to some data files

```Canada2000candidateList.csv,