Analysis of final poll results

By the morning of Monday September 22, 2014, the Fijian Elections Office put out the final counts of the September 17 Fiji election (as well as the detailed results from each of the polling stations).

Column (1) of Table 1, gives the aggregated party and independents; votes, totaling 496,364 votes, representing an 84 per cent turnout of the registered 590 thousand voters.

Column (2) gives the percentages of the votes cast received by the parties and independents.

Those in grey did not make the threshold and are all eliminated, and their votes discarded.

Four parties and the two independents did not make the 5 per cent threshold cut.

Column (3) then gives only the votes of the qualifying parties with above the 5 per cent threshold votes.

Column (4) then calculates, the percentage of seats they are entitled to, according to the share of the votes for qualifying parties (now only a total of 460,637).

These percentages in (4) are all higher than the percentages in column (2) because the votes of the smaller parties and Independents have been eliminated.

Column (5) then estimates the number of seats which the parties will be entitled to, based on the provisional votes, as follows (similar to results by the D’Hondt method):

FijiFirst party 32

SODELPA 15

National Federation Party 3

There is little doubt that FijiFirst party will be able to form government without coalition with any of the other parties, given that they have well over 25 seats in the 50-seat parliament.

Who will be elected?

The detailed candidate lists put out by the Elections Office with candidates all ranked by the numbers of votes they have received, therefore tell you who have been elected to Parliament.

Select the first 32 from FijiFirst party, the first 15 from SODELPA, and the first three from National Federation Party.

Some lessons:

(a) Had the small parties and independents amalgamated they would have won four seats, which would have been denied to the other parties.

(b) Even if FLP and PDP had amalgamated, they would have been entitled to three seats, the same as NFP

(c) Had Roshika Deo (1055 votes) stood for FijiFirst party and retained her votes (no guarantee of that), she would have been elected.

(d) The mantra of 1 person = 1 vote = 1 value does not have any meaning for 35,727 persons who voted for the disqualified small parties and independents, as their votes became worth nothing. The four seats that should have gone to them were by decree, reallocated to the larger parties.

(e) While the system gives the appearance of selecting candidates, in reality, the votes to party leaders end up pulling into parliament, their party candidates who have far fewer votes than candidates who lost because they belonged to small parties. It pays to belong to large parties, and especially to those with popular leaders and populist election strategies.

(f) Rough estimates from these final voting figures suggest that FijiFirst party obtained about 80 per cent of all Indo-Fijian votes and 41 per cent of indigenous Fijian votes. SODELPA obtained roughly 50 per cent of all indigenous Fijian votes.

Wadan Narsey is an academic formerly employed by the USP. The views expressed are his own.

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