Guide to Finding Vote Splitting

First is locating who has the results.  

Any free and fair election needs to have results available publicly and all you need to do is locate the governmental organization that has the numbers you are looking for.  Here is a list of Resource Centers for Canada.


Next get the results in a useful form.  

To do a few calculations on a spreadsheet you'll need to get your election data in useful format, which lists the political parties in the header of columns and the elections riding down the first column.

1 Party 1 Party 2 Party 3 Other
2 Riding 1 11 90 85 2
3 Riding 2 15 55 75 0
4 Riding 3 5 110 50 10

Sometimes the posted results for a riding is alphabetical which makes it hard to copy and paste results from separate riding web pages into your spreadsheet.  The easiest way to get the results in a useful format is to make a special request by email from your elections resource center.  

Here are some tips 

  • Dont make a request during or close to an election
  • Have a person with an email address from an educational institution or government body make the request
  • Dont mention vote splitting or first past the post in your request


Once you have your spreadsheet you'll need some formulae. 

In the table above we can make the assumption that Party 1 and Party 3 are similar in policies and so we will be checking to see if Party 1 is splitting the vote since they have the lower turnout of the 2.  The spreadsheet application you use will need to handle IF functions to perform the next task.  

As an example if you want to check if 50% from one party moved to another would make a difference then in column at the end in row 2 enter the formulae 
To adjust the percentage change the 0.5 to whatever you would like. If this Party 3 would win with 50% of Party 1 votes then the cell will display 1 otherwise it will display 0. You can replicate this formulae down to lower cells and see how many seats would have been altered with a bit more colaboration between similar parties.

Remember this formula will also show 1 if Party 3 won that riding originally before adjusting for the vote split. 


More to come...

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