how small must the overall number of voters have to get...

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how small must the overall number of voters have to get...

Post by Guest on Mon May 18, 2015 9:24 am

Before it was considered a lack of confidence in any party..

is  that actually govenrned for in law..

basically if say 10% of the nation turned out to vote would it still be classed as a democratically elected government.

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Re: how small must the overall number of voters have to get...

Post by Raggamuffin on Mon May 18, 2015 9:49 am

What a good question. I'm googling it as we speak, but I guess that the voters had the chance to vote and didn't, so I'm not sure there is a minimum turnout required.

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Re: how small must the overall number of voters have to get...

Post by Guest on Mon May 18, 2015 9:51 am

Raggamuffin wrote:What a good question. I'm googling it as we speak, but I guess that the voters had the chance to vote and didn't, so I'm not sure there is a minimum turnout required.
if they turned about but defaced their votes would that be the same thing...makes you wonder..

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Re: how small must the overall number of voters have to get...

Post by Raggamuffin on Mon May 18, 2015 9:59 am

heavenlyfatheragain wrote:
Raggamuffin wrote:What a good question. I'm googling it as we speak, but I guess that the voters had the chance to vote and didn't, so I'm not sure there is a minimum turnout required.
if they turned about but defaced their votes would that be the same thing...makes you wonder..

Spoilt papers are counted when they work out how many people voted, but I don't think they distinguish between deliberate and accidental spoilage. I'm not sure though - someone else might know.

If a significant number were spoilt, I suppose it might have an effect on the validity of an election - I'm not sure if that's ever happened.

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Re: how small must the overall number of voters have to get...

Post by Guest on Mon May 18, 2015 10:06 am

Raggamuffin wrote:
heavenlyfatheragain wrote:
if they turned about but defaced their votes would that be the same thing...makes you wonder..

Spoilt papers are counted when they work out how many people voted, but I don't think they distinguish between deliberate and accidental spoilage. I'm not sure though - someone else might know.

If a significant number were spoilt, I suppose it might have an effect on the validity of an election - I'm not sure if that's ever happened.
it just seems to me while around 40% of the country doesn't vote or what ever reason how low can the vote number go before it clearly does not represent the country, Is there a chance groups like ukip are allowed to go so far just to bring voters out, to keep numbers up, I would love to know if there were some hidden legisalation that states a certain majority must vote to make it legitimate..

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Re: how small must the overall number of voters have to get...

Post by Raggamuffin on Mon May 18, 2015 10:47 am

heavenlyfatheragain wrote:
Raggamuffin wrote:

Spoilt papers are counted when they work out how many people voted, but I don't think they distinguish between deliberate and accidental spoilage. I'm not sure though - someone else might know.

If a significant number were spoilt, I suppose it might have an effect on the validity of an election - I'm not sure if that's ever happened.
it just seems to me while around 40% of the country doesn't vote or what ever reason how low can the vote number go before it clearly does not represent the country, Is there a chance groups like ukip are allowed to go so far just to bring voters out, to keep numbers up, I would love to know if there were some hidden legisalation that states a certain majority must vote to make it legitimate..

The lowest turnout in a general election was in 1918 with a 57.2% turnout, so it's never been below 50%. In Manchester, the turnout is low - in 2010 it was 44% apparently, and only about 18% in a by-election in 2012, but it was still valid.

It's usually much lower in local elections - often below 50%, but it doesn't seem to affect the validity of them.

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Re: how small must the overall number of voters have to get...

Post by Guest on Mon May 18, 2015 11:04 am

Raggamuffin wrote:
heavenlyfatheragain wrote:
it just seems to me while around 40% of the country doesn't vote or what ever reason how low can the vote number go before it clearly does not represent the country, Is there a chance groups like ukip are allowed to go so far just to bring voters out, to keep numbers up, I would love to know if there were some hidden legisalation that states a certain majority must vote to make it legitimate..

The lowest turnout in a general election was in 1918 with a 57.2% turnout, so it's never been below 50%. In Manchester, the turnout is low - in 2010 it was 44% apparently, and only about 18% in a by-election in 2012, but it was still valid.  

It's usually much lower in local elections - often below 50%, but it doesn't seem to affect the validity of them.
I wonder why, i think it really should xx

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Re: how small must the overall number of voters have to get...

Post by Raggamuffin on Mon May 18, 2015 11:09 am

heavenlyfatheragain wrote:
Raggamuffin wrote:

The lowest turnout in a general election was in 1918 with a 57.2% turnout, so it's never been below 50%. In Manchester, the turnout is low - in 2010 it was 44% apparently, and only about 18% in a by-election in 2012, but it was still valid.  

It's usually much lower in local elections - often below 50%, but it doesn't seem to affect the validity of them.
I wonder why, i think it really should xx

Possibly. There are websites out there advising people how to make a protest on their ballot sheet rather than just spoiling it generally. However, I'm not sure if that would make a difference - I think they're all just lumped together as "rejected votes".

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Re: how small must the overall number of voters have to get...

Post by Fuzzy Zack on Mon May 18, 2015 1:07 pm

heavenlyfatheragain wrote:Before it was considered a lack of confidence in any party..

is  that actually govenrned for in law..

basically if say 10% of the nation turned out to vote would it still be classed as a democratically elected government.

The fewer the people who vote, the more powerful the vote of those who do becomes. It's Game Theory and one of the reasons why most who understand this, don't vote unless their vote is pivotal. Such as in a tight election or if the number of voters is minimal.

See: http://mindyourdecisions.com/blog/2008/10/07/make-your-vote-count-5-important-ideas-from-game-theory/#.VVnUUbm6fDc

This covers voting strategies:

1. Pivotal Vote

In a game-theory sense, your vote matters only when it is pivotal. The proof follows from a thought experiment. If the election was hypothetically decided by two or more votes, then you could have safely abstained from voting without affecting the majority rule. In other words, your vote was not needed.

How often will your vote be pivotal? A mathematical approach is to calculate the odds that all the other voters will be tied. The approach treats each voter as having some probability of voting for one candidate or the other. The odds of a tie are maximized when each voter is equally likely to vote for one candidate or the other. Here are some estimates from this methodology. At 1,000 voters, the optimistic odds of a tie, making you pivotal, are less than 3 percent. At 100 million voters, the optimistic odds are less than 0.01 percent (roughly 1 in 10,000).

In fact, the true odds are lower because candidates are not equally favored. Small preferences among voters can lead to margins of victory that make your vote irrelevant. The odds can be estimated in an empirical approach that examines at the history of elections. This exercise was done by economists Casey Mulligan and Charles Hunter, and here are their results as summarized in the New York Times:

Even in the closest elections, it is almost never the case that a single vote is pivotal. Of the more than 40,000 elections for state legislator that Mulligan and Hunter analyzed, comprising nearly 1 billion votes, only 7 elections were decided by a single vote, with 2 others tied. Of the more than 16,000 Congressional elections, in which many more people vote, only one election in the past 100 years – a 1910 race in Buffalo – was decided by a single vote. (source)

The conclusion is that your vote is very, very unlikely to affect the outcome. An economic argument extends the logic to say “voting doesn’t pay.” This is because voting has little expected benefit but costs time and effort. This view holds voting in the same light as buying a lottery ticket: a losing bet.

2. What if Nobody Votes
3. Voting Blocs (my favourite, as this could by formed by any group)
4. Vote Splitting



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Re: how small must the overall number of voters have to get...

Post by Guest on Mon May 18, 2015 1:26 pm

Fuzzy Zack wrote:
heavenlyfatheragain wrote:Before it was considered a lack of confidence in any party..

is  that actually govenrned for in law..

basically if say 10% of the nation turned out to vote would it still be classed as a democratically elected government.

The fewer the people who vote, the more powerful the vote of those who do becomes. It's Game Theory and one of the reasons why most who understand this, don't vote unless their vote is pivotal. Such as in a tight election or if the number of voters is minimal.

See: http://mindyourdecisions.com/blog/2008/10/07/make-your-vote-count-5-important-ideas-from-game-theory/#.VVnUUbm6fDc

This covers voting strategies:

1. Pivotal Vote

In a game-theory sense, your vote matters only when it is pivotal. The proof follows from a thought experiment. If the election was hypothetically decided by two or more votes, then you could have safely abstained from voting without affecting the majority rule. In other words, your vote was not needed.

How often will your vote be pivotal? A mathematical approach is to calculate the odds that all the other voters will be tied. The approach treats each voter as having some probability of voting for one candidate or the other. The odds of a tie are maximized when each voter is equally likely to vote for one candidate or the other. Here are some estimates from this methodology. At 1,000 voters, the optimistic odds of a tie, making you pivotal, are less than 3 percent. At 100 million voters, the optimistic odds are less than 0.01 percent (roughly 1 in 10,000).

In fact, the true odds are lower because candidates are not equally favored. Small preferences among voters can lead to margins of victory that make your vote irrelevant. The odds can be estimated in an empirical approach that examines at the history of elections. This exercise was done by economists Casey Mulligan and Charles Hunter, and here are their results as summarized in the New York Times:

Even in the closest elections, it is almost never the case that a single vote is pivotal. Of the more than 40,000 elections for state legislator that Mulligan and Hunter analyzed, comprising nearly 1 billion votes, only 7 elections were decided by a single vote, with 2 others tied. Of the more than 16,000 Congressional elections, in which many more people vote, only one election in the past 100 years – a 1910 race in Buffalo – was decided by a single vote. (source)

The conclusion is that your vote is very, very unlikely to affect the outcome. An economic argument extends the logic to say “voting doesn’t pay.” This is because voting has little expected benefit but costs time and effort. This view holds voting in the same light as buying a lottery ticket: a losing bet.

2. What if Nobody Votes
3. Voting Blocs (my favourite, as this could by formed by any group)
4. Vote Splitting



simply enough in theory but impossible in practice...

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Re: how small must the overall number of voters have to get...

Post by The Devil, You Know on Mon May 18, 2015 1:32 pm

heavenlyfatheragain wrote:Before it was considered a lack of confidence in any party..

is  that actually govenrned for in law..

basically if say 10% of the nation turned out to vote would it still be classed as a democratically elected government.
it is a valid point and a perfect reason why voting should be a legal requirement, although if it was "none of the above" should also be included on the ballot and if that exceeded the number of votes for the candidates then those candidates should be barred from standing for 10 years and the election for that seat rerun with new candidates.
I have a feeling that would ensure that candidates really put the voter first.

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Re: how small must the overall number of voters have to get...

Post by The Devil, You Know on Mon May 18, 2015 1:33 pm

heavenlyfatheragain wrote:
Raggamuffin wrote:What a good question. I'm googling it as we speak, but I guess that the voters had the chance to vote and didn't, so I'm not sure there is a minimum turnout required.
if they turned about but defaced their votes would that be the same thing...makes you wonder..
those that dont turnout really cant complain at the government they get, can they

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Re: how small must the overall number of voters have to get...

Post by The Devil, You Know on Mon May 18, 2015 1:34 pm

heavenlyfatheragain wrote:
Raggamuffin wrote:

Spoilt papers are counted when they work out how many people voted, but I don't think they distinguish between deliberate and accidental spoilage. I'm not sure though - someone else might know.

If a significant number were spoilt, I suppose it might have an effect on the validity of an election - I'm not sure if that's ever happened.
it just seems to me while around 40% of the country doesn't vote or what ever reason how low can the vote number go before it clearly does not represent the country, Is there a chance groups like ukip are allowed to go so far just to bring voters out, to keep numbers up, I would love to know if there were some hidden legisalation that states a certain majority must vote to make it legitimate..
only about 32% did not vote this time which is a pretty good turnout.

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Re: how small must the overall number of voters have to get...

Post by The Devil, You Know on Mon May 18, 2015 1:36 pm

Fuzzy Zack wrote:
heavenlyfatheragain wrote:Before it was considered a lack of confidence in any party..

is  that actually govenrned for in law..

basically if say 10% of the nation turned out to vote would it still be classed as a democratically elected government.

The fewer the people who vote, the more powerful the vote of those who do becomes. It's Game Theory and one of the reasons why most who understand this, don't vote unless their vote is pivotal. Such as in a tight election or if the number of voters is minimal.

See: http://mindyourdecisions.com/blog/2008/10/07/make-your-vote-count-5-important-ideas-from-game-theory/#.VVnUUbm6fDc

This covers voting strategies:

1. Pivotal Vote

In a game-theory sense, your vote matters only when it is pivotal. The proof follows from a thought experiment. If the election was hypothetically decided by two or more votes, then you could have safely abstained from voting without affecting the majority rule. In other words, your vote was not needed.

How often will your vote be pivotal? A mathematical approach is to calculate the odds that all the other voters will be tied. The approach treats each voter as having some probability of voting for one candidate or the other. The odds of a tie are maximized when each voter is equally likely to vote for one candidate or the other. Here are some estimates from this methodology. At 1,000 voters, the optimistic odds of a tie, making you pivotal, are less than 3 percent. At 100 million voters, the optimistic odds are less than 0.01 percent (roughly 1 in 10,000).

In fact, the true odds are lower because candidates are not equally favored. Small preferences among voters can lead to margins of victory that make your vote irrelevant. The odds can be estimated in an empirical approach that examines at the history of elections. This exercise was done by economists Casey Mulligan and Charles Hunter, and here are their results as summarized in the New York Times:

Even in the closest elections, it is almost never the case that a single vote is pivotal. Of the more than 40,000 elections for state legislator that Mulligan and Hunter analyzed, comprising nearly 1 billion votes, only 7 elections were decided by a single vote, with 2 others tied. Of the more than 16,000 Congressional elections, in which many more people vote, only one election in the past 100 years – a 1910 race in Buffalo – was decided by a single vote. (source)

The conclusion is that your vote is very, very unlikely to affect the outcome. An economic argument extends the logic to say “voting doesn’t pay.” This is because voting has little expected benefit but costs time and effort. This view holds voting in the same light as buying a lottery ticket: a losing bet.

2. What if Nobody Votes
3. Voting Blocs (my favourite, as this could by formed by any group)
4. Vote Splitting



every vote matters even if it cannot change the outcome. electing a government is not a game, it is the duty of every person who has the vote.

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Re: how small must the overall number of voters have to get...

Post by Raggamuffin on Mon May 18, 2015 2:26 pm

The Devil, You Know wrote:
heavenlyfatheragain wrote:
if they turned about but defaced their votes would that be the same thing...makes you wonder..
those that dont turnout really cant complain at the government they get, can they

They can if the deliberately spoil their ballot papers as a protest.

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Re: how small must the overall number of voters have to get...

Post by The Devil, You Know on Mon May 18, 2015 7:10 pm

Raggamuffin wrote:
The Devil, You Know wrote:
those that dont turnout really cant complain at the government they get, can they

They can if the deliberately spoil their ballot papers as a protest.
those people have turned out and made a point. Sitting at home watching Jeremy kyle is not really a political statement. that's why if it is made compulsory, then there should be a non of the above option.

It really is not that hard to drag yourself down to a polling booth. Few people live so far from one that they cant get there.

another point about elections. In india, they have a billion plus voters most who earn a few pounds a week, but every single one of them has a photo id. Yet it seems beyond our wit in the UK to do the same.

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Re: how small must the overall number of voters have to get...

Post by Raggamuffin on Mon May 18, 2015 7:15 pm

The Devil, You Know wrote:
Raggamuffin wrote:

They can if the deliberately spoil their ballot papers as a protest.
those people have turned out and made a point. Sitting at home watching Jeremy kyle is not really a political statement.  that's why if it is made compulsory, then there should be a non of the above option.

It really is not that hard to drag yourself down to a  polling booth. Few people live so far from one that they cant get there.

another point about elections. In india, they have a billion plus voters most who earn a few pounds a week, but every single one of them has a photo id. Yet it seems beyond our wit in the UK to do the same.

I agree with you, but I also think that some people feel there's no point voting if they're in a constituency with a safe seat. Others of course make a point of voting in those circumstances.

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Re: how small must the overall number of voters have to get...

Post by The Devil, You Know on Mon May 18, 2015 10:45 pm

Raggamuffin wrote:
The Devil, You Know wrote:
those people have turned out and made a point. Sitting at home watching Jeremy kyle is not really a political statement.  that's why if it is made compulsory, then there should be a non of the above option.

It really is not that hard to drag yourself down to a  polling booth. Few people live so far from one that they cant get there.

another point about elections. In india, they have a billion plus voters most who earn a few pounds a week, but every single one of them has a photo id. Yet it seems beyond our wit in the UK to do the same.

I agree with you, but I also think that some people feel there's no point voting if they're in a constituency with a safe seat. Others of course make a point of voting in those circumstances.
I voted in a constituency that has been a safe lib dem seat since 92, it returned to the tories this year, I like to think my postal vote counted. in all the elections since 92 I never once thought my vote didn't count

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