Vote Spreads

By Julian Dierkes

One of the big questions about the multi-member plurality voting system adopted for the parliamentary election was what the minimum number of votes would be to win a seat, especially since minimum thresholds had been abandoned this time in contrast to 2008.

So, let’s look at some winning candidates! I’m relying on Ikon.mn for data on votes as of 16h (Vancouver time) on June 24.

Percentage Shares

Prime Minister U Khurelsukh of the MPP won his seat with the highest percentage share of votes in Khentii. He won 72.2% in District 18.

At the far other end of the spectrum, the lowest share that won a seat was S Odontuya’s for the DP in Ulaanbaatar’s Bayangol (26) with 26.2%. Note that this means that every winning MP won with more than 25% which had been the threshold in 2008.

Absolute Numbers of Votes

Next, let’s think about the absolute number of votes candidates needed to win their seats. This is important as the overall distribution of seats was clearly weighted toward the less populous countryside where 52 of the total of 76 seats were up for grabs.

To return to the two winners above, Amarsaikhan won his large share of the vote with 25,356 votes while Odontuya needed over 27,000 votes to claim her much smaller share of votes. Startling!

The absolute lowest number of votes to win a seat was G Munkhtsetseg’s (MPP – Incumbent) 10,175 in Dundgovi, a share of over a third of the votes in that aimag.

The greatest absolute number of votes went to N Uchral (MPP – Incumbent) who received over 53,000 votes in Songinokhairkhan (28) representing almost two thirds. In Songinokhairkhan, G Munkhtsetseg’s votes would have placed her 8th (though that is obviously a flawed comparison).

In the most hotly contested Ulaanbaatar riding of Sukhbaatar (24) with its 38 candidates, the top eight finishers received more than 10,000 votes and the top 12 received more than 5,000 votes.

Dominance of Winning Candidates

Since voters do not express preferences but simply vote for multiple candidates, we are unable to tell the extent to which they mixed and matched. But since only ballots that included a vote for the numbers of seats available in that riding were valid, we can add percentages up and subtract them from 300 or 200 (depending on 2 or 3-MP ridings) to get a sense for how dominant the winning candidates were.

By this measure the three winning candidates in Khentii (18) were the most dominant among the three-MP districts winning a total of 184.7 of the possible 300% of votes. This was where PM Khurelsukh, his Cabinet Secretary Oyun-Erdene, and erstwhile wrestling champion, long-time MP and former presidential candidate Bat-Erdene were elected and easily brushed aside the challenge mounted by Bat-Uul who only placed 6th.

By contrast, the three winners in Sukhbaatar (24) only took 108.2/300 of the votes.

For the two-MP districts, the two winners in Dornogovi (8) garnered 121.8 of 200% of the votes, while those in Bayanzurkh (22) at the opposite end of the spectrum only received 75.4/200.

More to be analyzed regarding these numbers and shares.

About Julian Dierkes

Julian Dierkes is a sociologist by training (PhD Princeton Univ) and a Mongolist by choice and passion since around 2005. He teaches in the Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. He tweets @jdierkes
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