First Past the Post versus Proportional Representation in the 2019 Manitoba Election

Following the 2019 Federal election there is a lot of discussion on social media about ‘first past the post’ (FPP) versus ‘proportional representation” (PR) and whether our electoral system in Canada is a fair one.

A previous post outlined how the two approaches would have impacted the recent Federal election.

A look at the recent election in Manitoba show that the outcome here would also have been quite dramatically different under a PR versus FPP system as well.

2019 Manitoba Election

Party % of popular vote First past the post Proportional representation
Conservative 47.02 38 27
NDP 31.38 18 18
Liberal 14.48 4 8
Green 6.43 0 4
Other 1 0 0

 

The Conservative seat count would have been reduced to 26 from 38.  The NDP would have held their own, and the Liberals and the Green Party would have seen their seat count increased form 4 to 8 and 0 to 4 respectively.  In other words, Manitoba would have a minority Conservative government that could be brought down at any time if the other three parties had the will. Under such a scenario you might even see a NDP, Liberal, Green coalition or an NDP minority government propped up by the Liberal and the Green Party.

 

The results in the 2017 BC election would have looked like this:

Party % of popular vote First past the post Proportional representation
Liberal 40.36 42 35
NDP 40.28 41 35
Green 16.84 3 15
Other 2.52 1 2

BC currently has a minority government and that would not have changed under a PR system but the Green Party would have gained 12 seats.

 

In the recent Alberta election won by the United Conservatives they would have won a majority under either system but both the NDP and the Alberta Party would have seen an increase from 24 to 28 and from 0 to 8 seats respectively.

Party % of popular vote First past the post Proportional representation
United Conservative 54.88 63 48
NDP 32.67 24 28
Alberta Party 9.08 0 8
Other (total of 11) 3.37 0 3

 

The bottom line is this:  if Canada were to changed to a PR from a FPP electoral system the larger established political parties stand to lose seats while the smaller parties who currently have no standing in terms of seats would see an increase.

The result might well be a increase in the number of minority governments at the provincial level.

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