That Screwy Seat Distribution

So the improved Swing-o-meter is nearly done. The more I fiddle with it, the more convinced I am that 26S is an incredibly volatile election: relatively minor changes in the distribution of the popular vote yield big, big changes in the distribution of seats.

This PowerPoint presentation tries to tell the story graphically. Bear in mind that the charts are slightly visually misleading in that each line represents a district, not a seat, and there are more 2- and 3-member districts in the left (urban) side of the chart. Nonetheless:

What these charts show is Gerrymandering at work: the mathematical secret sauce that allows CNE to give the government a 2.9% "head start" on us.

It should be noted that for this to happen, we’d have to win in all kinds of places where you don’t really imagine the opposition winning. Places like Cocorote, in Yaracuy state, and La Vega-Antímano in Caracas. Places like the South Side of Valencia, Anaco and Ciudad Bolivar.

So it’s important to remember that the government’s approval rating is 7 to 10 points lower than it was ahead of the 2009 referendum. If that translates into a proportional fall in its share of the popular vote, then anything can happen.