What Happened to the 2011 Marginal Seats in the 2016 Election? (with Excel Download File)

swing and retained seats

Want to compare vote margins in 2016 to those of 2011’s general election? Have a look at the table below:

2016 and 2011 vote margins

The table is ordered by 2011 vote margin and shows:

  • vote margins for the 2011 and 2016 elections
  • seats won in the 2016 election by the JLP in green and the PNP in orange
  • the names of the winner and unsuccessful candidate in each constituency

From the table above, it is interesting to note that in 2016:

  • the JLP retained all 21 seats that they won in 2011
  • all 11 seats picked up by the JLP had a margin of less than 1,000 votes in the 2011 election
  • 52 seats were retained by either party
  • of the 52 seats that were retained by either side, the JLP retained 19 seats with an increased margin and 2 with a decreased margin. The PNP retained 6 seats with an increased margin and 25 seats with a decreased margin
  • every seat with a 2011 vote margin greater than 1,000 votes was retained by the party that won it in 2011, albeit with a new margin. There were 39 such seats, with 13 for the JLP and 26 for the PNP.

To get a better sense of the margins, it is important to look more closely at the table below:

2016 and 2011 margins and change in turnout

The table is sorted by 2011 vote margin and shows:

  • The 2011 and 2016 vote margins
  • The change in turnout in 2016 for the JLP and PNP as compared to 2011. Where there has been a decline in turnout for either party the box is highlighted in yellow.
  • The number of persons added to the voters list since 2011.
  • The names of the winner and unsuccessful candidates in each constituency

As seen in our Comparing Voter Turnout by Party: 2016 vs 2011 post, in the 2016 election, the JLP’s voter turnout increased in the majority of constituencies while the PNP’s voter turnout declined in the majority of constituencies. The table above shows the constituencies in which this happened.

As seen in our Numbers to Watch in the 2016 Election post,  there were 43 constituencies where the new voters exceeded the 2011 vote margin. A closer look at the turnout and margins indicates that while new voters may have played a role, it is not clear what role they played given the significant changes in turnout by party (in 2016 compared to 2011).  In some cases, new voter numbers alone cannot account for the 2016 vote margins.

As mentioned in our Election Turnout by Percentage: 1962-2016 post, the 2016 election had a historically low voter turnout at 47.72%. Going forward, changes in the number of voters registered, as well as in voter turnout, will have a significant impact on the outcome of any electoral process. Due to the plethora of factors at play, it will become increasingly difficult for seats to be labelled as marginal or safe.

For all our election related data posts, see A Deeper Look At Election Data.

To download the Excel file for the tables above, click 2016 and 2011 vote margins and change in turnout.