Elections features - Solomon Star News

Elections features

03 December 2014

Dear Editor – Your readers might be interested in some of the facts that the recent general elections have revealed when the statistics are examined more closely.

The base statistics used for the following analysis is sourced from the "national general elections 2014 results" in the Island Sun Issue No.1845, for Thursday 27th Nov. on pages 12, 13, 15, and 16.

Overall, the total number of eligible voters who casted their ballots was 256,976.

It would be interesting to compare this with the total number of registered voters in the country.

The total number of winning votes – that is votes obtained by all the winning candidates – was 102,507, whilst that for all the losing candidates was 154,469.

This meant that all in all, only 40% of ballots casted voted for all the MPs.

Sixty percent (60%) of all those who voted did so for losing candidates.

This Parliament therefore, like all other previous Parliaments, is elected by less than 50% of the total electorate.

This has been a feature of the 'first past the post' system we adopted.

A preferential voting system would ensure that MPs are elected by the majority of the electorate.

This should be the ultimate aim of the country so that we can say that Parliament is of the majority, for the majority, and by the majority.

At the moment, it is the opposite: of the minority, for the minority, and by the minority.

This does not sound well in our democratic system where majority rule should apply.

In terms of individual constituencies, 13 elected their MPs with more than 50% of votes casted.

The highest was west Honiara at 75% of the constituency electorate.

The lowest were West Kwara'ae and Temotu Pele constituencies whose MPs were elected only with 19% of the votes casted.

The next lowest is South Choiseul with 20%, followed by Ngella, Central Honiara, and Temotu Vatud with 25%, 25%, and 26% respectively.

The constituency with the highest voter turnout was Central Honiara with 11,488, followed by Lau/Mbaelelea 9,359, and East Honiara 8,850.

The constituency with the lowest number of voters was Shortlands with 1993, followed by Rennell and Bellona with 2,232.

Two candidates in the Fataleka constituency did not receive any votes at all reflecting inter alia how seriously people in the constituency regarded the recent elections.

When candidates are nominated by at least two people, and none of these voted for their nominees, and not even the candidates themselves, it is a serious joke.

Of the three known candidates of Asian origin, only one was successful.

The constituencies with the highest number of losing voters were central Honiara, 8591 out of 11,488; Lau/Mbaelelea, 6846 out of  9359; and Ngella (surprisingly) with 6376 out of 8470 total voters.
It is hoped that some lessons would be learned from the type of information presented here.

Gabriel Taloikwai