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Snapshot: Votes vs Seats

DECISION 2011: NDP voters will be proportionally represented in the new government. Everyone else ... not so much.

Nationally, Conservative voters ended up the most over-represented after the election, with 40 per cent of Canadian voters gaining 54 per cent of the seats. The NDP voters were the only ones that saw their votes translate approximately to a proportional number of elected representation. At the other end of the spectrum, the four per cent of Canadians who voted Green ended up with just 0.3 per cent of the seats.

As a measure of how much representation a voter ended up with, here is the breakdown of percent of seats relative to percent of votes:

  • Conservative voters: 137 per cent
  • NDP voters: 108 per cent
  • Liberal voters: 58 per cent
  • Bloc voters: 22 per cent
  • Green voters: 8 per cent


In a pure proportional system, the Conservatives and NDP would have won fewer seats. The Bloc would have won 4.5 times more and the Greens would have won 12 times more seats:

  • 122 Conservatives (actual 167)
  • 94 NDP (102)
  • 58 Liberals (34)
  • 18 Bloc (4)
  • 12 Greens (1)


At the provincial level, Conservative voters in New Brunswick made out the best at 183 per cent seats/votes. Conservative voters here in B.C. ended up a little behind the national Conservative bonus, but still a hefty over-represented seat/vote total of 128 per cent. In Quebec, Conservative voters suffered much like the Liberal voters did nationally, with only 48 per cent as many seats as they had votes.

Australia has a form of proportional representation. Do Canadians want something similar? In B.C. at least, the answer so far seems to be no. Efforts to switch to some other form of voting beyond first-past-the-post have been defeated in popular votes in recent years.

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