OTL Election maps resources thread

Although they haven't finished counting the results, they've been confirmed, so here's the California recall election.

This is the fourth recall election to make a statewide ballot (though every Governor of California since 1960 has faced a petition for a recall election), and the first ever to fail due to a No vote on the recall happening. This differentiates Gavin Newsom's victory over the recall from Scott Walker's in 2012- Walker won by defeating a Democratic challenger, though Newsom did get more than twice as many votes as his potential successor (on which more in a second).

Newsom had faced seven recall petitions, and the one which led to this recall election is largely believed to have been influenced by his handling of Covid, particularly his continuation of closure of public schools, large fradulent unemployment claims, slow vaccine rollout and his French Laundry dinner flouting Covid precautions.
For a while, Newsom looked quite vulnerable thanks to his perceived incompetence and hypocrisy on the pandemic, and Republicans and proponents of the recall tried to hammer him on that; Arnold Schwarzenegger even went as far as to say it was the 'same climate' as the 2003 recall. During the summer it looked like a Yes vote might be possible, but quite quickly it became clear that this was nowhere near as probable as he assumed.

If anything, the way the recall played out served to almost totally disprove Schwarzenegger's assertion. For a start, the Republican frontrunner was not a moderate trying to unite the incumbent Governor's opponents, but conservative talk show host Larry Elder, who basically painted himself as an heir to Trump (rather ironic given his status as potentially the first African-American Governor of California). This allowed Newsom to paint the election as a referendum not on him, but on Trumpism and the far right, galvanizing his support among Democrats and obfuscating his earlier missteps. Also in keeping with his inspiration, Elder accused the results of being based on mass fraud (though to his credit, unlike Trump he has conceded) and hinted he plans to try again. Sadly he didn't make the statement, 'I'LL GET YOU NEXT TIME GAVIN, NEXT TIIIME!'

Interestingly, while Newsom comfortably defeated the recall, the vote on his successor (which is of course nonbinding now) saw Elder win by a 37-point margin and only a combined 27.9% of the vote go to Democrats. (I find it amusing that while Elder swept the state- though, as mentioned, with less than 2.4 million votes to over 5.8 million going No on the recall- San Francisco still didn't vote for him, instead giving a victory by a tiny margin to landlord and YouTuber Kevin Paffrath.) This was part of the party's strategy, though, since the idea was to avoid the recall getting a Yes vote in the first place. A BBC News story outlines an interesting althistory scenario for if it had passed:

'If [Newsom] were to lose this recall election, it wouldn't just end his political career - it would result in a handbrake turn for the political trajectory of California, with a new Republican Governor elected by a tiny proportion of the state's 22 million voters. And that could have major national implications.
California's senior Senator Diane Feinstein is 88 years old. If she were, for any reason, unable to complete her term after a new Republican Governor had been inaugurated, they would appoint her replacement and, in doing so, immediately eliminate the Democrats voting majority of just one in the Senate.'

So, people interested in Republican-wanking California, make of that what you will.
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Weird, messy European elections have become as much a part of European politics as elections themselves. So it says a lot that even by those standards, the 2021 German federal election has been weird and messy. For a start, the result was guaranteed to be interesting given that Angela Merkel retired as Chancellor after sixteen years and no incumbent Chancellor would be running, the first time in post-war German history this has been the case.

But instead of Merkel’s absence giving her CDU/CSU an opportunity for a new lease of life, the party has been mired in conflicts. The CDU leadership contest in 2018 saw former the party’s General Secretary and former Minister-President of Saarland Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (commonly known by her initials AKK), perceived as an heir to Merkel, defeating the more conservative former Bundestag leader Fredrich Merz. One of AKK’s main assets was that, despite her social conservatism, she was seen as more moderate and likely not to rock the boat; she demonstrated during the 2019 EU Parliament elections that this was not the case with a rather ham-fisted push for electoral law to reduce the ability of social media personalities to influence voter choices after a popular YouTuber called Rezo put out a video aggressively critiquing the CDU/CSU, SPD and AfD.

This fiasco and reporting that Merkel did not think AKK was up to the job of Chancellor weakened her, but her failure to discipline the Thuringia CDU for voting with the AfD for the election of Thomas Kemmerich as the state’s Minister-President in February 2020 was the last straw. When AKK announced she would resign as CDU leader, the leadership race was expected to be held in the summer, but ended up being postponed until the start of 2021 thanks to COVID-19.

That race led to the election as CDU leader of North-Rhine Westphalia Minister-President Armin Laschet, also a social conservative (like AKK he opposed gay marriage, but tapped the gay Health Minister Jens Spahn to serve as his deputy) and economic moderate who is ideologically close to Merkel. Laschet faced a challenge by Markus Söder of the CSU, and the two of them failed to agree between themselves who should be Chancellor candidate, forcing the federal board to break the deadlock and make Laschet party leader.

Something just as interesting has happened on the opposition side during 2021. Thanks to fatigue with the grand coalition and the general rise in awareness of the severity of climate change, the Greens managed during April and May to overtake the CDU/CSU for first in the polls, and rather than retaining the dual leadership it, Die Linke and the AfD have traditionally practiced, it picked a Chancellor candidate for the first time, Annalena Baerbock.

But the really odd thing to happen concerns the CDU/CSU’s longtime coalition partner. The SPD, which has spent all but four of the last 23 years as a part of Germany’s federal government and spent the 2010s as a poster child for Pasokification, has managed with its Chancellor candidate, Vice Chancellor and former Mayor of Hamburg Olaf Scholz, to capitalize on the fractious nature of the conflict. With Laschet and the CDU/CSU seen as burnt out and divided and Baerbock and the Greens as too inexperienced for government, Scholz benefitted both from his slightly more left-wing campaign promises like raising the minimum wage from €9.60 to €12 and improving the affordability of housing and from his perceived closeness to Merkel on issues like national and European leadership.

Mostly thanks to Scholz’s presence, the SPD moved to a consistent lead in the polls during late August and early September, but its lead tightened towards the end of the campaign, likely due to closer scrutiny of Scholz’s past (I read quite a scathing article about it in Politico a week or so ago) and Merkel finally giving her endorsement to Laschet. The exit polls showed a neck-and-neck race between the two main parties, but by the closest margin since 2005 and for the first time since 2002, the SPD emerged as the largest party in the Bundestag with (as of this writing) a projected 206 seats while the CDU/CSU came out with just 196 seats, its worst result ever.

It’s probably accurate to say the 2021 election was a vote against both the major two parties to a significant degree, though. Though they didn’t do as spectacularly as they’d hoped earlier in the year, the Greens got their best result ever and broke 100 seats for the first time (coming in at 118) and won their first FPTP district outside of Berlin (their first eleven, actually!) and the FDP took 92, their best total since 2009. More concerningly, the AfD took sixteen FPTP districts, all in the East, and topped the polls for the PR vote in Saxony and (just barely) in Thuringia. Ironically they actually lost 11 seats due to their vote declining overall across the country. Die Linke were badly hurt by the surge of the bigger left-wing parties, falling to 4.9% of the vote and just barely re-entering the Bundestag thanks to winning three seats (they lost an East Berlin district to the CDU of all parties though).

The East-West divide is still very prominent, which is probably unsurprising in German politics at this point- as mentioned, in the West the Greens made unprecedented gains and the AfD did the same in the East, but the SPD also achieved a striking recovery in the East, going from holding two seats across all of the former East Germany (one in East Berlin and one in Potsdam, the latter electing Scholz this year) to twenty-seven, more than any other party. The one which really grabbed people’s attention was Vorpommern-Rügen-Vorpommern-Greifswald I, Merkel’s old district, going red as every FPTP seat in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Brandenburg went to the SPD, which they didn’t even manage in 1998.

In terms of raw votes, though, initial analysis suggests the more fundamental division now is one of age. Apparently older voters whose cleavages between the CDU/CSU and SPD are well-established stayed that way, while younger voters went to the Greens and FDP and middle-aged voters were more likely to break for the AfD.

Now that the results have come in, of course, comes the agonizing process of coalition-building. The smart money is on either a traffic light coalition (SPD, Greens and FDP) or a Jamaica coalition (CDU/CSU, Greens and FDP); the numbers would allow for either, with the Greens being more inclined to work with the SPD and the FDP more inclined towards the CDU/CSU. Both leaders have more-or-less ruled out another grand coalition (then again, they did that in 2005 and 2017…) and are settling in for hard negotiations, though of course Merkel will stay in place until a new Chancellor is elected by the Bundestag. Probably the most apt comment I’ve seen is someone who said the real negotiations will be between the FDP and Greens.

Anyway, now I’ve done that long as hell write-up to contextualize it, here are the maps I made of the eststimme (‘first vote’, for the FPTP districts) and zweitstimme (‘second vote’, for the PR lists in each state, though they’re counted by district as well). Credit for the basemap goes to Oryxslayer, though I made a few amendments to account for boundary changes and my format is based on majorities rather than voteshare.


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Sorry to bump this thread again, but I came up with and made a mapping idea today I wanted to share. So generally the typical way Irish elections are mapped (and have been mapped on this thread in the past) is just by showing the first preference votes by party. That's all well and good, but after looking into the results of some elections in a bit more detail I've realized you get very different maps if you look at that compared to if you look at the first preference votes by candidate. To test/demonstrate this, I've mapped the 2020 election both ways:


Basically, the map on the right is the typical STV vote by party and seat assignment map; the map on the left is the result of the first count, and thus the margin and party of the first TD elected (leaving out the Ceann Comhairle in their seat since they get re-elected automatically).
How practical this actually is is debatable, but I definitely found it interesting and fun to do as opposed to just mapping an Irish election the old-fashioned way (though admittedly 2020 was such a chaotic election it was pretty enjoyable to map the old-fashioned way too!). If people are interested, I'm tempted to make more of these.

(In case anyone was wondering, the map is the Wikipedia one edited in GIMP- there may be a bit of antialiasing I didn't manage to get rid of in places unfortunately- and I got the results from ElectionsIreland.)
Long-running projects comes to an end...

The return of Antonio Cánovas del Castillo to the premiership following the 1891 election was to prove both short-lived and extremely problematic to the Conservatives.

Succeeding nearly five years of Liberal government, where Práxedes Mateo-Sagasta’s cabinet had accomplished most of the long-standing goals of mid-century Spanish progressive liberalism, from the adoption of universal (male) suffrage and juries to the definite abolition of slavery in Cuba, the brief Cánovas del Castillo cabinet should be noted for what it did not do – reverse these laws.

In Her speech opening the newly-elected Parliament in 1891, the Queen Regent set out Her Government’s priorities, primarily in social legislation. But perhaps the single most significant accomplishment of the short-lived Conservative cabinet was the introduction of the high protectionist tariffs that would turn Spain into one of the most closed-off economies in Europe.

The Conservatives’ stint in power was brief, marked by the struggle for control of the party’s ‘soul’ between the followers of Francisco Romero Robledo and those of Francisco Silvela.

Romero Robledo represented a more philosophically pragmatic conservatism, but also one far more willing – and indeed apt – at electoral manipulation and clientelism. Silvela, instead, represented a more Catholic, philosophically doctrinaire conservatism, but also a more reformist one, unwilling to accept the clientelist nature of the political system and whose key policy plank was a thorough reform of local government to put an end to the abuses of the main conduits of electoral manipulation - the mayor, the local judge and the governor.

When Cánovas formed his new cabinet after the 1891 election, Romero Robledo was appointed Overseas Minister. His entry into government and his clashes with Silvela led to the latter’s resignation in November 1891 from his post as Interior Minister.

A year later, in December 1892, a corruption scandal involving the Conservative Mayor of Madrid, Alberto Bosch y Fustegueras, and several city councillors belonging to Robledos’ faction exploded. On top of this, Bosch y Fustegueras' poor administration of the city had led to a colourful incident, the 'revuelta de las verduleras' (revolt of the (female) greengrocers).

As people close to Romero Robledo were involved, the government sought the support of Parliament to showcase the cabinet’s reputable behaviour in dealing with the affair. In the midst of the debate, Cánovas’ demands that Silvela do its duty “to support the boss” led to the latter’s faction voting against the government.

As a result, the Conservatives lost the vote. Cánovas interpreted the result as a loss of confidence, and so did the Queen Regent. She then proceeded to call Sagasta to form a new Government.

After taking power, Sagasta’s new Liberal government proceeded to pass two key decrees, one reforming the suffrage and electoral map in Puerto Rico to try (unsuccessfully) to prevent the Autonomist Party from abstaining in the election (27 December 1892) and another one dissolving the Congress and the elected part of the Senate to convoke an election (5 January 1893).

As was the usual procedure, Sagasta’s trusted Interior Minister, Venancio González Fernández ensured that the government obtained a parliamentary majority through the usual methods: appointment of Liberals as provincial governors, dismissal of opposition mayors, vote-buying and manipulation of vote bulletins and tallies, etc.

Another long-term project is coming to an end. 9 months of work on the map, candidates, voting. You can see it (and rejoice over me) in the attached file. In the near future I will publish the results by parties and polling dates, you can view here.

On July 1, 1867, the British North America Act entered into force. The Dominion of Canada was formed by the union of Upper and Lower Canadas, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The way to the Confederation was through the tension of Anglo-American relations; reorientation in trade; rivalry between Catholics and Protestants, English and French; cooperation of sworn opponents in parliament and conferences to discuss the future system. The election was to be a fait accompli, confirming the confederation of Canada.

Although, in fact, these were four separate elections, which are not very similar to the current ones. The question isn't who voted (men with the necessary franchise), but how. In Upper and Lower Canada, each constituency determined the day of nomination, polling and declaration separately, so in general the election lasted from August 23 to September 24 (but this isn't the longest campaign). This schedule was favorable for the Conservatives: voting in those constituencies where they clearly won, took place earlier, which gave momentum to further struggle. Candidates who lost could run again if given the opportunity.

Voting took place by open ballot and lasted for two days. At the end of the first day, preliminary results were announced, and from that moment on there was bribery, intimidation, and coercion of employees by their masters: all in order for the government-supported candidate to win. Those with qualifications in several constituencies could vote multiple times. Clashes on the manifestation of emotion often happened. And yes, in these provinces it was possible to run and be elected to federal and provincial seats at the same time. These features of the electoral system were shown in Kamouraska.

Chapais and Pelletier were nominated in the local riding while the former was elected by acclamation in the federal one. Proponents of Pelletier offered to give him the remaining seat, but Chapais was adamant: he wanted both. At the meeting, which was suspiciously awkward, there was a fight, documents were snatched, and the house where the returning officer was was attacked. As it turned out, he was in close contact with Chapais, and in order for him to win, he tried to disfranchise some parishes, which supported Pelletier by rejecting of the voters' list. In addition, he didn't think to cancel the proclamation which contained serious errors. Thus, Kamouraska lost its representation until 1869.

In the Maritimes, the elections were closer to the current ones. In New Brunswick, the vote was secret, lasting one day, but the polling date was still different. In Nova Scotia voting took place in one day, September 18th. This rule has existed since 1855.

A fluid liberal-conservative coalition was built on the popularity of John A. Macdonald. In Quebec, significant support for conservatives and Bleus was provided by the Catholic Church and local elites. For instance, the Archbishop of Quebec stated that accepting what emanated from legitimate authority is God's command, and that it is not necessary to elect fighters against the confederation. In Ontario, the Liberal-Conservative movement was a continuation of a great coalition of Tories and moderate liberals. The Confederates have developed a success in New Brunswick that began last year's provincial election, but have shown uncertainty in Nova Scotia. In addition to supporting the confederation, of course, their platform included expanding trade both within the dominion and abroad, supporting duties on industrial goods, expansion into the rest of the British colonies, increasing defense capabilities, allowing dual representation, and so on. The coalition had excellent organization, control over the selection and patronage, and the desire of the people to see the fruits of their labour. This is the recipe for victory for the Liberal-Conservatives which get 51 seats in Ontario, 44 in Quebec and 13 in the Maritimes.

The opposition was fragmented. The Great Coalition that helped the confederation happen, and which George Brown reluctantly agreed to, ruined his party. Many reformers became unionists, although they continued to hold egalitarian and anti-big business views. But if he wanted to be prime minister, support for Clear Grits, based in southern Ontario, was not enough. Brown revived the reform movement and held a 700-person convention in Toronto. His speech focused on increasing the role of local government in Upper Canada, the separation of church and state, and maintaining relations with the United States. To gain support east of Toronto, he nominated in South Ontario (not the one you thought). Leading here on the first day, Brown faced violations and lost the election, becoming "the noblest victim of them all." What about the reformers, who won 31 seats, thanks to government tactics.

It was not easy for them in relations with the parties in Lower Canada. Brown's anti-Catholic and anti-French stance put Rouges in an awkward position: it's not easy to cooperate when the parties have opposing views. In Quebec itself, the Liberals were critics of the confederation, and before its approval - and completely opponents. In the election pamphlet, they claimed that the union was a charge to allow Macdonald to carry out Lord Durham's plan to anglicize French Canada. This left the French Canadian indifferent, and the struggle against the church and their conservative position kept them in a minority.

In New Brunswick, party lines are confusing: in 1866 there was a choice between confederates and constitutionalists, in this election elected members were ministerialists or oppositionists, and on the floor they sat as liberals or conservatives. However, the ratio of seats occupied by Confederates and anti-Confederates was 12-3, and this was a continuation of the trend of last year's elections. Then, fearing by Fenian raids, Tilley pushed for an union with Canada.

The leader of Nova Scotia Party, Joseph Howe, recently became an opponent of the Confederation, but had an oratory, a desire to defend the honour of the province before "marauders on the outside and enemies inside." While Tupper brought Nova Scotia to Canada, Howe led an anti-Confederate delegation to England, arguing to Nova Scotians that tariff increases would ruin their economy. He did a great job, and in the September 18th election, the anti-Confederates won in 18 constituencies, with Tupper the only Unionist to be returned.

So, the coalition won a decisive victory: 110 (or 101, depends on NB) seats and a little more than half of all votes. John Macdonald will play a crucial role in consolidating parts of the Dominion, the issue of Nova Scotia will be resolved, and the confederation will be expanded by BC, Manitoba and PEI. How many more elections ahead!



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Ages ago I wanted to try and map the 1986 French legislative election (i.e. the one with PR), but I realised it'd be a lot harder than I thought since the results on French Wikipedia are incomplete and the records on the data.gouv.fr site are recorded by constituency and not department, even though the departments were the constituencies used for those elections, and don't make it clear which members were elected. But I found out the constituencies were almost exactly the same from 1988 to 2012, and since Mapping French Elections and Electoral Geography have some maps of those boundaries handy, I've decided to capitalize on that by using them to make some majority maps.

I'm not sure how many I'll do, but for starters here's 1988. Well, specifically the second round of 1988- the first round figures are recorded by commune instead of constituency and the second round determines who was actually elected anyway, so I've just mapped it instead. (All the seats in the Unopposed shades saw one candidate win a majority of the vote or their opponents stand down after the first round.)


This election was held just after Mitterand's landslide re-election and saw the left-wing parties reclaim a majority of seats in the Assembly (though ironically, while Mitterand won a bigger victory than seven years prior, the PS didn't win an overall majority on their own as they did in 1981). The big political consequence for the left was that by this point the PS (and with the decline of the PCF, the left in general) had had to pivot away from the radical platform Mitterand was elected on in 1981, and were instead positioning themselves as moderates against Jacques Chirac of the RPR trying to position himself as the French Thatcher or Reagan. Mitterand's promise of 'neither nationalisations nor privatisations', infighting between Prime Minister Chirac and UDF candidate Raymond Barre, and the unpopularity of the 'cohabitation' and Chirac's role in it all contributed to Mitterand's victory, and as is often the case in simultaneous or near-simultaneous presidential races, his party enjoyed noticeable coattails from this.
I came back to bring something tasty. I know a lot of people here have done this and more than once, that there is something that everyone forgets about. The second round. In the late 20th century single-mandate system, it was adequate: in 1871 there was a run-off in 46 constituencies. But much has happened in 40 years, and the second round was held in 192 districts (not counting the by-election in Pless, because a candidate of the Polish party was elected in two districts).

This system (usually) played against one party. The SPD received fewer seats in relation to the overall result. The factors were:
- The disproportionate population of the districts, especially this was reflected in the crazy results in the suburbs and the miserable results in the city itself;
- The reluctance of competitors to support the SPD in the second round, preferring the Conservatives and Liberals (they especially added in the seats);
- A more evenly dispersed electorate across the empire, instead of some religious or local groups.

The SPD became the strongest faction in the Bundestag in this election, though, thanks to increased voter support. They nominated candidates in all constituencies, by the way. However, the subject of elections in Wilhelmine Germany is very broad and interesting. It is possible to create a prepared article for deviant's account.


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And now for a city that only ever appears in international media in relation to war criminals. This is the result of last week's municipal election in The Hague by neighbourhood. I've previously posted the 2014 and 2018 results.

The local populist party Heart for The Hague (HvDH) remained the city's largest party, performing especially well in lower-income suburbs in the southeast. The Democrats 66 (D66) came second, receiving the bulk of its support from the younger and wealthier neighbourhoods in and around the city centre. The same goes for GroenLinks (GL). The People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) became the largest party in the city's wealthiest neighbourhoods, especially along the dunes in the north. Support for DENK, contesting for the first time, is highly concentrated in neighbourhoods with significant Muslim populations previously won by multiple local Islamic parties.

GR22 Den Haag 2.png
So last week the first round of the French presidential election took place, and I figured it'd be interesting to map the overall result and patterns of voteshares of the top three finishers (Macron, le Pen and Mélenchon). As well as giving possible pointers to which way the country might go in the second round, it might tell where En Marche! is most likely to avoid losses and the RN and LFI have the best odds of making gains. Unfortunately it's less of a tell what might happen with the larger opposition parties that floundered in the presidential contest like the Republicans and Greens, of course.

French Election 2022 By Department.png
Here's the result of the second round of the French presidential election. Macron outperformed the polls, which were estimating a margin of victory for him of between 10 and 14 points, by winning by about 17.1 points; it's probably fair to say that was due to most of the candidates' endorsements of him and Mélenchon's anti-endorsement of le Pen. You can tell quite clearly where his supporters went to Macron (the west, the Île-de-France and the big cities) and where they went to le Pen (the overseas departments and bits and pieces of the south east), though in general they seemed to break for the former more than the latter or just abstained (this election had the highest abstention rate since 1969, which also saw the marked absence of a traditional left candidate).