22 April 2011


Well, the votes are in and the counts completed in the great Disclosure Polls, here and on Kevin Randle's blog. The first thing to note is how many more people responded to Kevin's poll than to mine, which is probably a fair reflection of our blogs' respective standing in the UFO 'community'
In the Magonia poll, the 'nothing to disclose' party got a clear overall majority of 61%, finishing 32 votes ahead of 'sometime' and 'they know but won't tell us', who tie on 15 votes each. Now British readers will know that under our present 'first past the post' (FPTP) electoral system, the 'nothing to disclose' candidate is duly elected to serve for the constituency of Magonia Central, and even under the proposed 'alternative vote' (AV) system 'nothing to disclose' would have won on the first count.

However, over in Kevin Randles constituency, things are more complicated. He had five candidates and two-and-a-half times as many voters, and the result is as follows:

Nothing to disclose       58 votes (30%)
Not for years             52 votes (27%)
Never, but they know      34 votes (17%)
It is coming              27 votes (14%)
Disclosure is at hand     21 votes (10%)

A total of 192 votes. Now under the British (and American) FPTP system, the mayor stands up on the town-hall balcony and declares 'nothing to disclose' as the winner, but as no-one got over 50% (96 votes), under AV the second preferences of the 'at hand' voters are redistributed to the other candidates.

The Blogger polling program does not (at present) allow second or third preferences to be recorded, so we'll have to guess what they would do. I suppose most of the people who voted that there is likely to be disclosure soon would probably give their second votes to 'it is coming', but perhaps some would say that if we're not going to get disclosure soon, the authorities will just sit on it forever, so lets do a 1 - 3 split and add 14 votes to 'it is coming' and seven votes to 'never, but they know'. This gives us the following results for the second round:

Nothing to disclose      58 votes
Not for years            52 votes
It is coming             41 votes
Never, but they know     34 votes

Now the second preferences of the 'never, but they know' candidates are counted and redistributed. Lets say that 'never but they know' voters decide that none of the three other options fit in with their ideas, being either too hopeful or too negative, so they have not given a second choice; but that the 'disclosure is at hand' voters, whose second votes were transferred to 'it is coming' give a reluctant third vote to 'not for years'. So the result after the third round of counting is then as follows:

Not for years            66 votes
Nothing to disclose      58 votes
Never but they know      34 votes

As the remaning 'never, but they know' voters did not give a further choice they are eliminated without any extra votes being given to the two leading candidates, so the winner is 'not for years'. But even he doesn't get more that 50% of the total number of voters, because the 'never, but they know' voters did not give a second option.

Well, all idle speculation, of course, and what it tells us about readers of our respective blogs is debateable, and it's probably even more debatable whether or not it has given our British readers any clues as to how they should vote in next week's referendum. But, as Robert Mackenzie used to say on the old BBC election night programmes, "it's just a bit of fun".

Any suggestions for future Magonia polls?


  1. OK so you've done it for First past the post and for the AV. Now do it for STV (Single Transferable Vote). And when you've completed that, well, there are always other methods!

  2. John Rimmer23.4.11

    Peter Rogerson is the world's greatest expert on elections and polling systems, so I'll wait for his definitive response!

  3. Nigel Watson25.4.11

    A future poll could consider whether ufologists think alien abductions are an essential part of ufology.

  4. But Nigel, abduction dogmatists would argue that people who voted "no" or "I don't know" are merely abductees who haven't been hypnotised yet -- and so they'd declare "yes" had 100% support.