Two of the most tightly-contested ridings in the 2008 Federal Election were largely influenced by the vote swapping phenomenon.

Esquimalt Juan de Fuca and Edmonton-Strathcona benefited from the decisions of some voters to swap their preferred votes with voters in other parts of the country, through the anti-Harper Vote Swap facebook group and the website www.pairvote.ca.

Photograph by : Bruce Stotesbury, Canwest News Service

Esquimalt Juan de Fuca was won by Liberal candidate Keith Martin over Conservative Troy DeSouza by a margin of only 68 votes. Anti-Harper Vote Swap sent 20 swapped votes into the riding, while Pair Vote sent another 14. Those 34 votes represent 50% of the margin of victory for Keith Martin.

Photograph courtesy The Gateway, student newspaper of University of Alberta

Photograph by: Simon Ostler, iNews880.com

In Edmonton-Strathcona, NDP candidate Linda Duncan narrowly beat out Tory candidate Rahim Jaffer by a margin of 442 votes. Anti-Harper Vote Swap sent 88 swapped votes into the riding with an additional 22 coming from pairvote.ca – those 110 votes represent 25% of the total margin of victory for the NDP candidate.

In addition, both ridings were listed on Anti-Harper Vote Swap’s guide to strategic voting, and none of the above figures include direct person-to-person swaps arranged through the facebook group’s discussion board and wall.

Both organizers believe that vote swapping is going to be a growing movement in coming elections unless some kind of electoral reform, such as proportional representation, is undertaken.

Some exciting announcements in the fight for voting reform will be announced shortly. Sign up to receive the breaking news, and to receive an indepth report on vote swapping for the 2008 Canadian election.

Further riding impacts may be announced tomorrow (Friday).

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Filed under: Canada 2008

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