To Municipal and county council elections 2019 : Election results and electoral count

Electoral count in municipal elections

When the municipalities have added up all the ballots and distributed them according to party, this result is recalculated to the representative distribution that constitutes the municipal council. This is called the electoral count.


Norwegian municipalities differ greatly in size, from Utsira, with around 200 inhabitants, to Oslo, with over 670,000 inhabitants. This is reflected in the size of the municipal councils, but the way in which the representatives are elected is the same for all municipalities. The electoral count is based on the parties’ list votes. Each ballot paper contains a number of list votes that correspond to the number of representatives who are to be elected to the municipal council.

Example of electoral count in a municipality

The electoral count itself is somewhat complicated. The simplest thing therefore is to explain by means of an example. We have chosen to show how an electoral count will be carried out in a municipality with 23 representatives in the municipal council.

In such a municipality, 23 representatives are to be elected to the municipal council. Each ballot will then represent 23 list votes. To find the party’s total number of list votes, therefore, you will need to take the number of votes the party has received and multiply this by 23 in our example.

In municipal council elections, voters also have the opportunity to nominate candidates from other parties’ lists on the ballot paper. This is known as “throwing”, which means a list vote is given to the party the “thrower” comes from, at the expense of the party being voted for. If party A in the municipality mentioned above is voted for and there are two throwers on the ballot paper, then party A will receive 21 list votes, while the last two list votes are given to the throwers’ parties.

The calculation for the municipality we have used as an example is shown below. Four parties make up the list:

 

 

 

List votes

Party

Votes

Number of representatives to be elected in the municipality

Before thrower

Thrower received

Throwers given

Final

Party A

3,500

23

80,500

24

22

80,502

Party B

2,000

23

46,000

18

23

45,995

Party C

1,100

23

25,300

18

7

25,311

Party D

750

23

17,250

11

12

17,249

For party A the calculation is: 3,500 votes x 23 representatives = 80,500 list votes. You then add 24 throwers that are received, and deduct 22 throwers given to other parties. Thus the final number of list votes is 80,502.

From votes to representatives

When the final list vote figures are ready, the number of representatives is calculated for each party. In Norway the St. Lagüe modified method is used in municipal council elections.

When the St. Lagüe modified method is used, each party’s number of list votes is first divided by 1.4. They are then divided by 3 - 5 - 7, and so on. This continues for as long as is it necessary to find the number of mandates the party should have.

After this, each party is left with a number of quotients. The first place in the municipal council goes to the party that has the largest quotient. The second place goes to the party with the second highest quotient. It carries on like this until all places in the municipal council are assigned. If two parties receive the same quotient, the place is given to the party with the most votes. If the number of votes is also equal, lots are drawn to assign the place.

For our sample municipality, we obtain the following results:


 

1.4

3

5

7

9

11

13

15

17

19

21

23

Party A

57,501.4

26,834.0

16,100.4

11,500.3

8,944.7

7,318.4

6,192.5

5,366.8

4,735.4

4,236.9

3,833.4

3,500.1

Party B

32,853.6

15,331.7

9,199.0

6,570.7

5,110.6

4,181.4

3,538.1

3,066.3

2,705.6

2,420.8

2,190.2

1,999.8

Party C

18,079.3

8,437.0

5,062.2

3,615.9

2,812.3

2,301.0

1,947.0

1,687.4

1,488.9

1,332.2

1,205.3

1,100.5

Party D

12,320.7

5,749.7

3,449.8

2,464.1

1,916.6

1,568.1

1,326,8

1,149.9

1,014.6

907.8

821.4

750.0

Thus in this example, party A received 11 representatives, party B received six, party C received four, and party D received two.

When the election board has distributed the places to the various parties, they then distribute them to the candidates on the lists. This is done on the basis of two factors:

  1. Additional votes from the party: Candidates whose names appear in bold on the ballot papers are to have additional votes equivalent to 25 per cent of the number of votes the party has received.
  2. Personal votes from the voters: In municipal council elections, voters may also give personal votes to the candidates, either to candidates on the list being voted on, or in the form of throwers as mentioned above.

The candidates who receive the most personal votes when point 1 and point 2 are added together are elected. If two candidates receive the same number of personal votes, it is the sequence shown on the ballot paper that is valid.

When the election boards have completed the work, they will have made their electoral count!