Seven week before the election, I classified all 73 seats into one of five categories. Let’s see how I did. Here is what I wrote:
Here’s my up to date handicapping of all the races. It still looks like the blue camp will retain a majority, but that is not a sure bet by any means. The hardest line to draw in this particular exercise was the one between “leans blue” and “tossup”. On another day, the two might have had 15 and 16 districts, respectively. I also think that the green camp is likely to win well more than half of the current tossup group.
Keep in mind that the blue camp will win all six aboriginal seats.
I’m still basing this all on a small KMT overall victory, say about 52-48. If the DPP wins the presidency by 52-48, they will probably win all the tossups plus a couple others, such as New Taipei 6, Taichung 3, Miaoli 1, and Penghu. The basic point is that I can imagine scenarios in which the DPP wins a majority without stretching my imagination too much.
The KMT won the presidency by 6 points, and, more importantly, the blue camp beat the green camp by about 9 points, so my predictions should be overly optimistic for the DPP. Here is the table. KMT wins are blue, and DPP wins are red (green is hard to see).
|Safe blue (14)||Leans blue (20)||Tossup (11)||Leans Green (17)||Safe Green (11)|
|Taipei 1||Taipei 3||Taipei 4||Taipei 2||New Taipei 2|
|Taipei 6||Taipei 5||New Taipei 4||New Taipei 3||Tainan 1|
|Taipei 7||New Taipei 1||New Taipei 7||New Taipei 5||Tainan 2|
|Taipei 8||New Taipei 6||New Taipei 10||Taichung 1||Tainan 3|
|New Taipei 8||New Taipei 12||Taichung 6||Taichung 7||Tainan 4|
|New Taipei 9||Taichung 2||Kaohsiung 1||Taichung 8||Tainan 5|
|New Taipei 11||Taichung 3||Kaohsiung 2||Kaohsiung 5||Kaohsiung 4|
|Taichung 5||Taichung 4||Kaohsiung 8||Kaohsiung 6||Yunlin 2|
|Taoyuan 6||Kaohsiung 3||Taoyuan 1||Kaohsiung 7||Chiayi 2|
|Miaoli 2||Taoyuan 3||Taoyuan 4||Kaohsiung 9||Pingtung 1|
|Jilong||Taoyuan 5||Taitung||Ilan||Pingtung 3|
|Hsinchu City||Hsinchu Cnty||Taoyuan 2|
|Jinmen||Miaoli 1||Changhua 1|
|Lienchiang||Changhua 2||Yunlin 1|
|Changhua 3||Chiayi 1|
|Changhua 4||Pingtung 2|
|Nantou 1||Chiayi City|
How did I do?
Safe blue: 14 of 14 correct (100%)
Leans blue: 18 of 20 (90%)
tossup: KMT 6, DPP 5
leans green: 9 of 17 correct (53%)
safe green: 11 of 11 (100%)
overall safe or leaning: 52 of 62 (84%)
I think I misclassified a few of the seats that I got right. Taipei 4, Taoyuan 1, and Taoyuan 4 should have been blue leaning seats, not tossup seats. In those districts, Tsai’s vote was not close to Ma’s. Tainan 3 and Tainan 4 probably should have been listed as leaning green, not safe green.
What about the ten races I got wrong? Well, in the leans green category, five of the eight losses were by razor thin margins (Taoyuan 2, Changhua 1, Yunlin 1, Chiayi 1, Pingtung 2). If Tsai had lost by four points instead of six (or nine), the DPP would have won those five seats. I’ll blame the nearly perfect split of green votes in Kaohsiung 9 on CSB’s mother-in-law’s untimely death. The DPP should have won Taichung 8; its candidate was shockingly weak.
I have no excuse for New Taipei 5. This one is in the wrong category. In recent elections, Shulin has been a fairly good area for the DPP, but this time Tsai lost to Ma in Shulin by a clear margin.
The two misses in the leans blue category were highly surprising to me. Ma won a majority in both districts, and the KMT had seemingly entrenched incumbents in both. At least I can claim I had my eye on Penghu; Changhua 4 was completely unexpected to me. Heck, the DPP candidate was a familiar old face, and I thought we could be sure that we knew what he was (not) capable of. Every election has at least one completely inexplicable result, and this was it for me.
Overall, this wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t bad considering I had no polling data to work with.