What should Sierra Leoneans make of the 75% election results so far?

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Trevor Jenkins-Johnston: Sierra Leone Telegraph 11 March 2018:

So we are now waiting for the final 25% of election results to be announced by the National Electoral Commission (NEC). But what do we have so far; and what should we expect at the final announcement? The major parties – APC, SLPP, are in a statistical dead heat, with about 43% of votes each nationwide.

A 75% randomised yet equitable aggregation of actual results across the country is just as dependable as a 5% statistical sample, based on a 95% level of confidence, with a standard deviation of 3%, as the National Electoral Watch (NEW) would attest. The only difference is the level of confidence from 75% actuals, has to be higher than from the results of 5% actuals sampling.

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NEW was spot on and their statistical sampling method is tried and tested and hardly ever fails when applied correctly. From the figures we have today, it appears the turnout will be around 81.5%. If that is true, total votes could be about  2.6 million. This means that the total remaining votes expected to be announced is about 650,000.

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To those hoping for a 55% miraculous finish, either of the top two will need all but 50,000 of the 650,000 votes to clinch the presidency in the first round, with remaining 50,000 votes shared amongst the other parties.

I do not believe in ‘Ronshos’. But seriously, if this were to happen, it will add new meaning to the term “Ronsho voting” or “Ronsho Mathematics”.  The second coming of Christ will happen two minutes after the results have been announced by Mr Nfa Alie Conteh.

On a serious note, I do not see much wiggle room with the percentages we have presently. Best case for either of the top two parties is a 3% positive swing – an incremental increase of around 80,000 votes on the runner-up.

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No one is going to make 50%, unless we start getting a bunch of polling stations in strategic locations challenged and excluded. Depending on which party feels aggrieved by that, the Supreme Court is going to have a very busy few weeks or months fielding those petitions.

Meanwhile, the incumbent government will continue to rule the country.


Trevor Jenkins-Johnston

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