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Final Worldcon vote totals and analysis

By Petrea Mitchell| September 1, 2013 | 1 Comment

Fuller details of the Worldcon site selection voting are available now thanks to this post from Kevin Standlee. As you see, Helsinki had the initial lead, but Orlando’s voters (at least those who had a further preference) split more than 2:1 in favor of Spokane, pushing it into the majority.

The idea of using preferential ballots is to choose a consensus candidate rather than winding up with one which may win a plurality but not a majority of votes. The consensus that emerges here is that the overall voter base wanted Worldcon to return to North America in 2015, and that Spokane was seen as the better of the two North American sites.

But wait, says an imaginary person I have just invented to help move this analysis along, is Spokane really the better one? After all, as this analysis pointed out, many Worldcon voters use personal convenience to guide their vote, and isn’t Orlando closer to most of the voter population, especially the ones for whom Helsinki is the closest candidate? Wasn’t ease of access one of Orlando’s central themes? Without Helsinki’s interference, couldn’t Orlando have won?

Well, let’s look at the vote totals after the miscellaneous silly and protest votes were cleared away:

  • Helsinki: 533
  • Orlando: 307
  • Spokane: 481

Orlando was 174 votes behind Spokane at this point. So the Helsinki voters would have to prefer Orlando by a margin of 2:1.

That’s not out of the question. But that also assumes that all the Helsinki voters would have participated at all. Less than a quarter of Worldcon’s total members voted. A more likely scenario is that there would not be a whole 533 additional votes, and Orlando would have had to capture nearly all of the ones who would still have voted.

So it’s the odds are that Spokane would still have won, although by a smaller margin.

What can’t be determined here is whether Helsinki’s problem was the idea of two Worldcons in a row outside North America, or two Worldcons in a row in the same region outside North America. For that we’ll have to wait until later this decade, with the currently-uncontested bids for Dublin in 2019 and New Zealand in 2020.



One Response to “Final Worldcon vote totals and analysis”

  1. Mike Glyer
    September 3rd, 2013 @ 10:59 pm

    I wonder how much “buyer’s remorse” voters were feeling the day after, when Spokane didn’t have a decent website ready to launch.

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