- Election - number of candidates
- 1996 34
- 1999 32
- 2002 24
- 2005 28
- 2008 35
- 2010 by-election 11 candidates for one seat
The number of people I know of at the moment is 20 people running for council. There is a chance that some people will come out of the woodwork this week, but I do not think we will break 25 candidates.
At 20 candidates the ability to have an all-candidates meeting becomes easier. The gong show all-candidates last time around were in my opinion the low point of local elections in this region.
The electoral math of the election also changes. A shorter ballot will mean fewer 'errors' - the longer the ballot the more likely people make a mistake with one or more of their votes as they scroll through all the names. The longer the list of candidates, the more the candidates on the top third of the ballot benefit.
Incumbents benefit the most when the number of candidates is low or when it is very high. In both cases they pull extra votes from the other candidates supporters. When there are few, there simply is no one else to vote for. When the ballot is full of candidates, the incumbents are some of the only names that stick out. If the total number of candidates is two to three times as many as council positions, the electoral math works the best for challengers.
We will know by the end of Friday how many candidates there are in all the municipalities in this region.