Scroll to the bottom of the CSM9 Election Results dev-blog and you'll find a link to the BLT file representing anonymous voting data for the election. There's a lot of interesting stuff to be mined out of this and I'm not the first nor will I be the last to look at it. Interstellar Privateer did an interesting first pass yesterday, for instance. I'll try not to repeat his findings (and you should go read them). But here, in rough order of importance, are the things that jumped out at me.
The Big Stories
Turnout. Oi. Lowest turnout both in terms of number of voters and percentage turnout since CSM4. This ties to the notion of voting character age (which I'll get to in a moment) to convince me that at this point, players by and large did know about the election. They just didn't care enough to vote. They didn't care when they elected CSM4 either, because CSM3 and its predecessors were widely regarded as ineffectual by the player base.(1) Even the tin-foil hat brigade can't make the same argument about CSM8. Hell, if anything, we were occasionally accused of being too effectual.
Why players didn't care is going to be something for CSM9 to look into. There's almost enough data, though, to correlate a relationship between quiet, peace-time CSMs and low turnout, regardless of that CSM's accomplishments. In addition, town hall attendance slowly fell through the course of CSM8's term, roughly correlating to the same factor. Malcanis joked that we asked CCP to precipitate a crisis before the election to encourage turnout... That said, I do believe CCP should consider doing something drastic to increase turnout next time. The old character log-in screen had a location for "high priority" announcements as you logged in (and previous elections used it). The new launcher does not have this capability. Perhaps it should.
Low turnout of course works to the advantage of the big null-sec blocs, as we'll see several times. That starts with...
CFC discipline. This was of course completely unmatched. The BLT file shows that 3275 people followed all 14 slots in the CFC ballot from start to finish, only a smallish dip from last year (3964). Another 650 or so followed it with only minor variations. The most common variation by far? Moving Xander Phoena to the top. That had a big impact later (which I will also get to in a moment). This was sufficient to guarantee two CFC seats and gave tremendous influence on a third. The only question the CFC has to ask their members is "Why didn't more of you vote?" After all, the CFC strategy mostly succeeded because...
Everyone else failed. This is of course tied to low voter turnout. But nearly everyone else in New Eden showed no discipline whatsoever in their voting. The N3/PL bloc -- supposedly the second most powerful force in New Eden -- put together about 500 semi-organized votes. After that, it was quite slapdash. progodlegend picked up 300 individual #1 votes that most of the time were dissimilar from any of his other individual #1 votes. By comparison, Sion Kumitomo had about 60 such votes, reflecting the much tighter discipline of his voters.
Provibloc. The one exception to lack of discipline, other than the CFC, was Provibloc. This bloc had 1736 that voted for corebloodbrothers and nobody else, plus about another 500 that voted for him and perhaps one or two other candidates. But this was still a failure. Provibloc had at least 50% of the voting power he needed to get a second member into the CSM. That vote was squandered: hundreds of Provibloc votes were "exhausted", STV code for wasted, representing the biggest loss of votes of this election. As a Provi resident myself, I do know some of why that was: the Provibloc was absolutely furious at Ali Aras. I simply cannot count the number of times I've been greeted on Provi Mumble by residents and holders who bring up Ali... and then the expletives and insults start. This resulted in a highly motivated voting base in Provi.
High-sec voters particularly failed. You guys should hang your heads in collective shame. Dozens of you bitch on this very blog that your needs are being co-opted by the null-sec blocs. And then you stayed away from the ballot box in droves. Let me make it clear what you've given up here. If 3000 more of you had voted, Steve Ronuken would have gotten the second permanent seat next to Ali. If 5000 more of you had voted for other candidates, Xander wouldn't be on this CSM. If 9000 more of you had voted for other candidates, neither would mynnna. The CFC position was vulnerable. And it was well within your capabilities to do it; 40000 total voters still would have been low turnout for this election. Yes, you got Steve and Mike Azariah elected handily. Congrats. But you should have had three seats. Or four.
Wormhole voters failed. I guessed this was the case when I saw the initial results. The BLT file confirms it. Yes, corbexx was elected strongly. But by the peculiar rules of STV, it's arguable that wormhole candidates came in 15th (Asayanami Dei) and 17th (James Arget). Had the w-space vote been organized, there definitely would be two wormhole CSM members right now. Last year, the w-space vote was a hard nugget centered around all five WH candidates endorsing each other before any others. This year, hundreds of wormhole voters voted a w-space candidate first, then a non-w-space candidate second. You guys may not 100% approve of the people you had on CSM8, but you had wormhole voices at both Summits and at Fanfest. That's not going to be the case this time.
The smaller stories
No localized client CSM members. Another failure. No Russians, no Germans... there's nobody that I'm aware of on CSM9 who doesn't play EVE Online in English. That last happened in CSM6. Russians in particular represent 10% of EVE players. There's simply no reason why they shouldn't have a CSM delegate every single time. For CSM9, Russians represented about 3% of voters.
Ali Aras. What a masterful campaign she ran! Her support was broad and deep. The only thing she didn't do was pick a lieutenant. If nothing bad happens this year, she runs for CSM10 and chooses to do so, she should have more than enough support to pick whomever she likes to be on there with her.
Ummm... Jester. Last year, 600 of you voted my slate exactly. This year, about 150 of you did so and another 100 or so did with only minor variations. About another 150 voted my slate with Sugar Kyle moved from #5 to #1 but otherwise unchanged. Thank you! That's very flattering. I should have pushed a little harder but overall I'm quite content. It wasn't enough to have a huge impact but it nudged one candidate into place...
Xander Phoena. He had 775 #1 votes (lots of these from modified CFC votes), then picked up about 250 #2 votes from... somewhere. The combination was enough for him to hold out through many STV elimination rounds until 1000 CFC over-votes landed and elevated him to the CSM as their third seat. We now get to bitch at him all year to stay unbiased despite being CFC scum. ;-)
Sugar Kyle. Another beautifully run campaign! She got onto CSM9 nearly entirely on #1 votes alone, then picked up another thousand supporting votes from over-votes from other high-sec candidates. In the former, she put together a stronger showing than even Ali did, coming third in #1 votes. In the latter, she did far better than...
mynnna. I honestly expected him to have much stronger support outside the CFC! But he started with only 786 #1 votes, and a solid majority of those were CFC ballots with his name and Sion's reversed or minor variations thereof. That plus his #2 position on the official CFC ballot was of course more than enough to guarantee his slot... but color me surprised. This guy did a better job on CSM8 than you out there apparently give him credit for.
Steve Ronuken. Another great campaign. As I mentioned above, he had the strongest breadth of support after Ali. It was touch and go for quite a while whether he'd get that second permanent seat.
Character age. The EVE population is "aging" and I knew this, but the CSM results are getting really stark in revealing it. At one time, 60% of characters voting for the CSM were 500 days old or younger. That's down to 40% and still falling.
Newbies and other newbies. I mentioned that support for Matias Otero and Mangala Solaris within their respective blocs felt weak during the election. The results bear this out. Both won, but neither should be happy with their showings. Mangala's #1 votes fell by two-thirds compared to last year, from 2681 to 857. Ouch! And despite having 10000 rabid newbie accounts at his beck and call, Matias could only persuade 1453 of them to put him #1. Must be more alts in BRAVE than I thought.
Major JSilva. Finally, the least interesting candidate from a "story" standpoint, but there's still one interesting thing to say: PL put 1500 #1 votes together last year, and they put 1500 #1 votes together this year (though they were initially split between two candidates). In that, they were arguably the most successful STV voting alliance in this year's election. Nice job!
And that's all that comes to mind! Anyone see anything that I missed?
(1) That wasn't their fault. They just didn't have a model to work from and they and CCP had to start building a model from scratch.