If a failed 2005 proposal for proportional representation on P.E.I. had been accepted, the Green Party might now have a seat in the legislature.

A government commission on P.E.I.'s electoral future produced a report that year recommending the province adopt a new system of electing MLAs.

The commission suggested the province adopt a system of proportional representation.  It would be a combined system, with 17 members elected to the legislature from districts, and 10 elected from party lists.

In a plebiscite the proposal was soundly defeated.

We were curious at CBC News how this proposal might have changed the legislature and the electoral map of Prince Edward Island in 2007, and on Monday.

A best guess

Because no districts for the PR system were ever firmly drawn, how the political landscape might have changed can only be estimated. This is our best effort to reflect how the last two elections might have turned out.

In 2007 the Liberals won 23 of 27 seats. Under PR they would have won 15 of 17 districts. The Progressive Conservatives would have won two districts. All 10 PC members would have joined the legislature for a total of 12.

The PR calculations for 2011 become more complicated. The popular vote doesn't change much, but the Tories win three districts to the Liberals' 14. Winning this extra district makes it more difficult for the PCs to earn list seats.

With the Tories requiring more votes for a list seat, the Green Party requires fewer, and they get one. It could have been the first ever seat for the Green Party on P.E.I.

At first glance it seems the Liberals have given up a seat to the Greens, but the PR formula makes the calculations more complicated. What actually happened is the Liberals lost a district to the PCs, who lost a list seat to the Greens.

The final count under PR for 2011: Liberals 14, Progressive Conservative 12, Green 1.


The districts represented by Liberals and those represented by Progressive Conservatives would have changed under proportional representation. Move the slider on each to see how the map changes in the two elections.