The Moorish Wanderer

Game Theory Rules! USFP First Ballot Results

My theory worked out just fine, up to a certain point indeed, but the broad conclusions have been vindicated by what appears to be the final dénouement of the USFP convention held during this week-end. I have just learnt the convention as 1,600 party delegates instead of 1,200 so this blurs some figures a bit, although the initial likelihoods remain untouched.

In fact, it would be the rational course of action for both candidates to issue a whip count and reach an agreement instead of going through the second ballot. The fog-of-war element might however prompt both candidates to proceed regardless. However, if indeed a show of unity (or some face-saving) is expected to be the party’s finishing touches to their convention, the rational course of action is to proceed with a whip count, then reach some agreement (with perhaps Mr Zaidi keeping his job as Caucus Leader)

According to this tweet

(confirmed by Les Echos Newspapers)

Mr Lachgar was 253 votes shy of an absolute majority at the first ballot, so there will be a second round. A couple of observations before I elaborate further.

USFP Caucus leader Ahmed Zaidi will most certainly lose clout whatever the outcome: his position as de facto parliamentary leader (or perhaps it was de jure with someone as troublesome as Driss Lachgar) should have granted him support and endorsement from his parliamentary colleagues, who would then nudges their local party base to cast a plurality of favourable vote, at least on the first ballot: after all, a third of USFP seats come from Chaouia (Zaidi-Malki match-up) Souss-Massa and Fez. It should have been Zaidi with about 530 votes, first, or a strong second.

Fathallah Oualalou might have been a disappointment to many of the party faithful and outside observers, but I don’t think it was all that inevitable. For sure, he was a strong candidate (with the support of the Souss delegation behind him) but as I have mentioned before, the rational decision for party delegates was to weight Parliamentary leaders 60% versus 40% for the others. As it turned out, they were even more inclined to vote for these – 77% of the first ballot votes went to Lachgar, Zaidi and Malki. If anything, my model underestimated party delegates’ seemingly strong preferences for parliamentary leaders. (alternatively, I can cast Mr Malki aside and trumpet expactly 62% of party delegates voted for ‘strong’ Parliamentary Leaders’)

I will post later on when the second ballot results come up.