Constituency delimitation in Myanmar’s upper house

In November 2015, a total of 1,150 seats were up for grabs in Myanmar’s general elections. In a stunning victory, the National League for Democracy (NLD), secured more than 80 percent of these seats. In the Amyotha Hluttaw, Myanmar’s upper house, the NLD won 135 seats with 58% of valid votes; by contrast, the USDP won just 12 seats with 28% of valid votes.

How much of this can be attributed to distortions of the first-past-the-post (FPTP) system or other variables, such as the delimitation of constituencies?

At least in the upper house, it does not seem as though the differences in constituency numbers were in any way skewed to benefit any single party; indeed, ethnic parties, which benefit from over-representation in ethnic states, seem to have suffered the most, but only because voters in large part went with the NLD.

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In the interactive chart, you can see the distribution of eligible voters for all (12) constituencies in each state and region (14). With the exception of Shan, all ethnic minority states have smaller numbers of eligible voters. As many observers have noted, this undermines the equality of the vote. To see the differences in more detail, you can click on a state or region in the Legend at the bottom of the chart to gray out those points.

An initial analysis reveals that although some constituencies have major differences in the distribution of voters (for example, in Kachin, KA-2 has 179% more voters than KA-3), on average, the difference between constituencies is just 67,309 eligible voters.

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