Probable Election Winners in 2024 Across the World

Vijay Violet
4 min readJan 21, 2024


Both sides of a coin

This is a year of elections in countries across the world, from India and Pakistan to the United Kingdom and the United States. What we know today suggests some of these elections are likely to be close and others not so much. Likely is a probabilistic term, so this new year’s writing is about both probability and elections. Getting a grip on probability will help us interpret polls and opinions of pundits better.

First, a bit about the distinction between logic and probability. In logic, a statement is either true or false. These two are true statements: Modi is the Prime Minister of India. Trump was elected the President of the United States in 2016. These two are false statements: Modi is the President of India. Trump was elected the President of the United States in 2020.

Next, I discuss four elections and the probability of various results in context. Of the countries discussed here, except the United States, the others have a parliamentary system whereby the party or coalition that wins a majority of seats elects the prime minister. Their system is roughly the equivalent of the election for the US House of Representatives who elect a leader, a prime minister in parliamentary terminology.

Elections in Pakistan are scheduled in February. There is considerable uncertainty. Whereas the most recent former Prime Minister Imran Khan and his party have been disqualified from running, a previously disqualified former Prime Minister Nawab Sharif has been just allowed to run. Khan’s party is fielding independent candidates. The opinion polls are close. Sharif is backed by the Pakistan military which gives him an edge and perhaps a razor-thin 51% probability of winning. That edge means this: If a coin is tossed a hundred times Sharif will come on top 51 times and Khan 49 times. Nothing close to a sure bet.

In India, the parliamentary elections are staggered and scheduled for April to May in 2024. Here is an article on recent state-wide results in India and opinion polls. One poll says 78% of Indians approve of Prime Minister Modi’s performance. Of course, that does not equate to a probability of 78% for Modi and his party winning. Their win is far more likely, perhaps with a probability as high as 95%. Why not 100%? There’s always an element of uncertainty when we consider future events, so we have to allow for the probability of something unusual happening.

Prime Minister Sunak of the United Kingdom has announced that he expects to call elections in the second half of 2024. In the UK, traditionally the Conservative party, the Labour party, and the Liberal Democratic party dominate though recently the green party is on the ascent. The ruling Conservative party has the support of only 25% of those polled, well behind the Labour party. In a parliamentary system, multiple parties can join to form a winning coalition. Much can happen between now and the election but the Labour party has clear advantage: Maybe a two thirds chance of forming the next government compared to a third for the conservatives.

In the election in the United States in November, it seems highly likely, though by no means a 100% certainty, that we will see a rematch of President Biden and former President Trump, though many voters are dismayed at the prospect. There will be numerous polls between now and the election. A poll might show a candidate up by a few points, but the numbers don’t necessarily equate to probability of winning. The electoral college system for the Presidential election adds more uncertainty. Given that the race will remain close and that the election is still far away, picking between Biden and Trump now is like tossing a coin and calling while it is still in the air. It is a fifty-fifty race. Same for the control of the US House of Representatives and the US Senate. A divided government seems likely.

Happy new year! May the wars end and peace reign on the planet.

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Vijay Violet

I am an American. I care about the planet, its people and animals. I care about the oppressed and marginalized. And I care about the poor, both working and not.