For maybe another 25-33% it seems like i _might_ be able to win, but i'm not quite able to finesse things well enough.
I had one in which i was playing at the Klakons and got stuck in a corner with just four habitable planets within extended range at the start and boxed in by the Mrshans and Bulrathi. I managed to beat off attacks by both of them for awhile until i was strong enough to invade the Bulrathi (yes, that's how desperate i was =P) And then just as i started taking their planets and making up for lost ground i grew large enough to be the #2 most populous, and promptly lost the next council election.
On the other hand, there was a Humans game where i got pretty much an entire quadrant of the galaxy to myself. I colonized 9 planets and had only just met two other races when the first council election happened. The two i'd met were on good terms with me (because Humans) and it seems likely that aside from me everyone was pissed at everyone else. After all there were five other races crowded into a little less that 3/4ths of the galaxy. So three of the other races ended up voting for me and i cruised to an easy victory in the first vote.
So i've now recently won games as Psilons, Klakons and Humans. Perhaps i should give the Meklar or Silicoids a shot.
Coincidentally enough, a year after he did the Human/Klakon run-through and two weeks after i started wathing them, Sulla just posted the first part in a new Silicoid run-through: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loJgOSaP500