Adammic national election, 2016
The 2016 National Election was an election in the Empire of Adammia held 13 - 18 August 2016 in which Sir Paul McKenna of the Labour Party was elected as the Empire's second Prime Minister, defeating the Moderate Party incumbent, Emperor Mother Jayne Belcher, his domestic partner, by a margin of a single vote. To this day it is the only national election victory for the Labour Party or its successors.
Emperor Mother Jayne had served three successive terms as Prime Minister, winning the 2013 and 2014 elections by a landslide as an independent candidate, and the 2015 election by a much narrower margin of three votes after founding the Moderate Party. During the most recent term, Adammia had seen significant changes; the alt-right Adammic National Party had been founded in the new colonies of El Grandens and Kappania, whilst the Empire was shaken by the death of Winifred Hall in April 2016. On 1 August, Borealia voted to leave the Empire in a referendum, and it was followed out by Adammic Columbia just a few days before polling day.
The national election was called, alongside local elections, on 4 June 2016. In local elections on 23 - 27 July, all the incumbent Councilors were re-elected. The Moderate and Labour parties both received a boost in the Ruling Council when independent members Lord Andrew Hall and Lord David Hall joined those parties respectively. Each now controlled three seats in the Council, bringing them level with the Liberal Party.
Under the Supreme Directive at the time, candidates for Prime Minister were directly elected by the citizens, and had to be a member of the Ruling Council. Out of the Council's twelve members, three were ineligible to run: Emperor Adam I due to being Monarch, and Prince Jake and Lord Matthew Foster due to being under the age of 12. This meant that the Liberal Party had no eligible candidates and was once again unable to contest the election.
The Moderate and Labour parties again nominated Emperor Mother Jayne and Sir Paul McKenna respectively, setting up a "rematch" of the previous year's election. None of the remaining independent Council members decided to run.
The only party confirmed to have published a distinct 2016 manifesto was the Liberal Party on 23 July, despite the fact that it was not contesting the election, making very few changes to its previous manifesto. The other parties did not publish manifestos online, although a hand-written draft of a Labour manifesto was found in the Imperial Archive in 2020, believed to date from the 2016 election, which mentions only two policies - a cap of £75 on Treasury cash reserves, with excess being donated to charity, or with Contributions being temporarily suspended, and also a downsizing of the military. It is believed that the Moderates simply recycled their 2015 manifesto.
As with previous elections, very little campaigning was done by either party, except for the traditional Adammic Express interviews. Both candidates noted the recent changes in the Empire. Emperor Mother Jayne said that Adammia should "continue as it has done", though suggested some new spending ideas, such as acquiring a new flag, or a lectern for the Ruling Council chamber; she also suggested raising the price of wine to 10p a bottle, which would necessitate unprecedented government regulation of the privately owned Capital Brewery Ltd. Meanwhile, McKenna advocated for a continued drive for professionalism in government and more barbecues and social events for citizens, whilst being more cautious than the Emperor Mother in terms of finances, continuing the unusual tradition of the nominally left-wing Labour Party being more fiscally conservative than its competition. Interestingly, McKenna did not mention the policies in the draft Labour manifesto, suggesting that this draft may have been written by Sir Reginald Hall (or at least dictated by him, as the draft is written in the Emperor's handwriting).
Results were declared by sub-division as they came in, with a standard deadline of the end of Sunday 14 August. At the time this deadline was reached, the two candidates were tied with 11 votes each, and both El Grandens and Kappania had not yet declared. The Office of State decided to extend the deadline until the State Opening of Council on 20 August, and that the first of the two colonies to declare in that time would decide the election. Kappania declared on 18 August in favour of Paul McKenna, meaning that he was elected as Adammia's second Prime Minister. A total of 23 votes were cast, giving a turnout of 92.0%, the highest turnout in a nationwide election in Adammic history as of 2020.
|Territorial division||Turnout||HIH Emperor Mother Jayne Belcher||HG Sir Paul McKenna|
Finishing three votes behind the Emperor Mother in 2015, McKenna needed only a small swing to win, which he managed to achieve. This can be attributed to several things. The Emperor Mother's share of the vote had been declining consistently since her first landslide in 2013, and if this trend continued, as it did, she was on course to lose. The recent loss of Borealia and Adammic Columbia may also have contributed to a perception of a declining Empire under her management. Furthermore, the backing of the ANP gave McKenna the single vote from Kappania he needed to break the tie and win the election; indeed, the ANP immediately claimed credit for deciding the outcome of the election, and used this to justify demands for concessions from the McKenna government.
On a local level, the Moderates actually made progress in Watertopia and Myway, but lost ground in Primoria and Tytannia. It could be argued that had Winifred Hall still been alive, the Moderates could have instead won by a single vote.
McKenna appointed his Cabinet on 20 August. As with the previous government, this was a grand coalition of all three parties, plus independents. Sir Reginald Hall returned as Deputy Prime Minister. At the same time, the final local election was held in Myway, in which Labour candidate Eleanor Hall defeated the incumbent Debbie Shaw, who had just joined the Liberals, reflecting Labour's national success on the local level.
The first half of McKenna's term was one of increasing political tension between the ANP and the Liberal Party, as the ANP tried to force their way into mainstream Adammic politics. When the Emperor tried to revoke recognition of the United States following the election of Donald Trump in November 2016, McKenna sided with the ANP and other figures in Adammia's emerging colonial right wing, and successfully moved for the Ruling Council to overturn the decree. This was later followed by a period of deep inactivity, as the Emperor began studying at the University of Birmingham. By mid 2017, the Emperor had met the "Liberal Drinks Mafia" and introduced Adammia to them, raising the prospect of relocating central government to Birmingham. At the subsequent August 2017 national election, which would prove to be the last with the central government in the Yorkshire provinces, Labour's vote share would collapse, ushering in a short-lived Liberal government under Prince Jake.
Many of the policies suggested during the election ended up being implemented, although most of them not immediately. The new flag suggested by the Emperor Mother was bought from MicroFlag in 2017, replacing the original flag sewn in 2013. The Contributions Scheme was suspended shortly after the election, and was never fully re-activated, which, combined with the Emperor's move to university and reduced wine sales, caused a huge economic recession, which the Empire would not recover from until 2020. Although the suspension of Contributions was a Labour policy, in 2018 the Storm Party would blame the Liberal-Moderate Party for the ensuing recession, and this is believed to have been one of the factors behind that year's Storm landslide. Ironically, Storm's policy for dealing with the recession, copied from the Liberal-Moderates, was to nationalise Capital Brewery and raise the price of wine to 20p per bottle, a policy that can trace its roots to Emperor Mother Jayne's 2016 suggestion of raising wine to 10p.