Adammic national election, 2018

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Adammic National Election 2018

← November 2017 20 October 2018 2019 →
Turnout79.55% ( 12.88)
  JulianoSaunders.jpg AlexHelliker2018.jpg SamMaude.jpg
Candidate Sir Juliano Saunders Lord Alex Helliker Lord Sam Maude
Party Storm Liberal-Moderate Labour
Popular vote 19 10 6
Percentage 54.3% ( 54.3) 28.6% ( 10.7) 17.1% ( 17.1)

Prime Minister before election

Lord Alex Helliker
Moderate

Elected Prime Minister

Sir Juliano Saunders
Storm

The 2018 National Election was an election in the Empire of Adammia which elected the Prime Minister for the October 2018 - September 2019 term. Emperor Adam I called the election on 29 September 2018 and it took place on Saturday 20 October 2018. It was the only Adammic national election to use instant-runoff voting and it was the last election which directly elected the Prime Minister prior to the introduction of the House of Citizens.

Sir Juliano Saunders of the Storm Party won the election by a landslide, defying expectations and becoming the Empire's fifth Prime Minister, defeating incumbent Prime Minister Lord Helliker of the Liberal-Moderate Party.[1]

Background

The November 2017 national election was won by Lord Helliker of the Moderate Party.[2] He formed a coalition government with the Liberal Party, with Lady Admiral Ems Simpson's Nuclear So-and-so Party serving as the official opposition.

In June 2018, inactive members of the Ruling Council were purged; their replacements were Lord Sam Maude and Lady Hermione Peace, who revitalised the Labour Party and founded the Dank Party respectively. The ruling coalition was extended to include the Dank Party.[3] On 28 July, the Fifth Amendment to the Supreme Directive was approved in a referendum, meaning that elections would now utilise instant-runoff voting instead of first-past-the-post.[4]

By September 2018, a new academic year had started which meant that several Council members had graduated from the nearby university and were no longer able to attend Council meetings. The Emperor therefore called elections, with the intent of bringing forward a new generation of Adammic politicians. An Imperial Decree was signed which ceded the old, defunct province of Paternia back to the United Kingdom and created the new province of Dank-upon-Bourn.[5] The dissolution of Paternia meant that Lady Simpson no longer sat on the Ruling Council and the Nuclear So-and-so Party was therefore unable to contest the election; the party would eventually shut down the following year.

The day before the election was called, it was announced that the Moderate and Liberal parties would seek to merge into a new Liberal-Moderate Party, with party leaders saying that it was the next logical step following their work in the coalition government and that the two parties occupied "almost identical" ideological ground. Liberal Minister of Citizenship and Information Lord Callum Gurr resigned from the Cabinet in protest at the merger proposal.[6]

Campaign

The Storm Party's first poster published in the Adammia Facebook group, 8 October 2018.

The general expectation at the time the election was called was for a three-way election between the Liberal-Moderates, Labour and the Dank Party. Early in the campaign, Lord Maude and Lady Peace sought to capitalise on Lord Gurr's resignation.

On 5 October, the Liberal Party Conference and a poll of Moderate Party members both narrowly voted in favour of the merger. Lord Gurr, who voted against the merger, immediately quit the new party.[7] The following day, the 2017-18 financial report was published by His Majesty's Imperial Treasury, showing a second consecutive year of budget deficit and economic recession.[8] Sir Juliano Saunders, a new local citizen, used the recent resignations and poor economic news as an opportunity to launch the Storm Party, an anti-establishment populist party. Saunders heavily attacked the Liberal-Moderate government in the Empire of Adammia Facebook group, which soon became the battleground for the campaign.[9]

Storm Party emerges

The first edition of the Adammic Times claimed that Lady Peace was about to resign, although this never happened.

On 8 October, the Storm Party launched its manifesto. It sought to heavily restrict the powers of the Emperor, militarily intervene in the Selly Oak area which surrounds South Adammia (an area known for its high crime rate), and accused the government of "cider corruption". The Liberal-Moderates insisted that no public funds had been spent on cider, and used the financial reports to back this up. However, the Storm Party had already recruited Sir Callum Gurr, Sir Asher Bond and Madam Anna Worthington to its ranks, the latter having defected from the Dank Party over Storm's promise to set up an "Adammic Tea Company". Storm activists co-ordinated their attacks on the government, supporting each other with Facebook likes and comments; they were countered by Lord Helliker, who attempted to defend the government's record. Also on 8 October, Sir Asher Bond resigned as Minister of Citizenship and Information after just ten days in office as Lord Gurr's successor.[10]

In its campaign, the Storm Party made heavy use of hashtags and slogans, such as #JoinTheStorm and #NoToBeige. "Beige" was coined by Sir Callum Gurr as a derogatory term for the new Liberal-Moderate Party. Lord Helliker sought to own the term, using hashtags such as #VoteBeige and #WeatherTheStorm. Saunders regularly sought to address the electorate directly, referring to the government as "elites" and promising to give power to the people. He even went so far as to refer to the Emperor as a "tyrant", accusing him of rigging Adammic Express opinion polls.

Sir Oscar Gilmour, a Liberal-Moderate supporter, launched two fake news attack pieces against Saunders under the name of the "Daily Rag". These were heavily criticised and the Liberal-Moderate Party sought to distance itself from Gilmour; it later in its manifesto promised to introduce defamation laws in order to tackle fake news.

Storm poster published on 19 October.

On 9 October, the Labour Party published its manifesto.[11] Alongside constitutional reform which sought to replace the monarchy with an elected ceremonial head of state, Labour promised to introduce an income tax of 0.2% to a maximum of £2 per year. Saunders criticised the manifesto as being too similar to the Storm Party's, but praised Maude's shared commitment to constitutional reform. The Liberal-Moderates, meanwhile, claimed that Labour's economic plan was unworkable. On the same day, the Adammic Times, a press front for the Storm Party, revealed that Lady Peace had been offered Bond's former position as Minister of Citizenship and Information, but that she had rejected it;[12] it also claimed that Peace would imminently resign as Minister of National Development, though she did not do so.

Also on 9 October, attention was brought to security in the Empire after a mugging took place in Selly Oak in the immediate proximity of Dank-upon-Bourn. The Military of Adammia was raised to DEFCON 3 in response, but this did not prevent another incident several days later when burglars violated Adammic sovereign territory by entering Dank-upon-Bourn's garden and breaking into the house where Dank-upon-Bourn's bedroom is located (although nothing was taken and nobody was hurt). The Emperor proposed measures to keep citizens safe, which received cross-party support from Saunders, who had already proposed military action.

Dank withdraws

A Liberal-Moderate poster, which was widely mocked.

On 10 October, Lady Peace announced that the Dank Party would withdraw from the election and endorsed Saunders, seemingly in light of the Dank Party's poor performance in opinion polls.[11] At this point in the campaign, many began to agree that the Storm Party had the upper hand and began seriously considering the practical reality of a Saunders-led government. Despite her withdrawal, Peace announced that she would still publish a manifesto, which she did on 13 October.

On 12 October, the Liberal-Moderate Party held its inaugural conference, where it confirmed that Lord Helliker would be its prime-ministerial candidate and approved its manifesto.[13] It tried to address the public appetite for constitutional reform by proposing direct democracy at the provincial level, alongside a complex economic plan which involved the abolition of the Contributions Scheme and the nationalisation of Capital Brewery Ltd.. In his speech to the conference, Lord Helliker claimed that Saunders' "compulsory national development programme" was a form of conscription which would force citizens to join the military, something which would violate the Supreme Directive; Lord Maude echoed this claim the following day. The Liberal-Moderates also launched their campaign slogan, "the only party serious about government".

On 13 October, local elections took place, providing an early indicator of how the parties were doing. Saunders defeated Liberal-Moderate candidate Madam Sophie Thornton to gain the Delegate of Abroad Citizens seat.[14] Also on 13 October, Ned Hilton, Prime Minister of Wazakhstan and leader of the Liberal-Moderates' sister party the Liberal Party of Wazakhstan, endorsed Lord Helliker.

Post local elections

By 17 October, Lord Helliker, Saunders and Lord Maude had all officially filed their nomination papers to run in the national election. On 18 October, the Storm Party attacked Lord Helliker for applying for citizenship in Wazakhstan. Both Emperor Adam and Ned Hilton defended Helliker, issuing general reminders that Adammia and Wazakhstan have a dual citizenship agreement and that dual citizenship was not only allowed, but encouraged.

The traditional Adammic Express pre-election interviews with the candidates were published on 19 October, the eve of the election. Notably, Saunders refused to take part in the interview, instead giving only a short statement attacking the mainstream media.[15] The Express published this statement, as well as the questions it would have asked him, without answers. Saunders was the the very first National Election candidate in Adammic history to refuse an interview with the Express; it was rumoured that he had consulted his party's membership before making the decision.

Opinion polls

The 2018 election was the first time that the Adammic Express ran opinion polls. Their methodology was widely criticised, and they ultimately failed to predict the outcome of the election.

Pollster Release Sample Helliker
LMP
Saunders
STM
Maude
LAB
Peace
DNK
Lead
Adammic Express[16] 9 October 2018 17 34% 29% 18% 18% 5%
Peace withdraws (10 October)
Adammic Express[17] 14 October 2018 12 38% 38% 24% N/A TIE
Adammic Express[18] 19 October 2018 10 40% 37% 23% 3%

Results

With 19 first preference votes (54.3%), Saunders holds the record for receiving the most individual votes of any candidate or party in Adammic history. As he received more than 50% of the vote, second preferences were not counted. However, it is believed that, had the third-placed Maude been eliminated, the second preferences of his voters would have narrowed the gap between Helliker and Saunders somewhat.

First preference vote share
Saunders
  
54.3%
Helliker
  
28.6%
Maude
  
17.1%

By territorial division

Territorial division Turnout First round
Helliker Saunders Maude
Greater Tytannia 62.5% 2 1 2
Serkatia 100.0% 2 0 1
Alluria 100.0% 0 6 1
Dank-upon-Bourn 100.0% 0 1 0
Myway 100.0% 1 2 1
El Grandens 0.0% 0 0 0
Kappania 0.0% 0 0 0
Midgard 100.0% 0 1 0
Non-territorial 77.8% 5 8 1
Total 79.5% 10 19 6

Analysis

The new Liberal-Moderate Party failed to unify the voting blocs of the old Liberal and Moderate parties. This can be seen most clearly in Alluria, which was heavily Liberal in November 2017, but was dominated by Storm in 2018. A similar effect can be seen in Myway. Saunders also received a high number of non-territorial votes. The only subdivision where Helliker won the most first preferences was his home province of Serkatia. He also performed well Greater Tytannia, where the Moderate Party had traditional strength, and received a number of non-territorial votes. Labour had not contested the previous election, but Maude received more support than Lord McKenna had in August 2017, winning votes from traditional Labour voters in Greater Tytannia.

El Grandens and Kappania failed to turn out, showing that the Adammic National Party was no longer engaging with Adammic politics. It is unknown what effect the absence of the Nuclear So-and-so Party, or the withdrawal of the Dank Party, might have had on the election.

Aftermath

Shortly after becoming Prime Minister, Saunders formed a coalition government with the Labour and Dank parties.[19] Lord Maude became Deputy Prime Minister. Lord Helliker remained Liberal-Moderate leader, defying calls from members of the new government to resign, and became Leader of the Opposition.

The Saunders government reached an agreement with the Liberal-Moderates in February 2019 on constitutional reform, resulting in a referendum in April 2019 that proclaimed the Sixth Amendment to the Supreme Directive. This most notably created the House of Citizens, allowing former politicians such as Lady Simpson and Lord Gurr to return to active politics. However, the government became embroiled in diplomatic disputes with Wazakhstan and Austenasia. By the end of the term, the Liberal-Moderates were able to pass a bill after Labour and Dank abstained, suggesting that the coalition had become weaker by this point.

Saunders stood down as Storm Party leader in July 2019. He was succeeded by Lady Anna Worthington.[20] The following month, Sir Charles Michael was elected Liberal-Moderate leader, with Helliker stepping down.[21] Helliker would later defect to the Storm Party during the data privacy scandal. Lord Maude, meanwhile, would hand over the leadership of the Labour Party to new citizen Billy Thompson, who rebranded it as the Red Green Alliance.[22]

Due to the data privacy scandal, Worthington proposed placing the Emperor on trial in the run-up to the 2019 general election. This caused a backlash, particularly from the Emperor's family members in North Adammia, and the Liberal-Moderates won six out of 13 seats in the first House of Citizens. They subsequently formed a coalition with the Dank Party, with Sir Charles Michael succeeding Lord Saunders as Prime Minister.[23]

See also

References

  1. Shock landslide Storm Party victory, Juliano Saunders to be Prime Minister, Adammic Express
  2. Helliker leads Moderates back to power and becomes Adammia's 4th PM, Adammic Express
  3. Cabinet reshuffles as Council swaps out nobles, Adammic Express
  4. Instant-runoff voting to be introduced following referendum win, Adammic Express
  5. Paternia dissolved, new province claimed as Emperor calls 2018 election, Adammic Express
  6. Lord Gurr resigns from Cabinet over Liberal-Moderate merger plan, Adammic Express
  7. Liberal-Moderate Party has a turbulent start, Adammic Express
  8. New figures show recession has continued for a second year, Adammic Express
  9. Partisan rhetoric intensifies with emergence of new "Storm" party, Adammic Express
  10. Election 2018 latest: Bond resigns, Storm Party manifesto published, Adammic Express
  11. 11.0 11.1 Election 2018: Dank Party withdraws to back Storm, Labour manifesto published, Adammic Express
  12. More resignations eminent [sic], Adammic Times
  13. Liberal-Moderate conference confirms Helliker as leader, manifesto published, Adammic Express
  14. Storm Party scores first victory in local elections, Adammic Express
  15. Election 2018 Candidate Interviews, Adammic Express
  16. Election 2018 opinion poll: LMP 34% STM 29% LAB 18% DNK 18%, Adammic Express
  17. Election 2018 opinion poll: LMP 38% STM 38% LAB 24%, Adammic Express
  18. Election 2018: Pre-election analysis and final opinion poll: LMP 40% STM 37% LAB 23%, Adammic Express
  19. State Opening of Council: Saunders forms Cabinet, passes Budget, Adammic Express
  20. Lady Worthington elected Storm leader, Saunders to stand down as PM, Adammic Express
  21. Sir Charles Michael is the new Lib-Mod leader, Adammic Express
  22. Thompson takes over Labour as Alluria is dissolved, Adammic Express
  23. Liberal-Moderates form coalition with Dank Party, Adammic Express