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Adammic national election, 2018
|Turnout||79.55% (▲ 12.88)|
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 first Adammic national election to use instant-runoff voting.
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.
The November 2017 national election was won by Lord Helliker of the Moderate Party. 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.
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.
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.
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. 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. 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.
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.
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.
On 9 October, the Labour Party published its manifesto. 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; 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.
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. 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. 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. 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.
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. 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.
|Adammic Express||9 October 2018||17||34%||29%||18%||18%||5%|
|Peace withdraws (10 October)|
|Adammic Express||14 October 2018||12||38%||38%||24%||N/A||TIE|
|Adammic Express||19 October 2018||10||40%||37%||23%||3%|
|Territorial division||Turnout||First round|