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Governor Hope wins Con-CDP nomination!

Tuesday, September 10, 302 AP
Web posted at 2241 UST.

Governor Hope today cemented his place in Utanian history to represent the Conservative and Cruisian Democrat parties in the country's first Presidential election, by winning the electoral branch vote in the Utan Krysaror electorate.

Hope   47.8%
Kemp   42.2%
Cryer  10.0%
(90% counted)
The final figures are yet to be released, but the joint-party electoral Chairman moments ago released preliminary figures showing Gov. Hope at least 5% ahead of Mr Kemp with 90% of votes counted. While this could narrow before computerised counting is complete on the estimated 8,400 votes, Gov. Hope's victory in the country's capital seems assured.

Leading with 179 EBVs ahead of Cryer and Kemp's 141 and 89, respectively (58 to be allocated), Governor Hope could yet win outright
Gov. Hope stands with 3,589 votes ahead of Mr Kemp's 3,163 votes, 426 votes ahead with only an estimated 800 votes yet to be counted. Gov. Cryer currently has 751 votes. As percentages, Gov. Hope is leading with 47.8% of the vote, ahead of Mr Kemp's 42.2% and Gov. Cryer's 10.0%.

Landslide to Hope

Gov. Hope wins all 29 EBVs ("electoral branch votes" or conference votes) the electorate is worth, taking his tally to 179 EBVs, ahead of Mr Kemp's 89 EBVs and Gov. Cryer's 141 EBVs. With only 58 EBVs yet to be allocated through the Belview and Charleston electorates, even if Mr Kemp were to win both electorates, he would only have 147 EBVs, insufficient to overtake Gov. Hope.

Mr Kemp needed to win all three remaining electorates, and unless the Utan Krysaror counting is entirely incorrect, he has failed to achieve this.

Sat 14thCharleston42%42%16%
Mon 16thBelview37%44%19%
Based on weekend polls. Courtesy Luka Herald Research
Only Gov. Cryer could conceivably win the nomination now, but polling results for the remaining two electorates show the Governor in a distant third place. Though, it is not impossible for Mr Kemp's supporters to swing their support to Gov. Cryer, handing him victory at the expense of their candidate, few consider this likely. At least half of Gov. Cryer's own supporters maintained their support for the Governor in Utan Krysaror despite his being declared out of the race, which would give Gov. Cryer only 20% of the total vote to add to his own 20%, making the contest too close to call.

The more likely redistribution of votes is from Mr Kemp's supporters who, seeing the race finally lost by their candidate, will swing their support behind the winner, delivering Gov. Hope a landslide victory in the remaining two seats.

If this does happen, if Gov. Hope does win the remaining two electorates, then he will add 58 EBVs to his current 179 EBVs for a total of 235 EBVs, two more than the 233 EBVs required for an outright victory. (There are 465 EBVs in total. Winning more than half of these, 233 EBVs, means the candidate has won outright, and no amount of convention-breaking by Mr Kemp -- failing to deliver his third-place EBVs to the winner -- can change the result.)

Vote swapping

" Down here in the south, we're pragmatic, we know that Utani voters will have to vote for our man for us to win. I think they'll vote Hope quicker than for Mr Kemp.
The percentage results are significantly different to the most recent polls which put Mr Kemp ahead of Gov. Hope 41% to 37%. (Though it should be noted that these polls, with so small a sample, have high error margins of 6%.)

The wildcard was Gov. Cryer's supporters, who had 22% of the polled vote, only half of whom apparently chose to vote for him in the actual vote. It would seem that of the estimated 12% of all voters, who polled to vote for Gov. Cryer, five-in-six seem to have voted for Gov. Hope.

Perhaps not. Aside from the obvious polling error, many Kemp supporters were considered "soft" who may have changed their allegiance as Gov. Hope stormed to the lead. Some party voters told reporters that they changed their vote when they saw how effectively Gov. Hope won the so-called "Utani electorates", those with more than 50% of party members of Utani heritage, particularly Letherington.

"Once Governor Hope won Letherington, I think that was it for me. You see, I like Thomas Kemp, and I think he would have made a fine candidate, but down here in the south, we're pragmatic, we know that Utani voters will have to vote for our man for us to win. I think they'll vote Hope quicker than for Mr Kemp."

Long journey to the top

If Gov. Hope's success in Utan Krysaror is owed to party voters seeing him as better than Mr Kemp at winning the Utani voter, then the Governor's strategists are deserving of a congratulatory ale.

When the battle was squarely Kemp versus Cryer, pundits laughed when Gov. Hope set out on a ten-day tour of the EBV-poor "Utani electorates", from Savana to Utan Krysaror, including Letherington. They said he was wasting his time. The region amounted to too few votes.

The Governor also ought to be congratulated for taking Utani language lessons as early as January last year, a mere four months after losing the caretaker Presidency. Speaking in the Utani language to local Utani has been an eye-opener for the Utani people, particularly non-Conservative voters. Here was an Uta-Decashi speaking in their language, speaking to their culture, speaking as one of them.

Is it possible that Governor Hope has been planning for this nomination race, this Presidential election since four months after losing the last one?

Perhaps he has. Which means that now, his patience has paid off. He has passed another hurdle, and only has two remaining: convincing voters to vote him into at least second place behind the President, so that he at least makes it to the Presidential run-off, and then to defeat the President in a run-off election.

Perhaps not easy odds, but in the coming campaign for the Presidency, Governor Hope has effectively given himself a headstart. Utani will now be sitting up and taking notice of the Utani-speaking Uta-Decashi. While this may not translate to a landslide, the President's hold in Utani electorates can no longer be considered unbeatable.

For it will only take a few Utani to swap sides and vote for this esreni to send Gov. Hope to the Presidential complex in Utan Krysaror.

So, perhaps tonight, in a hotel where his campaign office moved on Friday, he can look out at the Presidential suburb he once lived in and dream a dream of possibilities, a dream that is now one step closer to his reach.

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©Zeitgeist Magazine, 300 AP.

©Mike Ham, 2000. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)