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President wins election with strong lead

Monday, January 20, 302 AP
Web posted at 1149 UST.

With counting complete and manual tallying complete, the UEC today released the final results for Utania's first Presidential election: the President will be facing Governor Hope in a presidential run-off election in one month's time.

After the disaster of the national tallying system failure on Saturday night, the UEC's speedy result is welcome news. However, the results are not likely to surprise anyone.

President Okarvits won a strong victory with a commanding lead over his nearest rival, Governor Hope, in the election, but fell well short of the required 50% of the national vote in order to avoid a run-off election. Therefore, he will be facing-down Governor Hope in the run-off election in four weeks.

Electoral seats per candidate. The seats are what determine the winners, not the popular vote. The President has ended the election with more than half the electoral seats, 81 of the 157 nationally, while Governor Hope has less than even half that, 35. Despite his substantive victory, the President needed more than 50% of the popular vote in order to avoid a run-off election.

Max Boornal and Robert Talin ended the night with seven and eight electoral seats, respectively, a fair effort, particularly for Boornal who scored only 5.5% of the popular vote, nationally. However, since his support is concentrated in particular electorates, rather than steady across the entire country, he has ended as one of the leading candidates in those electorates and won a disproportionate number of electoral seats.

Percentage of national vote. The President needed 50% to avoid a run-off. Democrat Cameron Olds, however, had very even support across all electorates nationally, meaning he was rarely a leading candidate, and won comparatively very few electoral seats. Were the Utanian system purely proportional, Olds should have won about 16 electoral seats and ended up a respectable fourth. Instead he won only two seats.

Party of the future?

Perhaps most surprising of all is that Kyle Langley, Liberal Nationalist candidate and leader, came in third with 24 seats and 13.2% of the national vote. While Langley was expected to come third or fourth, according to latest polls, few predicted he would end election day with so many seats.

What may concern him now is the though that if he is able to carry this level of support to the next Parliamentary election, sometime between February 304ap and January 306ap, his Liberal Nationalist Party would become a formidable third force in the Parliament.

And don't think Langley doesn't know this. Many have commented that Langley appeared to have an eye to a year or more away, rather than to January 11th (the Presidential election day).

Langley's Liberal Nationalists have 10 seats in the Parliament, but are minor players behind the Democrats, Conservatives and Progressives, not to mention the two main government parties. At twenty seats, the Liberal Nationalists would have been equals to the Conservative Party.

Indeed, a cursory glance over the figures would suggest that this Presidential election would have yielded a very different Parliament had it been a Parliamentary election. Not least, the government would have, based on the President's winnings, an absolute majority, something they currently lack. Adding Republican Robert Talin's electoral votes as eight more seats, and the government, which includes Talin's Republicans, would have been 89 seats strong, a winning margin of ten seats.

Winning again

 Final results:
Candidate Votes%Elec'
Pres. Okarvits8.23m32.3%81
Governor Hope 4.79m18.8%36
Kyle Langley 3.30m13.0%23
Robert Talin 2.16m  8.5%8
Max Boornal 1.42m  5.6%7
Cameron Olds 2.48m  9.8%2
Others 3.05m12.0%-
Alas. Instead, the President must now contend himself with winning the Presidency again. And this might not be as easy as early Zeitgeist News predictions suggested.

For, indeed, the President has substantially improved on his low-point in December, but his victory on February 15th is now far from assured. Almost half of all voters that participated in this election will not have their chosen candidate available as a choice in the run-off election, the President and Governor Hope, together, only just representing more than 50% of the total popular vote.

With such a vast body of voters having to choose between the President and Governor Hope, there is perhaps no easy way of predicting their choices accurately.

We could suppose Talin's supporters vote for the President, and Boornals will vote for Hope. But, what of Olds or Langley supporters? Who will they vote for? Perhaps more importantly, who will those candidates endorse, if anyone?

There is now four weeks left for the two candidates to make their final and most obvious mark on the electorate before February 15th.

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©Zeitgeist Magazine, 300 AP.

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