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The 2050 Dresden Federal Election was the third federal general election conducted after the Second Constitution was adopted.
The election saw the incumbent government led by Prime Minister Jim Perkins of the Progressive-Liberal Party defeated by the newly formed center-right Culik Party, led by former Prime Executive Evan Gracie. Culik won just over 50% of the vote allowing them to win more than half of the seats and the first party in the multi-party era to have the ability to govern alone.
The massive win by Culik was attributed to unpopular economic and environmental regulations put in place in the aftermath of the previous election. Public opinion quickly turned on the coalition government led by former PM Marta Barrancivon. On November 1, 2049, Barrancivon resigned as Prime Minister and leader of the Social Progress Party, leaving deputy party leader Jim Perkins as Prime Minister. Barrancivon had a 15% approval rating when she resigned.
Vote of No Confidence and Early Election
On November 14, 2049, Deputy Prime Minister Larry Hartkeel, leader of the Democrats, the main junior party in the coalition, announced that he would not punish members if they were to bring up a vote of no confidence or vote against the government. The next day, Prime Minister Perkins orchestrated a merger of the Social Progress Party and the Liberal Party of the Left to form the Progressive-Liberal Party, hoping that it would embolden the coalition with a larger senior party.
On December 12, following the narrow passage of an unpopular gun control measure (32% popularity according the the polls), leader of the opposition, Arni Slavio of Proud Nation brought up a vote of no confidence. All of PN, LU, HU, and the miffed former coalition partners UFS voted against PM Perkins and the coalition. The blow to the government came when 12 Democrats voted against the government, bringing the total votes of no confidence to 101, a narrow but absolute majority, meaning that the current government no longer had the mandate to govern, and Parliament was immediately dissolved. Prime Minister Perkins, according to the Constitution, had 2 months to call an election. He dropped the writ to the Supreme Court, setting the date for January 31, 2050.
Rules and Parties
The Federal Election Governing Body (FEGB) set guidelines for parties wishing to compete in the Parliamentary elections on when they could campaign, how they campaign, and how much air time they are allotted. Any party polling above 12% before the campaign were allowed to have their Party Convention aired on live network television. There were also two debates: one between party leaders of all parties competing, and one between party leaders of parties polling above 12%. This was controversial, as only two parties were consistently polling above the threshold. All party leaders promised to make changes to the FEGB should they be elected.
The campaign officially began on December 26, 2049. Prior to this, parties were not allowed to campaign except for in newspapers and magazines. Public opinion polling became much more strictly controlled, prohibiting more than one poll per month before the campaign season and then only one poll every two days until the last week of the election. There were no restrictions on polling in the final days of the campaign and no restrictions on exit polls.
Proud Nation and Liberty Union merged into one party following the dissolution of Parliament. The name of a new party and election of the party leader was highly anticipated for the party's convention. The name change was announced just prior to the convention. The new party's name was Culik, an acronym for Conservative Union of Libertarians, Independents, and Kingmakers. The party had hoped to also be joined by the Heritage Union, but they declined an ran their own campaign.
The previous coalition partners did not agree to run a autonomous campaign, meaning all parties ran separately and did not.
These are the parties that competed in the 2050 election:
- Culik, a center-right conservative party
- Progressive-Liberal Party, a center-left social democratic party
- Democratic Party, a liberal centrist party
- Green Party, a left wing, environmentalist party
- Heritage Union, a far-right Australian nationalist party
- United Front of Socialists, a far-left radical socialist party
Culik held their convention from January 2-7. They adopted a conservative-libertarian platform, which was not nearly as right-wing as Proud Nation's platforms were. Most of the social conservatism was dropped from the platform except for a stance on regulating abortions.
Leader of the Opposition, Arni Slavio was expected to be re-elected, but fell below 50% of the vote in the first round. He dropped even further, from 48% to 45% in the second round. There were eight candidates left during the third round, but despite Slavio being far ahead any of them, he announced his resignation and took the lack of a majority in the first two rounds as him losing a mandate to lead.
Former Prime Executive and Mayor of the Namco capital of Zimmermann, Evan Gracie announced his run for leader during the third round. Gracie won the third round with 71% of the vote after most of the opponents dropped out of the race.
The Democratic Party convention was held from January 8th through the 9th, intentionally keeping the convention short to save money for campaigning.
Deputy Prime Minister Larry Hartkeel was re-elected as Democratic Party leader on the first ballot with 65% of the vote. They adopted a stance that would set them apart from the Progressive-Liberal and Culik, attempting to draw in voters from the left and the right. The party was criticized for not taking a principled stance on economics, just cherry picking popular policies from the other parties and compiling it as their own.
With the Progressive-Liberals on the fritz, not even polling at the 12% requirement to have a televised convention, many expected that the party would drop Prime Minister Perkins and choose a different leader. At an inner-party Congress, Perkins was re-elected, although the margin of which was not disclosed. In the first debate, held on January 13th, Perkins held his own, admitting mistakes from Barrancivon's government and distancing himself from those decisions. Gracie was viewed to have had the best debate performance, allowing his party to reach upwards of 60% in the polls.
The second debate was held on January 23rd, between only party leaders of parties polling above 12%. The Progressive-Liberals finally reached this threshold, allowing Perkins to debate Gracie and Hartkeel. Just like the first debate, Gracie was viewed to have won, but Perkins performed adequately while Hartkeel performed poorly.
|January 30, 2050||51%||24%||17%||3%||2%||3%|
|January 28, 2050||50%||23%||20%||4%||1%||2%|
|January 26, 2050||51%||21%||18%||4%||3%||3%|
|January 24, 2050||52%||22%||17%||5%||2%||2%|
|January 22, 2050||53%||21%||18%||4%||2%||2%|
|January 20, 2050||55%||20%||19%||3%||2%||1%|
|January 18, 2050||54%||18%||20%||2%||1%||2%|
|January 16, 2050||58%||14%||25%||1%||1%||1%|
|January 14, 2050||60%||12%||22%||3%||2%||1%|
|January 12, 2050||56%||9%||26%||5%||1%||3%|
|January 10, 2050||54%||8%||30%||5%||2%||1%|
|January 8, 2050||51%||6%||35%||5%||2%||1%|
|January 6, 2050||48%||7%||40%||2%||2%||1%|
|January 4, 2050||43%||9%||38%||5%||3%||2%|
|January 2, 2050||50%||11%||33%||3%||2%||1%|
|December 29, 2049||48%||15%||36%||1%||0%||0%|
|December 27, 2049||41%||11%||39%||4%||2%||3%|
|December 15, 2049||38%||8%||44%||5%||2%||3%|
|November 4, 2049||36%||19%||37%||4%||2%||2%|
|Party||Leader||Leader's Seat||Seats Won||Seats +/-||Percent||Vote||Percent +/-|
|Culik||Evan Gracie||Zimmermann, Namco||102||34||50.3%||3,576,281||16.2%|
|Progressive-Liberal Party||Jim Perkins||Dachary, Darlington||50||8||24.8%||1,763,354||3.9%|
|Democratic Party||Larry Hartkeel||Kari, Emperia||33||5||16.6%||1,176,772||2.6%|
|Green Party||Marlon Tule||Jasiento, Tancrato||5||20||3.0%||210,315||9.6%|
|Heritage Union||Saul Backman||Plaquamine, Kent||5||9||2.9%||203,333||4.1%|
|United Front of Socialists||Susan Gleeb||Emilio, Tancrato||5||2||2.5%||247,654||1.0%|
Culik and Evan Gracie claimed a majority mandate with 50% of voters choosing Culik and winning 102 seats. Evan Gracie, who had previously ruled the United Confederacy of Dresden from 2035-2046, became the second Prime Minister of the country.
The result wasn't as punishing for incumbent Prime Minister Jim Perkins's Progressive-Liberal Party as it was originally thought to be. They ended up only losing 8 seats, becoming the second largest party allowing for Perkins to become the Leader of the Opposition. The Democratic Party had a disappointing night. Opinion polls had long said that they would be clearly in second place, allowing for Deputy Prime Minister Larry Hartkeel to form the official opposition. An increase of support for the Progressive-Liberals in the final weeks of the campaign following Jim Perkins' better-than-expected debate performance was thought to be to blame. Despite the disappointment, Democrats actually increased their vote and seat share by 2.6% and 5 seats over the previous election.
Gracie promised to use his mandate to repeal many of the previous coalition's unpopular policies, cut taxes, and continue to devolve certain powers to states. After the opening speech, Democratic Party leader Larry Hartkeel was quoted as saying, "if he does all of this, I will personally make sure this Parliament sits for a shorter time than the last one."