The Saint Romain by-election Coverage
SDV: We now have the results from Gaspésie in the north of the Saint Romain Dominion, with a majority of people supporting the NAP. The NAP is now ahead in the cumulative count of votes. We're continuing the trend of the PR overtaking the Socialists, but in a shocking move the PR's votes are basically double that of the Socialists, a huge change from last time. The LDS continue to tumble down with their message of pacifism not enough to tempt their own voters away from the PoJ with its further left message.
SDV: We now move over to Beauharnois, a counting area in the north-west of the city of Saint Romain. A PoJ victory, but perhaps a pyrrhic one. The NAP seems to be closing in and so do, potentially the Socialists. If the Socialists or NAP are ever to win again, they have to win places like this. Beauharnois flip-flopped between the NAP and the Socialists and followed the trend for the whole Dominion except in 2008. For our international viewers who may be wondering where the seat presentation is, that's because there won't be any seats announced until the end of the count, as the seats are counted on a Dominion-wide basis. Right now, I have on the line Samantha Terrace, Nonet member for Saint Novella, the strongest Nonet seat in the entire country.
Samantha Terrace: Hello it's great to be on the programme.
SDV: Do you think, looking at these results that the Party of June will be the largest party, or hold onto its majority in the next election?
ST: I couldn't be sure - but a lot is going to change between now and the next General Election. The Party of June has a lot of projects that we're going to be implementing in the course of this parliament, and I believe that we will be judged on a great record. As Minister for Health - a department that has dominated national debate recently - I can say that we have many plans to improve on the healthcare already offered by the state, but also to devolve certain aspects of healthcare. Healthcare is one of the least devolved issues in our nation, with previous NAP and Socialist governments not wanting to let it go. The Party of June is committed to devolving healthcare further, and also other issues.
SDV: Thank you for your time Ms. Terrace.
SDV: We're now receiving about 7 results at the same time, we probably won't show them all just because these results are coming in so fast. So we have results coming in from the City, Dupas, Champlain, Bécancour, Mont Royal and Notre-Dame de Saint Romain. La Pointe-de-l'Île and Laurentides are from outside of the city. Okay (listens into earpiece) this brings us to around half of the counting areas so we're going to do a halfway point analysis. I'm going to bring in spokespeople from the NAP and the PoJ to discuss this. But first, let's see the updated results halfway through.
SDV: So we can see it is still very very close. Who win win the Nonet seat, and win the right to form a government in the Dominion Assembly? With me to discuss is Élodie Vartan, Nonet member for Romain proper, and Ségolène Royal, the Nonet member for Portland, but who is originally from Romain. Let's start with Madame Vartan, you're about 1% behind, do you think with 7 counting areas in the city to go you can win?
Élodie Vartan: Absolutely we can win, if one follows the trends that will certainly come to pass. I'm reading now that in Bécancour we got 31% to the PoJ's 40%, we're closing the gap in places like that. In rural areas too we have got over 50% in La Pointe-de-l'Île and in Laurentides. The Party of June are a long way from being the confirmed victor.
SDV: Ségolène, what do you make of these results?
Ségolène Royal: Well we're in the lead which is obviously good news. I believe we can make this lead continue all the way as there are far too many urban areas to go for it to go to the NAP -- they just don't have as many voters in the city.
EV: I'd disagree as we have doubled out voter share in some areas of the city.
SR: One doubled is two, it still isn't as important a gain of votes to get the NAP a win here.
SDV: Thank you mesdames.
SDV: Now we move to the countryside once more, with Rivière-des-Mille-Îles. This counting area is on the East coast of Saint Romain, and they've apparently experienced some very bad weather on the day of the election - that really is bad news. A very low score for the LDS - with less than 1% of the vote share. We're joined now by Georges Laurent, the LDS's Nonet candidate. Welcome.
Georges Laurent: Thank you for having me.
SDV: What is your strategy moving forwards with the LDS?
GL: Well we're definitely going to capitalise on what separates us from the Party of June, rather than what unites us. We were in an official coalition here in the assembly, which made people feel as though there were no differences between us - which there are. Defense policy really wasn't the highest point on the agenda in this election, if it was we could highlight our position of nuclear disarmament and slashing our military budget.
SDV: So do you think you'll push for nuclear disarmament and pacifism more now?
GL: Absolutely. With the party in this state, we have to make our position known on whatever issues we can, but we have to have one major policy to really make our voices heard. Radical pacifist policies for Icholasen.
SDV: Thank you for joining us Monsieur Laurent.
GL: You're welcome.
SDV: We've just got the results in from Lévis which is a counting area on the banks of the Romain river. However, the Socialists have reduced their lead here from 2,818 to only 807, slashing it by around 2,000. Also some great news for the NAP - it is usually an area they do very poorly in, but it seems as though they have managed to make some gains here. The Party of June will be somewhat disappointed they haven't managed to beat the Socialist but the closeness has to be good news for them. The counting area of Lévis is pictured above, with the brutalist towers in the background of the scoreboard. There is another counting area that has a Socialist majority, Mascouche, and it'll be interesting to see how the Socialists do in that area.
I have now been informed that I can release NBC's early seat forecast: we believe the largest vote share will be the NAP, with 18 seats and the Nonet seat, the PoJ will be second with 18 seats too but a smaller share of the vote. The LDS will lose their one seat, and the Socialists will get 5 seats and the PR will get 4. I must stress that this is a very early forecast and we're not calling the election. In Icholasen there is no political reporting allowed on election day or the creation of exit polls in case it is leaked and influences peoples' votes. This means that we are much further behind other countries' in establishing who has won.
SDV: We now move to the second largest counting area, the Banlieues de l'Ouest - the western suburbs. This area is one of the areas the Party of June wanted to target in the last election, but it seems now that this area may not fall to the Party of June. This, added to the failure to overtake the Socialists in Lévis has lead to our NBC prediction that the PoJ will not maintain it's Nonet majority. The Nonet is the body that can impeach Korojauns/Korojaunus so the stakes are very high in these last few hours of results. This has been a very tight election battle and the Party of June has not yet conceded though.
We'd also like to consider politics on the local level: we have with us DAM (Dominion Assembly Member) for the Party of June, Juirju Dupont. He is currently 18th on the Party of June's list of candidates for DAMs, and seeing as the PoJ is predicted by us to get 18 DAMs and Senators, he is perhaps in a very fortunate position. Welcome Mr Dupont. I see by your Nicoleizian name you're perhaps from elsewhere? But first of all, could you explain a bit about the shadowing system for DAMs and Senators?
Juirju Dupont: Yes I'm from a Nicoleizian family! But to answer your question, in Icholasen the same amount of seats are allocated from the Dominions to both the Senate and the Dominion Assembly. Each Senator and DAM shadows each other, so I work with Senator Henri Goldman to coordinate national and Dominion policy, this is so we can talk about how we want to affect change. Me and Monsieur Goldman y have been working very closely together to improve transport links in Saint Romain, and by coordinating we helped improve the Saint Romain tram network.
SDV: If you're both elected, what plans are you going to work on?
JD: I'm planning to work with him to devolve drug laws to the Dominions. I would like to see decriminalisation of certain drugs, even legalisation of some. I think that example shows why this shadowing system works so well, I can ask him to pursue a policy to devolve the powers to us, and we can try and convince our Assemblies to back it.
SDV: Do you think it still has a big impact if your party isn't in government in both the Assembly and the national government?
JD: I think it's less ideal, but if one is in a Dominion government, then that has an impact too. It's also important for questions to Ministers, I can indirectly raise concerns about the management of the country through my shadow Senator who can ask Ms. Whiteford or whomever a question, and vice versa if the need should ever crop up though that is more rare.
SDV: Some people say that this tradition should be abolished, and DAMs and Senators' work should be separate, I take it you don't agree, but why?
JD: Well I believe that one of us being here in Saint Romain, and one us being in Saint Regina allows us to spread our responsibilities. The Senate is for national matters and Monsieur Goldman can work hard on national issues, but I can work hard on local issues.
SDV: The Party of June worked with the LDS and the Parti Romain in the Assembly, how did that work out with differing views on the Union and do you think this arrangement would be renewed?
JD: We worked quite well together, a lot of our differences go beyond the scope of the Dominion Assembly. For example we don't handle defense and our only major difference with the LDS is over their pacifist stance, other than that we agree on a lot of things. With the PR it's similar too, my party and I believe that most decisions should be made on the Dominion level, we're a Union of equal parts. The PR believes this too and I'm sure that our arrangement can work again because we're proposing bringing more powers to the Dominions in the realm of drug laws and also healthcare.
SDV: Thank you for your time Juirju and the best of luck on your reelection.
JD: Thank you.
SDV: We're now having two draws in succession, both the Eastern Suburbs and have now declared their votes. Now, the NAP lead with 90,459 votes which could mean our prediction is coming true... or not as our next guest will probably say. We're joined by Clara André herself live from the Chantilly counting area's declaration.
Clara André: Salut Stephanie, it's great to talk to you.
SDV: Thank you for coming on the show, we understand you're very sought after. But I'd first like to ask you, do you accept that the Party of June has lost here?
CA: Absolutely not. There are still polling areas to come, most of them urban. Of course, I think losing to the Socialists in Lévis was a low point, I was hoping we'd win there. People left of centre have got to unify to stop the NAP, so it was disappointing to see that result as we were so close in the last election.
SDV: Why do you think there has been a swing towards the NAP? Are your changes unpopular?
CA: I think the reason the NAP has done so well is personalities - I have to admit I'm not the most well known figure on the Dominion stage. Madame Germain was a great Party of June Nonétrice, and delivered for the people of this Dominion on a Party of June platform.
SDV: What are your thoughts on the merging of Dominion assemblies? What are the practicalities for making that happen?
CA: I think there should be a Dominion-wide referendum with the proposal to unite the Assemblies. As for the practicalities, there would be two Nonéteurs or Nonétrices who perform a tie-break role and if there are two opposing ones that is a problem. I think we should have a vote for a speaker in that case, and remove the local powers of the Nonéteurs and Nonétrices.
SDV: Do you really think the DAMs in Romain Proper would vote for the proposal if it means they lose power?
CA: I hope they're not so cynical to not allow it because they'd lose some power locally - not on the National level I might add. But the Central Government will not force anything on a Dominion as that is against our constitution. We will work very hard but if we can't achieve it, then we won't break the law to do so. I mean what modern politician would break the law to get what they want through?
SDV: It would be horrible if that were to happen. And for your proposed referendum, how would you work out what the amendment to the Dominion constitutions would be that people voted on?
CA: Obviously we want to be clear what people are voting for, we can't vote on a general premise without specifying to people exactly how the constitution will change. That would be crazy. We want to keep the people of Romain informed the whole way through.
SDV: Thank you for your time.
SDV: We're now getting the results for Mascouche, which is probably one of the most mixed counting areas, with 4 parties getting into well into double figures. This counting area is on the banks of the Romain river, and like its neighbour, Lévis, is it a socialist stronghold... Seemingly. Both those areas have seen a fall in Socialist fall, but also a fall in the PoJ's votes. The Party of June was hoping to come first either here or in Lévis, but they have failed to do so. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, since they're hanging onto huge gains that they made at the last election. It's unsurprising that they have fallen behind a little bit since the coalition of voters they amassed is so varied. NBC is still predicting that the NAP will win, but we are sure that it will be very close. This Dominion has since the beginning of the current constitution, one that swaps between the main parties of the day. With us is Kelis, who ran the MILF party which was in coalition with the PoJ from 2015-17.
Kelis: Thank you for having me, it's been a long time since I've been interviewed.
SDV: It's lovely to have you. What do you think has changed since the referendum?
K: We've definitely come very far, I was happy to disband the MILF party once our raison d'être was achieved. If of course it is annulled in one part of our country or all of it, we will of course come back. But I'm very happy that the Party of June, a liberal minded party when it comes to substances is in office and is going to extend the powers of Dominions to decide on the legalisation of other drugs.
SDV: Would you say you're not for the Party of June fully? Do you have any areas where you don't see eye to eye?
K: Of course, and in coalition with them and even as Deputy Korojaunu I did disagree with Madame Cormier on aspects such as military spending -- I align myself closer with the LDS on those aspects.
SDV: Would you ever consider running as a Party of June member of either house, or for other positions?
K: Probably not. If I ever do anything again it'll be a MILF party revival, rather than joining any existing party. I never hid that I was leading a single-issue party, I don't have anything left to do now. Both former Korojaunu Delphine Cormier and I are happy to be retired from politics.
SDV: Thank you very much I hope that we will have the opportunity to see you very soon.
SDV: We now have some unexpected results. Our projection was expecting the Party of June to do much worse in Villeroy and Chapais and other counting areas like them, but in both these counting areas they remain 44% above the nearest Socialist opposition. We're surprised that it is socialist opposition since the NAP was expected to come much closer to the where the Socialists are. Disappointingly for them the failure to turn voters like this has likely cost them the election. Our forecast now predicts the PoJ will win the Nonet seat and will have the right to form this Dominion's government. We're expecting the rest of the results imminently, and will be talking to people about the aftermath of this election. In the next few minutes we'll be beaming to the counting centre in Saint Romain for the full results and allocation of seats.
SDV: We now beam over to Saint Romain where the final count is being announced in a gymnasium.
Fabien Legras: Welcome everyone to the final reveal of the total votes, and the distribution of Senators and DAMs. Let's not dilly dally since I have all the results here. The valid votes cast were 2,801,497 of 4,641,057 people eligible. There was therefore a 39.64% abstention rate. The results will be delivered by order of smallest vote share to largest, and the electoral system to find out how many seats are allocated to each party is the d'Hondt method. Firstly, we have the LDS with 29,904 votes which is 1.07% of the vote. They have received 0 Senators or DAMs.
There are some claps but the hall remains largely silent. A single cough is heard
FL: Next to the Parti Romain. They have received 282,307 votes and 10.08% of the vote, and have received 4 Dominion Assembly Members and 4 Senators.
There is an ecstatic cheer in the hall for this result
FL: In 3rd place is the Socialist Party, receiving 310,737 votes and 11.09% of the vote, receiving 5 Dominion Assembly Members and 5 Senators.
People wait anxiously for who has come second
FL: In 2nd place is the NAP with 1,057,404 votes, which is 37.74% of the vote. They have been duly allocated 17 Dominion Assembly Members and 17 Senators.
Some people wooed and clapped, around 37.74% of the room in fact
FL: And now the final result. The Party of June has received 1,121,145 votes, 40.2% of the total votes cast. They have been duly allocated 19 Dominion Assembly Members and 19 Senators, and 1 seat in the Nonet.
SDV: Incredible stuff there. I'm just hearing that under the d'Hondt system, this election is very very close. The NAP needed just 4,734 votes to take off that 19th Party of June seat. Is this a victory for the PoJ? I suppose that it is. Kate Germain has lost her gamble, and has likely just emboldened Whiteford's position in the Senate and the Nonet.
SDV: Though the final results are announced, there will be more coverage with us on NBC for further coverage and interviews with leaders. Especially tune in tomorrow when the Nicoleizian Houses of Parliament open ready for a new session.