Alexandrian general election, 1995

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The Alexandrian general election of 1995 was held on 3 November 1995, five years after the previous election on November 4, 1990, to elect 624 Deputies to the unicameral legislature, the National Assembly. Under the leadership of Jean Carmicheal, the Social Democratic Alliance ended its 20 years in opposition (since 1975) and won the general election with a landslide victory, winning 357 seats, the most seats the party has ever held up to that time. Elections at the provincial and territorial levels held every five years are held at the same time as the national general elections.

This general election saw a large swing from the Conservative Party to the Social Democratic Alliance on a national turnout of 76%. This was also the last national vote where turnout exceeded 74% until the same-sex marriage referendum of 15 May 2017, 22 years later. As a result, Jean Carmicheal, leader of the Social Democratic Alliance, became First Consul.

The Social Democrats made several campaign pledges namely the National Minimum Wage, the dissolution of the Community of Nations, toughening environmental regulation, and expanded spending on education and infrastructure with the 21st Century Education Act and the National Infrastructure Investment Act, and promising greater economic competence than the Conservatives, who were deeply unpopular due to a series of campaign finance scandals, the Bataang War, and the onset of the Great Recession of 1995.

The Conservatives were led by incumbent First Consul Matthieu Poiters ran a campaign emphasizing falling unemployment, popular constitutional reforms, and the party's record on the recovery and economic growth of the country from 1975 onwards. A series of scandals, party disunity over the leadership of Matthieu Poiters, the length of the Bataang War, and a desire of the electorate to provoke change in government after 20 years of uninterrupted Conservative rule all contributed to the worst defeat inflicted to the Conservative Party in all of its electoral history. The Conservatives returned 198 seats and were left with no seats in some provinces, namely Santander y Corcovado, Valenciennes, and Varennes. Many key Conservative politicians, including First Consul Matthieu Poitiers, lost their seats in the National Assembly. However, it was during this election that future Conservative leader and First Consul Fernando Dev was elected to the safe Conservative seat of Montmorency in Baudrix.

The Christian Democratic Union, under leader Jean-Marie de St. Pierre, returned 32 Deputies to the National Assembly, the most for any third party in recent history. The Freedom and Democracy Party, under Natalia Lopez-Villefort, returned 25. The Green Party, under Madeleine Cortez, returned 1, losing 1 seat to the Social Democratic Alliance. There were 5 independents elected to the National Assembly, with the Party of Varennes winning 5 and the Alexandrian Front winning 1 seat.

As with all general elections since the early 1940s, the results were broadcast live on ABC. The presenters were Bernat Croix, Phillippe Anglars, and Felisa Gautier.

Overview[edit | edit source]

The Alexandrian economy entered a severe recession in 1993. It ended within a year, but the events during the recession heavily tarnished the incumbent Conservative Government, under which Alexandria had generally enjoyed a strong period of economic growth since 1976. Disputes within the Conservative Party over constitutional reform and economic protectionism and a variety of campaign finance scandals like the Balladur Affair severely affected the government's popularity. Instability in the nation of Bataang led to the Bataang War. An Alexandrian-led coalition of nations invaded Bataang on March 1987 to bring depose President Blaise Campaore after his invasion of the neighboring country of Hargesia and the subsequent Hargesian Genocide. The conflict had been dragging on since then, with Alexandria slowly losing coalition partners and the situation on the ground for the occupation was more complicated as a Bataang Insurgency continued to destabilize the country, triggering a civil war. This led to heavy Coalition casualties, the brunt of them born by Alexandrian troops. Despite the economic recovery from the short but severe recession and a substantial fall in unemployment, support for the Conservatives was marginal with all of the major opinion polls showing the Social Democratic Alliance with a comfortable lead since late 1994.

The Social Democratic Alliance (SDA) had elected Federico Delors as its Leader in 1990. Delors died in a car crash while on a family vacation in Santander in 1991, and his successor was elected from among the Social Democrat parliamentary caucus. Jean Carmicheal was elected by his fellow SDA Deputies, carrying the support of a new group of 100 Deputies within the party that advocated for more centrist policies, the Roquefort Group. Carmicheal brought the SDA closer to the political centre, advocating for what he called "a balanced program to restore Alexandria." Carmicheal presented the reforms and a new platform for the SDA with his centrist "New Way Forward" program. The party's policy on unilateral nuclear disarmament was reversed, along with the party's historical commitments to nationalizing vasts parts of the Alexandrian economy.

Electoral System[edit | edit source]

Alexandrian general elections are held following the dissolution of the National Assembly. All the Deputies of the National Assembly are elected. This was the last election fought before the passage in 1999 of the Assembly Fixed Terms Act, which set in stone the tradition of having Assemblies last five years but limiting ways in which an election can be called to loss of Assembly majority or by a two-thirds majority vote of the Assembly.

Candidates for each constituency are chosen by political parties or stand as independents. Almost all successful candidates are members of a political party. Each constituency elects one Deputy by the first past the post system of election. At the 1995 general election, there were 624 constituencies, thus 624 Deputies were elected to the National Assembly.

A party with an overall parliamentary majority (more seats than all the other parties combined) following an election forms the government. If no party has an outright majority, parties can seek to form coalitions. The largest party not in government forms His Imperial Majesty's Loyal Opposition.

Election Date[edit | edit source]

A general election must take place before each Assembly term begins. Since the maximum term of a parliament is five years, the interval between successive general elections can exceed that period by no more than the combined length of the election campaign and the time for the new Assembly to assemble (a total of typically around four weeks). The five years runs from the first meeting of the Assembly following the election.

The 1995 general election was held on 3 November 1995, with subsequent elections scheduled to be held every five years thereafter. First Consul Matthieu Poitiers asked the Emperor to dissolve the National Assembly by Imperial Proclamation on September 30, 1995.

1990 Election Results[edit | edit source]

Main article: Alexandrian general election, 1990

Results of the Alexandrian general election, 1990.
Party Leaders and Seats
Political Party Leader Name Leadership Start Year Seats At Start of Election
Conservative Party of Alexandria Incumbent First Consul Matthieu Poiters 1970 344
Social Democratic Alliance Jean Carmicheal 1991 229
Freedom and Democracy Party Natalia Lopez-Villefort 1993 18
Christian Democrat Union of Alexandria Jean-Marie de St. Pierre 1985 18
Party of Varennes Bertran Tutusaus 1989 10
The Greens Madeleine Cortez 1994 3
Alexandrian Front Thomas Colbert 1988 2

Campaigns[edit | edit source]

Conservative Campaign[edit | edit source]

The election was called a week early, with the Conservatives arguing that an election that is a bit longer would allow them to counter opposing messages and react better to the Social Democratic Alliance "New Way Forward" message.

The Conservatives started low in the polls. They suffered greatly from war weariness due to the Bataang War, the damage to the economic competency message that was central to the Conservative campaign, and the Balladur Affair. Concentrating on the need for continued stability, especially with signs of the Great Recession of 1995 coming, the Conservatives sought to paint Jean Carmicheal as an untested leader that would say anything to get elected. The campaign sought to expose the SDA message as empty and hollow. However, the campaign was beset by deep problems, such as a disjointed message, lackluster fundraising, and increased grassroots apathy.

The Conservatives were also threatened by a resurgent Freedom and Democracy Party, who was challenging them on right-leaning voters that Conservatives rely on to win many seats. There was also deep division within the Conservative cabinet on how to handle the Bataang War and the oncoming recession.

The Conservative campaign failed to gain much traction, and the Conservatives went down to a landslide defeat at the polls.

Social Democrat Campaign[edit | edit source]

The Social Democratic Alliance, led by political newcomer Jean Carmicheal, ran an effective and cohesive campaign. It emphasized key splits within the Conservative Cabinet, highlighted the corruption exposed by the Balladur Affair, and honed in a centrist economic message while calling for increased infrastructure and education spending. The campaign that was good at picking up dissatisfied Conservative voters, particularly moderate and suburban ones. Jean Carmicheal, a highly popular and charismatic figure, was very much the centerpiece of the campaign and was a highly effective campaigner.

The most popular piece of the campaign, however, was the effectiveness at harnessing a growing movement to withdraw from Bataang and end the war. This movement had support from across the political spectrum.

Christian Democrat Campaign[edit | edit source]

After suffering a disappointing performance in the previous election, the Christian Democrats were strengthened in 1995. They benefitted significantly from gains at the expense of the Conservative Party. Another factor in play was the potential tactical voting between Social Democrat and Christian Democrat supporters in Conservative marginal constituencies, especially in Ibelin and Rio Grande. They campaigned heavily on increased social spending.

Free Democrat Campaign[edit | edit source]

The Freedom and Democracy Party were also strengthened in 1995, although they did see some seat losses to either the Conservative Party or the Christian Democrats. They were hurt somewhat by the perception that they sided with the Conservative Party on a wide range of economic and policy issues. However, their new leader, Natalia Lopez-Villefort, campaigned heavily on ending the Bataang War and decreasing military interventionism. They also made gains at the expense of the Conservative Party from dissatisfied Conservative voters that wished to maintain the general economic direction but withdraw from Bataang.

Party of Varennes Campaign[edit | edit source]

The Party of Varennes saw its seat count drastically reduced as most of its voters went to the Social Democratic Alliance. Leader Bertran Tutusaus led the party to win 10 seats in the 1990 election but saw an opportunity to play for center-right voters as the Conservative Party started to lose ground in Varennes. This alienated the leftist wing of the party, which defected to the Social Democratic Alliance en masse. Tutusaus spend the vast majority of the campaign containing the electoral bleeding and attempting to keep his caucus together.

Alexandrian Front Campaign[edit | edit source]

Singled out by the Conservative Party and the Freedom and Democracy Party as an extremist party, attacks piled on from the Social Democrats and the Christian Democrats for the markedly combative and anti-immigrant tone of the Front's campaign.

Results[edit | edit source]

Results of the Alexandrian general election, 1995.
Results of the Alexandrian General Election, 1995
Political Party Leader Name Seats Before Seats After Changes
Conservative Party of Alexandria Incumbent First Consul Matthieu Poiters 344 198 -146
Social Democratic Alliance Jean Carmicheal 233 357 +124
Freedom and Democracy Party Natalia Lopez-Villefort 18 25 +7
Christian Democrat Union of Alexandria Jean-Marie de St. Pierre 16 32 +16
Party of Varennes Bertran Tutusaus 10 5 -5
The Greens Madeleine Cortez 2 1 -1
Alexandrian Front Thomas Colbert 2 1 -1
Independents None 0 5 +5

Aftermath[edit | edit source]

The Conservative Party's poor performance led to extreme infighting inside of the party. Factions inside the party kept blaming each other for the defeat. Matthieu Poiters resigned as First Consul and party leader the following day. Even more humiliating for him was that despite being initially declared the winner of his constituency by 30 votes, a recount determined that he had been voted out by 80 votes.

Jean Carmicheal was received by His Imperial Majesty at the Palace of Geneva in downtown Port-Réal, where he kissed hands and was appointed First Consul.

Other party leaders that resigned were Bertran Tutusaus of the Party of Valenciennes, Madeleine Cortez of the Greens and Thomas Colbert of the Alexandrian Front.

Independent Deputies formed an Independent Caucus together but were often at odds with each other on many issues. Despite key disagreements, the caucus worked together to ensure their re-election, arguing that partisan politics should be left in the 20th century.

Preceded by:
General Election, 1990
General Elections in Alexandria Followed by:
General Election, 2000