UPA (Utanian Press Agency)
Release: September 30, 300 AP.

From the TV1 election special

A direct, edited transcript of the TV1 election night special.

Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen. I'm Thomas Vestori, host of tonight's election special. Tonight, we will be covering the electoral counts, getting feedback from an expert team of analysts, and working toward determining the winners of this week's election, the very first federal election in Utania's history. To my right is one of the country's most respected political analysts, Professor David Kapur of the University of Luka; and People's Party chief strategist and political analyst John Pembroke; and on my left is President Hope's chief political strategist David K. Dupont, former treasurer in the caretaker Presidency, and under Lasanne's Governor Hope. Welcome Gentlemen. (Thanks.) We have a jam-packed evening ahead. But, firstly, how do you think this election will pan out this evening, John Pembroke?

Pembroke: Well, it would be a lie to say that I think it will be a landslide in any case, but I do think that the tide is turning against the President, and there will be a one or two seat win to the USP-PPP coalition. I say that with Utani B'yan in mind, where the Conservative Party has never polled well, and with them losing several seats out of Lasanne, as well.

Dupont: I think that's a very optimistic assessment from Mr Pembroke, when recent polls have shown a return of voters to the Conservative Party from the Peoples, Burovian and Progressive Parties. I think we should look closely at the size of win by the six-party Conservative-lead coalition. I think there is little chance of us seeing a President Okarvits tonight.

Vestori: Well, let's go to the figures for Savana state, the one state that is closest to a complete count, 86.6% of the state vote has been counted, and UEC officers have closed-up for the night so there will be no advances on that figure.

Kapur: Right you are, Tom, Savana state has been mostly counted because most votes were submitted under the surrendered vote rule, allowing them to be counted some days before the election. Overall, there is little in the way of surprises here: there is 14 seats for grabs, in four electorates, and it would appear that the Utani-Sædaj Party has won an incredible eight of those seats after taking 800,000 of the two million votes counted in that state. These appear to be the safest seats in the country, too.

Vestori: And the other six seats?

Kapur: Well, it appears that the Yannists have won two in Ramal territory as has been polled for months, the Progressive Party has won one seat, and the Peoples Party has won three...-

... 8:50 pm
Pembroke: I feel certain that the Democratic-Socialists are going to win a seat in the Okarvits electorate. They have won a convincing twelve thousand votes so far of the Luka based electorate, where 70 thousand have been counted.

Kapur: I concur with this, although it is very early in the proceedings, with only 13% counted in the electorate, but it certainly looks good for them.

Vestori: So, where does that leave us overall, to date?

Kapur: Well, we don't yet have too many certainties. Based on returns to date, we have less than 3 million votes counted of some 26 million. However, certain trends appear certain here to stay.
The Liberal Nationalists have made incredible gains in the state of Lasanne, now holding about 11% of the vote, and five seats, when they were not polling any seats in that state according to the our (Kapur-Zeitgeist) polls. Conversely, the Burovians appear certain to only hold Waitaki and Aviemore, which is down from their high of six seats at one stage. They could yet pull one from the hat in Charleston, which is a very marginal electorate between three or four parties at the moment.
The Conservative appear to have 14 seats, the Peoples Party 13, the USP and DSP one each, and the Republicans two. The Democrats appear to have six, and the Progressives one in Twizel electorate. This gives the opposition Peoples-USP-Republican-Socialists coalition seventeen of the 43 apparently certain seats to date. It's on par with predictions and polls.

Vestori: So, what does this mean for the conservative coalition, Mr Dupont?

Dupont: I think at this stage I wouldn't want to declare Charleston a one seat win for the Conservative Party. I think there is a good chance of a second seat being won there, which would put us further ahead in Lasanne, the yield predicted in August. The wins by Conservative allies also put the coalition in good shape.

Vestori: Mr Kapur, perhaps we could hear from you on the nature of the electoral system that Utania has. It's quite a complex one, is it not?

Kapur: Many people believe that it is actually very complex, but, in fact, it is very straight-forward. Simply, Utania has forty electorates from which one hundred and forty MP's will be elected, or we have one hundred and forty "seats". The parties within each electorate will declare a list of canditates who will be elected to Parliament if the party wins a seat from that electorate. Usually, there's only two or three canditates for each electorate in the larger parties, and one, maybe two, for the smaller. That's per electorate.
The method of selecting which partys' canditates get sent to the Parliament is by simple proportional voting. If an electorate has three seats, such as Luka, then the top three parties, in terms of votes won, will each send an MP to Utan Krysaror.
In the case of Luka electorate, the votes are, so far: Conservative 30,204; Republicans 23,164; Peoples Party 22,566 and Burovians 16,319, etc... Since the electorate of Luka has a population of 593,477 voters, it gets three seats in the Parliament, and the top three parties are the Conservatives, Republicans and Peoples. One MP each.
Now, if the Conservatives had won twice the votes as the Peoples Party, then the Conservatives would get a second MP, and the Peoples Party, in third place, would not get any MP's because proportionally the Conservatives are more than twice the size of the Peoples party.

Vestori: Alright, that seems straight-forward enough. Are there ever situations when no one can tell which parties get MP's, such as a four-way tie?

Kapur: Well, of course, it is possible, but I think the odds are unfathomably insignificant. If that happened, then the law says a run-off would be held in that state, with only those Parties participating.

... 9:15 pm
Vestori:...and I think you had something to add Mr Dupont?

Dupont: (to Off-camera) Okay, thanks... yep. (On camera) Ah, yes, I think we have good results in Nystonia. The Cruis-Democrats appear to have at least five seats there, and possibly a sixth, while the Conservative Party has won two, and the Liberal Nationalists have won three seats, over the Peoples, Utani and Republican Parties' five, two and one seat respectively.

Pembroke: Now, that sounds very much like the polled results, and I don't think would be cause for celebration for the President just yet.

Dupont: We also have the results for Dalesforth on the south east coast, near, of course, Shecker, where 19.8% of the vote has been counted and we have 29,567 votes for the Conservative Party, putting them in a very good position to gain a second seat there over the fourth-place party, the Democrats on 14,920 votes.

Vestori: That is to say the Conservatives would have double the vote collected by the Democrats? Professor Kapur?

Kapur: Yes, that's correct. It is a little uncertain at this stage, but it does appear to be very possible given how few votes have been collected so far. The difference is only a few hundred votes.

... 9:30 pm
Vestori: Large numbers of Utanian Electoral Offices are closing for the evening, with only 20.4% of the vote in Lasanne counted, only 23% in Nystonia and only about 10% in Utani B'yan. What is the UEC's plan for counting over the next few days, Robert?

Robert Jeffreys (UEC co-ordinator, Luka headquarters): Well, the plan is that by Sunday evening we should have a good 50% of all votes counted as counting will be progressing tomorrow afternoon. By Monday evening, we are hoping to have the majority of the votes counted, allowing most seats to be declared and coalition talks to begin.

Vestori: What is the expected count by tonight for Utani B'yan?

Jeffreys: We are expecting that by the end of the night, about 10pm, we should have close to or over 20% of votes counted.

Vestori: Yes, John Pembroke, you have something new?

Pembroke: Yes, I do. It appears that after 17% counted in B'yantusu, the Peoples Party has secured its second seat in that electorate, currently holding forty-one thousand votes of some 160,000. The USP have twenty-five thousand votes, the Progressive Party holds sixteen thousand, the Yannists twelve, Republicans ten, Democrats eight, Liberal Nationalists seven, Conservatives and Nationalists six-and-a-half thousand votes each.

Vestori: Tell us about that electorate.

Pembroke: B'yantusu is the homeland of the Utani tribe of the same name, defined by the large river that flows through to the Utan Krysaror and Agraam. That river, the B'yan, is what the southern-most state, Utani B'yan, formerly Horn of Olives, is named after. It is highland country, over 3000 feet in the air, and one of the largest cattle-raising areas in Utania. There is a large non-Utani group of voters, who are mostly cattle farmers, but it is dominated by the largely poor B'yantusu people.
They are also one of the strongest Peoples Party voting-groups in the country, original anti-Guwimith protesters.

... 10 pm
Vestori: Well, here we are at ten p.m. and the results are largely in from Utani B'yan where counting is coming to a close, and 18.8% of the state's votes are counted. We are expecting a statement from Mr Okarvits, the main opposition leader, and then Mr Thomas Kemp, the current caretaker Prime Minister, at any minute, but let's have a look at the board. Can I firstly ask you Professor Kapur, with only 26.2% of the nation's vote counted, how reliable is this final assessment of the vote tallies?

Kapur: Well, it is very hard at this stage to say anything with regard to the results with only a quarter of the votes counted, and not even a consistent proportion - in Navoomi the count is 94.3% counted, but in Shecker it's only 15.7% counted. At the least we can walk away with an idea of the safe seats, and then make guesses with the remaining seats.
For example, in B'yantusu the Peoples Party are guaranteed to get at least one seat, guaranteed, but the second seat is not.

Vestori: In which case, can we go through and make our assessments, please, Gentlemen?

Pembroke: If we look at Utani B'yan state and the seventeen electorates there, we're anticipating winning seats in all electorates except Kanhara for the Peoples Party, and for the Utani-Sædaj Party, we're expecting seats in Utan Krysaror, Waverley, Uraja, Banyasar, two in Kanhara, B'yantusu, Chiquiti, Ayana, Tuama and Koltij. That brings the PPP-USP coalition to 27 seats there.
We are counting Mulgrave as a doubtful USP seat and Kanhara as a doubtful Peoples seat.

Dupont: No, I've no objections to those. We're counting some 19 seats for the conservative coalition, including six each for the Conservatives and Democrats, three LNP, and four for the Progressive Party.
Now, that leaves twelve doubtful or unknown seats at this stage, and we are projecting six more seats of those, being, ah... Dalesforth and Mulgrave for the Democrats, Kanhara, Koltij and Agraam for the Progressives, and Agraam for the Conservative Party.

Pembroke: Yes, (Chuckles), well I wouldn't go proclaiming Agraam just yet. If we can have a look... yes, there you go...

Alright, I think we'd concede the LNP have a seat in Agraam, based on that, which is an incredible rise for them, but the Conservatives, Progressives and USP could still be overtaken by the Peoples Party.

Dupont: ...getting a second seat? I don't think, based on these early numbers, that this is likely. I think the LNP and either Conservative or Progressive.

Vestori: Adding these safe seats for Utani B'yan state to the total for the country gives us the following Parliament:

Kapur: It very clearly shows that the polls have been accurately telling us all along that we are heading to a closely contested Parliament. With fifteen seats that we cannot pick, the Burovians, who are currently sitting on a paltry three seats, should collect another one to three. It is looking too close to call with any certainty.

Dupont: I think there has been a few...-

Vestori: Gentlemen, I'll cut you there so we can cross live to Prime Minister Kemp's speech.

(Cheers greet the elderly man in his seventies on the podium with the Conservative Party's blue flag in the background. He quietens the crowd. "Live from Luka" shows at the bottom of the screen.)

Kemp: Ladies and Gentlemen, despite the predictions of our opponents, the Conservative Party is STILL HERE! (Cheers and applause) At this early stage, we appear likely to lead any conservative government, and that.. (applause and cheers build, crescendo and slowly die away) and that is something our opponents never believed we would do. They said we were dead, that Edward Hope could return to being Governor of Lasanne and retire quietly, but we... ARE BACK! (C&A)
I know it is a strain on the nerves of all concerned that there is no certain and clear result at this stage. I would ask all of you here, and all of you listening or viewing this broadcast, to have patience. Show the world that Utanians are patient and can wait to see the final results without leaping to conclusions, for nothing right now appears certain.
I would like to thank the supporters and volunteers who...- (C&A)... (fade out)

Vestori: Ladies and Gentlemen, it appears that there is no certainty after tonight's counting. I hope you will join us on Monday evening for a two-hour special on the final count. We will invite back our guests and include political analysts who will guide us through the coalition-building phase as it has worked overseas, and tell us what we can expect to see over the next few weeks...-


©UPA, 300 AP.

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