GREATER BADDOW – Independent candidate Francis Schrödinger has won the by-election for Zarel Smith’s seat in a landslide victory, winning 57.4% of the vote. Runner up was James Frisch, with 26.5%.
The result, while expected following yesterday’s exit poll, is still a major shock to the Essexian political system and a surprise victory for the government who were clinging onto power with a one seat majority. Schrödinger’s victory has just made that slightly more secure, giving them a 2 seat lead nationally – saving the premiership of First Minister Ben H.
It’s a major upset for the left-wing of the nation, consisting of the Progressive Workers Party and the Union of Green’s and Nationalists, who were hoping to assume the reins of government had James Frisch won the seat. Clearly, voters have endorsed the government’s handling of the coronavirus, foreign policy, and the implementation of the new constitution which has dealt a crippling blow to PWP’s leader Matthew S prospects of becoming First Minister.
The PWP’s cause was not helped by former Progressive Worker Party leader and First Minister Chris W endorsing Schrödinger, and former PWP First Minister Sam endorsing Rico. Essexia’s first FM and founder of the PWP Finn R remained silent during the election, not revealing who he voted for. From the outset, the PWP had lost the Instagram propaganda war, which so often sways the majority of the Essexian electorate, with Matthew S being the only high profile PWP member to endorse James Frisch.
It’s also a disappointing night for the Shrek Super Party, led by Leon Monton, who’s candidate Jayden Lycon finished last – meaning the party has lost their only seat in Parliament following SSP MP Zarel Smiths resignation. This is despite intense campaigning, including endorsements from Jamez of the Desert District and Shoenice, to hold onto the seat.
In terms of the by-election itself, voter turnout was down (156 in March to 73 today) from the 2020 General Election despite the rise in citizenship. The Ministry of the Interior had anticipated some decline, as by-elections never receive the same attention as general elections, but the decline was undoubtedly steep. Despite this, the by-election was a resounding success for Interior Minister Jamie M and Chief Data Controller Matthew Gilbert, who’s new citizenship and voter systems worked as expected.
What does this mean for the direction of Essexia?
We all knew that this election was going to shape the course of Essexian politics, likely until the next general election in March 2021. The debate between Matthew S and Jack D, leaders of the left and right-wing of Essexia respectively, was a sign that this was a contest between these two individuals, rather than Francis Schrödinger or James Frisch – as whoever’s candidate won would put either of the former into government.
From this, we can discern the policy direction that might now be pursued based on stances taken in the debate.
The Giraffe Concordats victory could spell trouble for Emperor Terry’s 9th decree, which reaffirmed Essexia’s intention to outlaw hate speech. Jack had been skeptical of it and has not overtly committed himself or his government to enforce it, on the grounds of freedom of speech. He has backing in the Supreme Court, with Supreme Justice Jacob M criticizing what he labeled as a rash and partisan move from the Emperor. Had Frisch, a social liberal, been elected, it’s likely the decree would have been cemented into Essexian law. Its future is now uncertain.
Chancellor Nicolas Milan had already championed strong fiscal measures in the wake of the coronavirus but there will now be more pressure on him to reverse this policy. The Giraffe Concordat is unquestionably conservative – with Jack favoring low taxation and high-interest rates. It is likely Essexia now faces a period of continued austerity.
Most importantly and significantly, this result means that Essexia’s position in the GUM is now secure. Sam H and Finn R, both former PWP First Ministers, had favored taking Essexia out of the GUM and MicroWiki community. This course of action was similarly adopted by their successor Matthew S, a GUM Vice-Chairman, who is now lacking the mandate to remove Essexia from the GUM unilaterally. The Giraffe Concordat has said that Essexia will remain in it, and both Schrödinger and Jack D have favored open foreign policy.
Overall, it’s clear that this victory has only strengthened the government’s existing policy agenda. How they act on this, will depend on the extent to which First Minister Ben H heeds to the advice of Jack D, his ideological superior, and how much Jack can persuade Jamie M, who leads the 4 Royalist MPs in Parliament, to enact his ideas.
Who is Schrödinger?
Francis Schrödinger is a Czech politician who only participates in Essexian affairs, in regards to micronationalism. He has been a member of the Imperial Army of Essexia for most of 2020, and within the armed forces circles has been an avid contributor to reform, debate, and charm. He had strayed far from the politics of the Commonwealth, which is why his candidacy came as a surprise to most. Nonetheless, his experience with high-ranking government officials, can-do attitude, and extensive use of posters proved to create an efficient campaign, having achieved the endorsement of the majority of Essexians’. But only time will tell if the ‘grey wave’ achieved by him will endure into the future, or if his victory was more of a short-lived protest against the Progressive Workers’ Party. He had the endorsement of the Royalist Party and by extension the Giraffe Concordat, and will sit with them in Parliament.
Upon his victory, he had this to say;
My fellow Essexians, I have received a message from the electoral committee, I am very thankful for your trust you are putting in me. I have never expected this in my dreams, that my first attempt to get into politics will be successful, nor that I will be supported by giants such as Queen Becky, Jamie, or Jack, nor that I will have such a great campaign thanks to these awesome people. However, this is not the end goal. This is only the beginning, the beginning of something amazing! My fellow Essexians, I have a dream. Dream of a superpower among micronations and the greatest micronation to live in! We shall accomplish that dream together! Thank you Essexia and forwards to greater tomorrow!Francis S.