Rainian House of Senators election, 2017

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Rainian House of Senators election, 2017

← 2014 14th October 2017 2020 →

39 (of 78) seats in the House of Senators
Turnout 52.56% (9,756,231 votes)

  First party Second party Third party
  Llewellwyn inaugaration.jpg Mary Towers.jpg Faulkner.jpg
Leader Alexander Llewellyn Mary Towers Nicole Faulkner
Party Labour National Union Reform
Leader since 2017 2017 2014
Seats before 28 36 3
Seats won 40 23 9
Seat change Increase 12 Decrease 13 Increase 6
 vote 4,510,305 2,233,201 2,250,762
Percentage 46.23% 22.89% 23.07%

  Fourth party Fifth party
  Yasmin Casimir.jpg Damian Foot.png
Leader Yasmin Casimir Damian Foot
Party Green-Left Movement Innovation
Leader since 2014 2017
Seats before 2 8
Seats won 3 3
Seat change Increase 1 Decrease 5
 vote 359,029 141,465
Percentage 3.68% 1.45%

Rainier Senate 2017 map.png
The 25th Rainian House of Senators election was held on the 14th October 2017 to elect 39 of the 78 seats in the House of Senators, the upper house of the Parliament of Rainier. It is the first national election to be held in Rainier following the change in government as a result of the 2017 House of Councillors election.

The House of Senators is elected by halves to six year terms via single-non transferable vote. The last House of Senators election in 2014 saw the National Union-Social Credit coalition retain its majority which it had gained in the 2008 and 2011 elections. In 2017, the class of Senators elected in 2011 was up for re-election.

The election saw the Labour party make strong gains, getting a majority in the House of Senators and almost 50% of the vote. The NUP suffered a bad defeat getting a lower vote share than the Reform Party who made modest gains. The Innovation party lost all the Senators it had gained in the last election.

Electoral process[edit | edit source]

The House of Senators is elected in staggered elections. Senators are elected to six year terms, with half of the House of Senators being put up for election every 3 years. 39 of the 78 senators are elected via a single non-transferable vote system in several multi-member districts based on population distribution. For the 2017 election the Senators elected in 2011 are up for re-election.

The 2017 House of Senators election was the first since 2005 that the House of Senators was elected in the same year as the House of Councillors.

Timetable[edit | edit source]

16 September Formal dissolution of the House of Senators; start of campaign period.
2 October Last day members of the public could register to vote.
4 October Last day in which members of the public could apply for proxy voting or postal voting.
8 October Last day for candidates to file nomination papers.
14 October Polling day
20 October New House of Senators Assembled

Background[edit | edit source]

Since the 2008 House of Senators election held during the height of the 2007-2008 financial crisis the National Union Party has retained a plurality in the House of Senators, commanding a majority between 2008-2014. Following the 2014 election the National Union and Social Credit parties signed a coalition agreement in the House of Senators enabling the Andrew Clarkson government to pass legalisation with the confidence of both the Councillors and Senators.

The 2017 House of Councillors election saw the government parties (National Union and Social Credit) lose a large amount of seats to the Labour and Reform parties with a red-green coalition of Labour and the Green-Left Movement winning a majority in the House of Councillors. This meant that the House of Councillors and Senators were in the position of being in a "twisted parliament" with one party controlling the lower house and another the upper house.

Following the election the leader of the NUP Clarkson resigned with an interim leader, Mary Towers, being placed in charge until a leadership election for the party is held. The Socred leader and cabinet minister Rhondri Mears also resigned with the party's sole MP Damian Foot being appointed leader. Foot subsequently renamed the Socreds the "Innovation Party" as part of a re-branding effort regarding the party.

Parties running[edit | edit source]

Party Ideology Political position Leading candidate(s)
National Union Party Conservatism, Economic liberalism Centre-right Mary Towers
Labour Party Social Democracy, Trade Unionism Centre-left Alexander Llewellyn
Innovation Party Agrarianism, Economic liberalism Centre-right Damian Foot
Reform Party National Liberalism, Right-wing populism Right-wing Nicole Faulkner
Green-Left Movement Eco-socialism, Left-wing populism Left-wing Yasmin Casimir

Campaign[edit | edit source]

The campaign period began on the 16th September, with campaigning occurring for four weeks. The main parties did not put forward radically different policy proposals than their manifesto's in the 2017 House of Councillors election with the exception of the Innovation Party which explicitly condemned its years in coalition with the National Union Party. Rather, parties campaigned on either stopping the government taking control of the Senate (in the case of the National Union and Reform parties) or vice-versa (in the case of Labour and the Green-Left).

The Daily Gazette called the campaign the "one of the dullest in recent memory" stating that the weak state of the opposition "did not put the results in doubt".

Endorsements[edit | edit source]

Newspaper Party endorsed Notes
Daily Gazette Labour Party Endorsed a Labour majority government.
Economic Times Labour Party Stated the NUP "did not deserve" to retain their Senate majority.
Global Observer Labour Party Encouraged anti-Reform and anti-NUP tactical voting.
Vancouver Star Reform Party Endorsed a strong opposition to the Labour government.

Opinion polls[edit | edit source]

Results[edit | edit source]

Popular Vote
Labour
  
46.23%
Reform
  
23.07%
National Union
  
22.89%
Green-Left
  
3.68%
Innovation
  
1.45%
Other
  
2.68%
Parliamentary seats
Labour
  
51.28%
National Union
  
29.49%
Reform
  
11.54%
Green-Left
  
3.85%
Innovation
  
3.85%

Aftermath[edit | edit source]