Sanctus – The national returning officer was very clear this morning; Christian Union Party – 31 seats, Democratic Left Party – 432 seats, Green Party – 41 seats, Independents – 5 seats, and finally, the Sanctarian Conservative Party – 290 seats. The DLP had a majority of 64 seats, and were returned to government for the first time 18 years.
The SCP is having an election-day meltdown. Though it was announced just after 2am that outgoing Prime Minister Mark Kindle had managed to retain his urban Sanctus South West seat, by 5am the absolute drubbing the electorate was giving the party was becoming known. 2 outgoing Ministers lost their seats – Justice Secretary Ann Bond, and Health Secretary Dr. George Merlinson were given the heave-ho. At 6.30am Outgoing Secretary for Homeland Security, Kate Cruz, a known critic of Kindle, openly called for his immediate resignation, just after it was announced she had narrowly managed to hold on to her own seat – her recently introduced ID cards being very unpopular. By 8am the rest of the former Cabinet that had managed to keep their seats joined Cruz’s chorus.
At midday the final tally was announced. The SCP had lost 115 seats. Until now, despite the public calls, Kindle had been quiet. Once he had kept his seat, he went home. Sources say he went to sleep until woken by his aides at 6.30 to listen to Cruz’s evisceration of him. He made calls to those who had lost their seats – many, now former, backbenchers were furious with him. They blamed him for them losing their seats. We understand Kindle spoke to SCP Party officials. At 12.45 today, Kindle announced via radio he was stepping down as leader of the SCP, with his resignation effective as soon as a successor is chosen. Sources in the SCP have confided to us they’re hoping no contest will be announced, with most of the former cabinet, and key backbenchers, now lining up behind Cruz as his successor.
Kindle continues the Prime Minister’s curse – no Prime Minister has been returned, either in his seat or to his office, after an election. But it’s not entirely his fault. The SCP have been in power for 18 years. Their time was up, some would say.
But we should say their seat, or their office, because with the announcement of the seats, Sanctaria will have a new Prime Minister. A female Prime Minister, for the first time in the state’s history. Charlene Hendry, leader of the DLP for over a decade, finally achieves her longstanding wish to get into government. She’s definitely made the history books, no matter how long or how effective her tenure is.
The Senate will sit earlier tomorrow to adjust their schedule for the week for cabinet confirmation committees. The House returns Wednesday at 12 to formally elect the new Prime Minister, who will then nominate her Cabinet. It has been touted throughout the campaign that new departments will be created for the first time in the state’s history. Which Senate panel will interview who will be worked out behind the scenes before Hendry makes her announcement on Wednesday, as the Senate will not have enough time to overhaul their committee structure.
SARAH PLEDYS, Political Editor