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Erin's Erfurt III Experience

Nanwe

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I don't have the census itself, but you can find just about any number you could dream of on this site: https://treemagic.org/rademacher/www.verwaltungsgeschichte.de/laender.html

Any district, city, even municipality, over the course of decades (including post-war). It's kind of amazing. Just a bit archaic to navigate since it's old.
At work I have to use a platform whose back side only operates correctly with Internet explorer 11 or older, compatibility mode. Archaic is my every day. Many thanks!
 

Erinthecute

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Not my favourite subject, but I found the data and the opportunity was too good to pass up. This is the 5 March 1933 German federal election, held five weeks after Hitler was appointed Chancellor and six days after the Reichstag fire. By this point, democracy in Germany was well on death's door. The Nazis intended to overcome their final serious obstacle, the Reichstag, by winning a majority and rendering it useless. The Sturmabteilung were given free reign to terrorise and attack political opponents and voters. 50,000 brownshirts were formally appointed as auxiliary police in Prussia to "monitor" the election. Huge numbers of Communist Party leaders and members had been arrested in the week prior to the election. It's common knowledge that the first concentration camps held Communists, but the very first was opened in Nohra, Thuringia, two days before the election, for this purpose. The SPD was also already operating partly underground by this time.

People often say that Hitler was elected to power, but it's a testament to the general commitment to democracy that, even in these conditions, the Nazi Party only won 43.9% of the vote. Their allies the DNVP won 8%, meaning that 48% of votes were cast for an opposition party. This included over 30% for the SPD and KPD. Despite the great lengths to which the Nazis had gone to ensure their victory, Hitler was still denied his majority.

The Nazi Party won pluralities in the large majority of the country's districts and cities. Their support was strongest among rural Protestants and weakest among Catholics, who mostly stuck with the Centre Party. The Bavarian People's Party also endured fairly well. The SPD still found quite broad support nationwide, and was even able to win a plurality in Hamburg - no mean feat given the circumstances. In general, urban areas voted less strongly for the Nazis than rural areas even despite SA suppression. However, the division between the SPD and KPD meant that the Nazis were still able to win pluralities almost everywhere. The KPD retained a strong presence in Saxony and Merseberg in particular; they even came close to winning pluralites in a couple of cities.

This was the last multi-party election in Germany until the various Allied occupation zones held their first elections in 1945. The KPD's result was only symbolic; all deputies were either arrested or forced into hiding, and so were never able to take their seats. The SPD made their final symbolic stand on 23 March at the Reichstag vote on the Enabling Act, which invested total and unlimited power in Hitler's government. The chamber was filled with brownshirts and SS men to intimidate deputies into voting for the motion. Social Democrat Otto Wels was the only deputy to speak against it. Addressing Hitler directly, he concluded his speech as follows:
You can take our lives and our freedom, but you cannot take our honour. We are defenseless, but not honourless.
 

Erinthecute

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Made this a couple weeks ago but forgot to post it.





Second-strongest party by city and district in the March 1933 German federal election. The first map shows vote strength, the second is flat shaded by party to make it easier to read. Combined with the above map of the first-place parties, this gives you a good sense of the electoral geography of the late Weimar Republic. The Nazis were strong everywhere, especially in the rural and Protestant north and east, while the Zentrum was strongest in the Catholic west and south. The SPD did best across the centre and north, especially in the Saxonies, and achieved respectable results in most cities (shoutout to greater Nuremberg which, despite being the Nazis' home turf, was the most Social-Democratic area in the whole south or west). The KPD's bastion was the Merseberg region in the south of Prussian Saxony, as well as Berlin, the Ruhr, and parts of Thuringia and southwestern Saxony (their appearances in Württemberg and other areas in the southwest were due to severe vote splitting in most cases). The DNVP, to my surprise, recorded quite a few second-place finishes, especially in its traditional stronghold Pomerania. It seems that the party retained its core constituency of noble elites and some rural conservatives despite losing its broader base to the Nazis.
 
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Erinthecute

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Old Content incoming. Made this last year but I really like it so here it is.



The 2020 South Korean legislative election, held on 15 April, was a landslide victory for the social liberal Democratic Party of President Moon Jae-in. The 180 seats won by the party and its decoy list was the largest ever majority for a liberal party in South Korea, and the largest for any party since 1960. The United Future Party's 103 seats was likewise the worst result for the right-wing since 1960. The UFP narrowly won a plurality in the proportional vote with 33.8%, but this mattered little in comparison to the Minjoo's 49.9% of constituency votes. They secured a majority of seats via constituencies alone, sweeping most of Seoul, Incheon, and Gyeonggi; Sejong and Daejeon; and even a majority of seats in both North and South Chungcheong. They also triumphantly reclaimed their traditional bastion of Gwangju and Jeolla, which had been won by Ahn Cheol-soo's People's Party in 2016.

In a moment for the history books, UFP leader Hwang Kyo-ahn, who had served as Prime Minister from 2015-17 and Acting President after Park's impeachment in 2017, was defeated by the Minjoo candidate in the Seoul seat of Jongno - home to the Blue House, the President's official residence, among other symbolic landmarks.

The Democratic Party's victory was in some ways literally perfect. Not only did they secure a majority and deliver the UFP a beating they will not soon forget, but they won enough seats to overcome the greatest political hurdle in South Korea - the supermajority clause in the legislative process. Legislation may not come to a vote unless three-fifths of legislators approve; 180 in total. This law was introduced in 2012, theoretically to prevent governments from being able to override the opposition with a standard majority, but is predictably ripe for obstructionism. The Minjoo won exactly the number of seats required to overcome this hurdle, meaning they in theory did not require approval from either the opposition nor the minor parties to introduce legislation.

To get into the meat of the election process: South Korea uses a mixed-member electoral system, traditionally a simple mixed-member majoritarian system with 84% of seats elected in single-member constituencies and just 16% elected via a nationwide proportional list. This has enabled the representation of a number of minor parties, such as the left-wing Justice Party, though they are vastly underrepresented compared to the major liberal and conservative camps. In 2019, however, an amendment was passed to the electoral system which made it a bit more complicated. 30 of the 47 proportional seats are now distributed in a compensatory manner, a la the MMP system of Germany or New Zealand. The remaining 17 continue to function in a parallel manner. Though a relatively minor change, this should have made the composition of the National Assembly a bit closer to that of the voting public by providing greater representation for minor parties.

As it turned out, the change had almost no impact on the result. Two months before the election, the UFP shamelessly announced that it would deploy a decoy list to exploit the new system. A decoy list is essentially a quirk in the way MMP works. Since every constituency candidate must be linked to a party list for the purpose of calculating compensatory seats, parties can create a dummy list to run for the proportional list without attaching any constituency candidates to it. They instruct their voters give their proportional vote to this decoy list, which can then collect as many proportional seats as it wants without worrying about the pesky compensatory element. To put it simply, parties can cheat the system to turn MMP into MMM.

The UFP formed the "Future Korea Party" for this purpose (in Korean, the two parties' names differ by only one character.) In response, the Minjoo deployed its own decoy list, the Platform Party (also only one character different) to counter the UFP's strategy. This all but ensured that the new electoral system would function identically to the old, and the minor parties would fail to benefit in any way. Indeed, on election day, the decoy lists collectively won 23 of the 30 compensatory seats, completely screwing the minor parties out of fair representation. The Justice Party, which increased its share of the vote to just under 10%, remained stuck with just 6 seats - 2% of the National Assembly. The two other minor parties which achieved representation fared even worse; Ahn Cheol-soo's new People Party won 7% and 3 seats, while the Minjoo-split Open Democratic Party won 5% and 3 seats. Both decoy lists were dissolved shortly after the election, and their MPs simply rejoined the mother parties.
 
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Erinthecute

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The 2021 Greater Berlin regional election was held on 27 June 2021 alongside other regional and local elections across Germany. The incumbent National Bourgeois government was defeated. The Progressives overtook the Socialists to become the second largest party in the Assembly, while the pirate-based Alliance for New Politics coalition rose from 4% to 14% and won seats for the first time. The United Right also passed the 5% threshold and won 13 seats. The National Bourgeois-New Democracy government lost its majority and was replaced by a three-party coalition of the Progressives, Socialists, and Alliance for New Politics. Dilek Kalayci replaced Burkard Dregger as Mayor-President of Greater Berlin.
 

Erinthecute

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This is probably very niche, but I've been reading a lot about pro-republican forces in the Weimar Republic and it absolutely fascinates me, so here's a scenario.

Carlo Mierendorff was a German socialist, journalist, and politician in the 1920s and 30s. A young member of the up-and-coming generation of the SPD during the late years of the Weimar Republic, he had a talent for propaganda and a number of unorthodox ideas about what the party and the country needed. He was a dedicated republican but painfully aware of its flaws and deeply afraid that it might fall. Among other things, he supported revising the constitution, overhauling the federal system, and a move from proportional representation to majoritarian elections (probably FPTP). He helped co-found the Iron Front, a broad extraparliamentary alliance of pro-republican forces centered around Germany's powerful trade unions and the Reichsbanner, which acted as the militant arm of the SPD.

Like nearly all socialists, he believed the Nazis were a clear and present threat to the republic and had many opinions about what could be done to stop them. As a propagandist, he focused on the public image and campaigns of the SPD and Iron Front, attempting to bring a new sense of comradery and activism to the fairly stale social-democratic scene. He sought to appeal to emotion rather than reason, as the SPD traditionally had, in order to counter the Nazis; among other things he helped created the Three Arrows and popularised the anti-fascist salute, a raised fist, among the Iron Front. Though his ideas were fairly popular among the membership, the SPD leadership thought they were cringe, and were hesitant to let him put them into practice. By the time he convinced them to try it on a larger scale, however, it was late 1932 and things were moving much too fast for his efforts to make any difference.

Essentially, in this scenario, Mierendorff's ideas are put into full force, including the sweeping constitutional reforms he advocated. There is no real string of events that leads here, because in my opinion the Republic was more or less doomed after ~1930, which is too early for a plausible POD. But basically the Nazis don't come to power, the Republic hangs on a bit longer, the SPD adopts Mierendorff's platform: radical reforms to the economy, constitutional, federal system, and electoral system, and manages to implement them one way or another (shameless handwaving). The Depression eases but the republic is still in peril.

Mierendorff believed that a majoritarian electoral system would force parties to focus on candidates and alliances rather than appealing to narrow demographics. He also believed that the Iron Front should be an active and enthusiastic bulwark of the republic, rather than a last resort option. In this scenario, it becomes a fully-fledged electoral vehicle for the republican movement, backed by the trade unions and energised youth. It comprises a broad alliance of the SPD; the United Workers' Electoral League (VAWB), which puts trade unions directly into electoral politics by endorsing or running candidates themselves; the Republican Centre League (RM-Bund), an alliance of republican liberals and centrists; and the SPD-L, the former SAPD which has been coopted to compete with the KPD for the radical left vote. Together, this broad platform storms to a near-majority in the 1936 election, the first held under the majoritarian system. Against all odds, the republicans have won.

But politics keeps going. The Iron Front was only able to win because of horrific vote splitting among the right-wing, who didn't quite get the memo about the new electoral system. Between them, the three largest right-wing forces (the Nazis, DNVP, and a bourgeois-conservative alliance) won almost 45% of the vote, but not even 200 seats. In the following years they toil to forge a national alliance to topple the Iron Front. Hitler staunchly refuses to join, because Hitler, but the remnants of the DNVP coalesces with various bourgeois, conservative, and national forces. The result is the National Front, comprising: the United National Party of Germany (VNPD), a broad-based national-conservative party taking in most of the DNVP, WP, and some members of the DVP and Zentrum; the DVP itself; and the Christian-Social People's Service, which serves to sharpen the alliance's appeal to Protestants. This alliance proves massively successful in the 1940 election, easily usurping the Nazis' place as the leading party of the right with 28% of the vote.

Just as Mierendorff predicted, Germany appears to have emerged into a two-party system by electoral necessity alone. There remain three significant minor parties, though: the Zentrum, which maintains a rock-solid presence thanks to its unshakeable base. It has its own alliance with the Bavarian People's Party (BVP) and small agrarian parties. Hitler's appeal had naturally waned after years of rhetoric and almost nothing to show for it, but suffered an almost mortal blow with the emergence of the National Front. The Nazis fall from second to fourth place, losing two-thirds of their seats thanks to the majoritarian system. The Iron Front's newfound energy and image damaged the KPD substantially, sapping them of much of their appeal, though they retain a clear presence in the Merseberg region, as well as Berlin and the Ruhr.
 

Erinthecute

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gessler president.png

The 1925 German presidential election was a mess of jockeying and political machinations. Far from being a candidate-focused race, the electoral system was expressly designed with political parties in mind: the first round was intended to help the various factions gauge their strength before deciding on joint candidates in the second round, which was decided by a plurality. In the weeks leading up to the election, the parties and their leadership discussed and negotiated numerous candidates. All were keen to build broad alliances in the hopes of securing a first-round majority and avoid a runoff. The DVP put forward Karl Jarres, mayor of Duisburg, who drew broad support among the conservative right in light of the lack of attractive alternatives. The DVP and DNVP, however, suspected they lacked the strength to win alone, were eager to bring the Zentrum, DDP, and BVP on board for a united bürgerlich candidate, who would be all but guaranteed victory.

Their chance came in early March when the DDP's Anton Erkelenz appealed to all parties from the SPD to the DNVP to unite behind acting president Walter Simons, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. In his view, this apolitical consensus candidacy would stabilise the political situation and garner goodwill abroad. In truth, very few were interested. They all had something to gain from putting forward their own candidates. Indeed, the SPD had already decided to pass on a joint candidacy of any kind and announced Otto Braun as their nominee two days earlier. The conservatives, however, saw an opening and invited the five bourgeois parties to discuss a possible joint candidate.

The pretense of uniting behind Simons was dropped almost immediately. The DVP and DNVP both rejected him. The Zentrum and DDP responded by refusing to support Jarres. Representatives from the right-wing bourgeois camp then brought a new name into the equation: Otto Gessler. Gessler was the federal Defence Minister, one of the most conservative members of the DDP, a Catholic from Württemberg, had a mixture of democratic and monarchist sympathies, and had helped bring down Saxony's SPD government in 1923. He seemed to have something to offer everyone. For a moment, it seemed like they'd found their bürgerlich candidate.

In reality, there were holes all over this proposal: the SPD and even DDP press began flanking him from the left by emphasising his commitment to republicanism, which damaged his appeal among the DNVP. Likewise, DVP leader Stresemann feared the international repercussions of elevating the Reichswehr minister to the presidency. At a meeting on 12 March, he intentionally scuttled talks by goading Zentrum and the DDP into endorsing Gessler, only to bait the DNVP by putting up Jarres, who immediately backed him and refused to entertain further discussions. The Zentrum and DDP representatives thus walked out, bringing the project to ruin. Jarres went on to win 39% of the vote to the Weimar coalition's combined 49%, paving the way for the emergency selection of Paul von Hindenburg as the right-wing's candidate in the second round.

If the talks hadn't been sabotaged, though, a broad Gessler candidacy could have eventuated.
 
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Erinthecute

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Soft reboot of my Communist Germany scenario (election, DSL), in which a monarchist restoration during the Weimar Republic leads to a Franco-German war and a brief civil war won by a communist/socialist/liberal/Christian democratic coalition, producing a socialist-oriented republic in which the Communist Party is the most dominant force until its collapse on the late 80s.
  • Democratic People's Party (DVP): a broad party of the centre to centre-right and the standard-bearer of liberalism in Germany. The DVP was the primary opposition of the KPD during the second republic, and has governed the country most of the time since 1989. They favour economic liberalism, decentralisation of government power, and European integration. On moral issues, the party is divided between a conservative southern wing and a more moderate northern one.
  • German Socialist Left (DSL): the primary successor of the KPD, a democratic socialist party backed by most trade unions. Representing the mainstream left, they embrace progressivism, the welfare state, and industrial democracy. Though never as potent as force as the KPD, they remain the second force in parliament. Most recently in government 2007-15, which ended in a disastrous defeat from which they are still recovering.
  • Reichsblock: a national conservative party with a völkisch streak and the black sheep of German politics. Still unable to shake their association with the monarchist dictatorship from which they descend, they retain a loyal voting bloc planted firmly on the right of the spectrum. Though excluded from government since the 70s, they are sometimes approached by the DVP for support during confidence motions.
  • Progressive People's Party (FVP): the party of the progressive centre and home for many dissatisfied moderates. Since the end of the second republic, they play kingmaker between the DVP and DSL. Social liberal in orientation and attract notable support from Germany's minority populations.
  • Communist Workers' Party (KAP): the wing of the old KPD which rejected the DSL's turn away from socialist orthodoxy. Backed by some trade unions, they have managed to carve out a niche among radical workers. Principled, but willing to join coalitions with the DSL should the need arise.
  • Ecology: an environmentalist party positioned close to the FVP, but with differing priorities. Not often brought into government, but often agree to support coalitions externally.
  • Socialist People's Party (SVP): a splinter from the DSL formed by deputies disillusioned by developments during its second term in government. Narrowly leapt into parliament in 2015 but failed to accomplish much since.
After sweeping to victory in 2015, Volker Wissing formed a minority coalition with the FVP, supported by Ecology. A firmly centre-oriented policy followed. Despite its deep wounds, the DSL settled back into opposition and began to rebuild under new leader Hilde Mattheis. Polls saw the party reclaiming its base from the SVP and benefiting as the DVP's popularity declined. Come the 2019 election, they grew to a respectable 29% while the DVP slipped to 34%. Wissing secured another term after renewing his coalition with the FVP, but was forced to do a deal with the devil and approach Joana Cotar for support on the confidence motion.
 

Erinthecute

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If you want some background on how German politics is going at the moment, I have a convenient annotated diagram, and there's a longer writeup on reddit.

This map is based on the most recent data from INSA, the only pollster which publishes projections of Germany's 299 constituencies. I've been watching German polls closely for the last three years and this is absolutely the craziest one I've seen yet. The SPD is projected to win 149 constituencies, their highest tally since 2002, when they won 171. The CDU/CSU would fall to 126 despite winning a slight plurality in the party vote. The Greens, who have only won a single constituency in their history up to this point, would jump to 16.

This Bundestag would also be the most fragmented in German history by a wide margin, topping the record held by the previous Bundestag.

Additional fun facts: Olaf Scholz and Annalena Baerbock are running against one another in the Potsdam constituency (southwest of Berlin). Scholz is projected to win by a safe margin. Armin Laschet is running in Aachen I constituency (located on the border, southwest of the Rhine-Ruhr inset on the main map) and is projected to lose to the SPD's candidate Ye-One Rhie. Former CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer is also running for the constituency of Saarbrücken in the Saarland and, likewise, is projected to lose. This is all mostly symbolic, though, since all of these candidates will enter the Bundestag on party lists regardless of whether they win their constituencies.
 

Ares96

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Not my favourite subject, but I found the data and the opportunity was too good to pass up.
Out of curiosity, where did you find it? Mapping Weimar-era elections at lower levels has been a holy grail of mine for some years now.
 

Erinthecute

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Out of curiosity, where did you find it? Mapping Weimar-era elections at lower levels has been a holy grail of mine for some years now.
Here: https://treemagic.org/rademacher/www.verwaltungsgeschichte.de/laender.html

Among tons of other data, you can find results for the March 1933 election on the pages of most districts and cities. A couple of places also have results for 1928 and 1930 (mostly in the Weser-Ems region.) Unfortunately the data is pretty limited to March 1933, which is not my favourite election to look at since it wasn't free or fair. Honestly I'd give my firstborn for full district-level data for the Reichstag and presidential elections from 1919-32.
 

Erinthecute

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More from revamped Communist Germany. In 2007 the government of Hermann Otto Solms was swept from office among a DSL and KAP surge, with the latter recording their best-ever result. They formed a strong minority government externally supported by Ecology under Chancellor Dietmar Bartsch. While the Bartsch government was relatively well-received by the public, the KAP lost a substantial portion of support during its tenure. Come the 2011 election, the DVP's new leader Carsten Meyer-Heder failed to capture the public's attention. New Reichsblock leader Joana Cotar attracted millions of new voters, styling herself as a bourgeois conservative, and boosted the party to its best result in decades. It was not enough to topple Bartsch, however, and the red-red minority government was returned for a second term, again with support from Ecology.

The government's second term was troubled, however. Bartsch found stiff opposition from parliament and was ultimately forced to resign after a bribery scandal arose concerning one of his ministers. He was replaced by Doris Barnett, a leader of the right-wing of the DSL, who immediately encountered difficulties with the Communists. She struggled to even get policy through the party left. A series of embarrassingly legislative defeats caused a faction of left-wingers to leave the DSL and launch the Socialist People's Party. To patch up her numbers, Barnett secured additional confidence from the centrist FVP, but this further damaged relations with the KAP. Scarcely able to pass a budget and with a sinking public image, Barnett limped on to the next election, which saw the coalition catastrophically swept from power. Volker Wissing took over as Chancellor in a minority government with the FVP.

Once in opposition, Barnett was ousted in favour of Hilde Mattheis, who worked to reunite the party and brought a number of SVP leaders back into the fold. She led the DSL to a respectable 29% in the 2019 election, depriving the government of a working majority and forcing them to turn to the Reichsblock for confidence.
 

Erinthecute

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Felt like making a map about home

Awaba is a state on the east coast of Australia, located about 100 km north of Sydney, comprising the OTL local government areas of Newcastle and Lake Macquarie. It contains most of the Greater Newcastle metropolitan area as well as the region around Lake Macquarie (known to the Awabakal people as Awaba, from which the state takes its name). Its state parliament consists of the 89-seat Legislative Assembly and 23-seat Legislative Council. In the 2021 election, the Labor Party under Sharon Cladyon retained a comfortable majority and claimed 54.6% of the vote in two-party-preferred terms. The opposition Liberals lost three seats, one to each of the other parties in Parliament. Greg Piper's Alliance saw a small resurgence and claimed six seats, while the Greens won their third in the Newcastle CBD.

OTL context: as the outlet for the coal mines of the Upper Hunter, Newcastle has traditionally been one of Australia's major ports, and remains the largest coal-exporting port in the world. Throughout the 20th century it grew to become the second-largest metropolitan area in New South Wales, behind only Sydney; today its greater metropolitan area, including surrounding LGAs, contains over half a million people. Lake Macquarie, comprising the area south of Newcastle and around the titular lake, has been thoroughly integrated with Newcastle for decades. Today the two cities comprise a continuous urban area stretching from the mouth of the Hunter River in the north to Swansea in the south, at the inlet of the lake. Between them, the two LGAs are home to almost 400,000 people. A 2015 boundary review recommended that the two councils merge, but the state government rejected its findings.

With an industrial heritage and strong urban working-class, Newcastle and Lake Macquarie are traditionally among the strongest Labor regions in the state. Of the five state electorates in the region, two have never been held by the Liberal Party, and the remaining three only fell in the historic 2011 landslide (of which two reverted back to Labor in by-elections in 2014). Its three federal divisions, likewise, have been held by Labor since their creation. The Liberals have not fared much better in local politics. The only force that has proven capable of dislodging Labor's dominance have been independents and local groups, of which Greg Piper is the most prominent. He led the Independent Lake Alliance to a stunning victory in the 2004 local elections in Lake Macquarie, becoming the largest party on the city council and winning the mayoralty. He went on to contest and win the electorate of Lake Macquarie, comprising the western part of the LGA, in the 2007 state election. He was re-elected as mayor in 2008 and retained his state seat in the 2011 election. After he was forced to resign as mayor in 2012 due to reforms restricting dual membership of offices, Labor won the subsequent election. The ILA has since dwindled to only once council seat while Labor has returned to dominance, but Piper is more popular than ever. He retained his seat in the NSW parliament with 72% of the two-candidate vote in 2019. In Newcastle, the Liberals struggle with the Greens to claim second place with a vote share below 20%, while unaffiliated independents win 30%.
 
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Erinthecute

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New INSA poll just dropped

This map is truly absurd and all I can do is blame INSA. Outside of the south, The CDU are reduced to their pure heartland here - Cloppenburg-Vechta, Paderborn, Fulda, Borken and Coesfeld, etc. The CDU and CSU are level on 37 constituencies each. The AfD sweeps Saxony. The CDU literally loses all their constituencies in the east except Merkel's. This is a frankly ridiculous, realistically impossible result, but this is what the methodology gives you with the kind of swings we're seeing here. This election is gonna be fucking crazy and I am 100% here for it.
 
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