| Election results, 2008|
Red: Social Democratic Party
Blue: Christian Democratic Union
Yellow: Free Liberal Party
Orange: Centre Democrats
Green: Green Party
Maroon: Socialist Left Party
The Brunanter presidential election of 2008 was a presidential election in Brunant held on October 2, 2008, and was won by incumbent President Gert Henneman (Social Democratic Party) by a small margin over main rival Adrian Vandreck (Christian Democratic Union). There were six other candidates that were placed on the ballot, who were Eric Peitersson (Free Liberal Party), Michael Mortensen (Centre Democrats), Cornelius Dortman (Green Party), Adriana Rand (Socialist Left Party), Sofia Andersen (Brunant Conservatives), and Jan Andersen (National Union). All but two of the candidates (Sofia Andersen and Jan Andersen did not) won their home parishes, and the SDP and CDU, who were the two front runners in the race, won other parishes as well.
The election was very close, and Henneman and Vandreck had been neck and neck in polls for much of the race. After elimination, still no candidate had a majority of votes. Since Henneman had a 5% edge over Vandreck at that point, he was declared the winner. Henneman had also won the plurality of votes, so he would have become president under a first past the post voting system as well.
In the first round of voting, two thirds of Social Democratic Party delegates voted for Gert Henneman, the incumbent president, at the party's convention in April in Sint-Anders, Sint-Anders Parish. Most opponents were not expected to have a chance against the incumbent and rather popular president.
The Christian Democratic Union voted for moderate Adrian Vandreck (the senator from Carrington Parish) to represent them in the elections on the second round of voting at the party's convention in May 2008 at Niesburg, Carrington Parish. Vandreck had been the front-runner for most opinion polls of CDU voters, although Giovanni Spatola (the senator from Chester Parish) had been a close second in many sections of the race for the nomination of the CDU.
There were six other candidates. The Free Liberal Party had a close two-person race, but selected Eric Peitersson (the senator from Drenthe Parish) over Anne McCann (a representative from Helmond Parish) as their candidate on the third vote at their convention in April 2008 in Drenthe, Drenthe Parish. The Centre Democrats selected Michael Mortensen (a representative from Adams Parish) on the first voting round at their convention in March 2008 in Adamstown, Adams Parish. The Green Party selected previous candidate Cornelius Dortman (the senator from Brunant Parish) again on the first round of convention at their February 2008 convention in Sint-Willemstad, Sint-Willemstad Parish. The Socialist Left Party selected new politician Adriana Rand (the senator from Helmond Parish) as their candidate in their convention in Roodstad, Helmond Parish on the second vote. The Brunant Conservatives voted for Sofia Andersen (a representative from Sint-Willemstad Parish) on the first round of voting at their convention in Cape Cross, Cape Cross Parish. National Union perennial candidate Jan Andersen (with no major political position) was selected by the party leadership to run for that party. No other candidates succeeded in getting on the ballot.
This election had a lengthy campaign on all sides. The six smaller parties focused more of their effort on winning one individual parish, while the SDP and CDU had a more nationwide campaign. There were three official debates administered by political science centers. Issues mostly focused on the failing economy and social issues.
Three official debates were administered. In the first two, all parties except for the National Union, which at the time was not polling above 3% were invited. In the final debate, all parties running for the presidency were invited.
The Social Democratic Party was considered to have won the first debate according to most news stations and newspapers. Most of the debate was between Henneman and Vandreck, and near the end, a stumble by Vandreck in his message caused him to lose some support. At one point in the middle of the debate, Free Liberal Party candidate Peitersson took center stage, arguing his combination of CDU fiscal conservatism and SDP social liberty. Green Party candidate Dortman heavily noted his position on the environment and social tolerance throughout the debate, often comparing himself to Henneman. The Centre Democrats, Socialist Left Party, and Brunant Conservatives mostly made their message clear during the beginning, although Andersen jockeyed with Henneman and Dortman near the end.
The second debate was considered a draw by most news stations and newspapers. The Socialist Left Party's candidate, Rand, advocated for taxes on business and the rich, and a more solid welfare system, while the Brunant Conservatives's Andersen promised to cut income taxes and replace it with a consumption tax to help responsible citizens while cutting down on debt.
The third debate was thought to have been won by the Christian Democratic Union. Vandreck emphasized his party's stance on the economy: promoting business while not hurting labour at the same time. This was the only debate where the National Union was invited. Being the last debate, Jan Andersen explained his positions in detail.
The main issue in the election was the economy. The election occurred before the worst of the late 2000s recession, so each party provided a slightly different way to help the economy recover. This was the most argued topic in the debate, and the different plans of each party appealed to a different group of voters.
Another important topic was social issues. The Green Party, Free Liberal Party and Socialist Left Party both expressed their want to legalize abortion and gay marriage. The other five parties were either opposed or neutral to this. The Brunant Conservatives were more strongly opposed, mostly on the abortion front. The Christian Democratic Union continued to appeal to Christian voters, although they did not emphasize their social issues stance to avoid alienating more liberal voters.
Election day was on October 2, 2008. Henneman had been narrowly leading Vandreck and the other candidates in most opinion polls in the week before the election.
Henneman won the plurality of the vote in election with a 2.1% margin over Vandreck.
|Party||Candidate||Votes||Percent of Total|
|Social Democratic Party||Gert Henneman||129,947||22.3%|
|Christian Democratic Union||Adrian Vandreck||117,709||20.2%|
|Free Liberal Party||Eric Peitersson||99,645||17.1%|
|Centre Democrats||Michael Mortensen||79,250||13.6%|
|Green Party||Cornelius Dortman||69,342||11.9%|
|Socialist Left Party||Adriana Rand||48,366||8.3%|
|Brunant Conservatives||Sofia Andersen||27,971||4.8%|
|National Union||Jan Andersen||10,490||1.8%|
Since no candidate had a majority of votes, elimination, according to the Constitution, was required. Jan Andersen was the first candidate to be eliminated. Most of his votes were transferred to his daughter, Sofia, or Vandreck. Because only 1.8% of voters voted for the elder Andersen, still no candidate had a majority of votes. The younger Andersen was the next to be eliminated. Most of her votes were then transferred to Vandreck, although a considerable amount were also transferred to Peitersson. This next elimination put Vandreck into the lead in terms of votes. The next eliminated candidate was Rand of the SLP. The vast majority of her votes were transferred to Henneman, although many were transferred to Dortman. This put Henneman in the lead once more. The votes from Rand were just enough to make Dortman pass Mortensen by number of votes, so Mortensen was eliminated. Many of Mortensen's votes had no further choice, and were exhausted. Most of those that remained were transferred to Henneman or Vandreck. Vandreck gained some votes on Henneman, but remained behind. Dortman was eliminated next, and most of his votes were transferred to Henneman, giving Henneman a wide lead. Still no candidate had a majority. This left Peitersson, Vandreck, and Henneman as the last three candidates. Peitersson was eliminated last, and many of his votes were exhausted, but a large amount were transferred to Vandreck. This was not enough to catch Henneman, and Henneman now had 44% of the votes compared to Vandreck's 39% and 17% of ballots being exhausted, so Henneman was elected president.
- Chester Parish: Chester was a race between Henneman, Peitersson, and Vandreck. Vandreck ended up winning the parish by a narrow margin. Chester has voted for the FLP or CDU in most recent presidential elections. Henneman finished second with Peitersson in a close third.
- Sint-Anders Parish: Sint-Anders voted for Henneman by a narrow margin over Vandreck. Sint-Anders has been a variable parish in recent presidential elections, so the SDP considered the win to be strategic. Peitersson finished third.
- Cape Cross Parish: Cape Cross voted for Henneman by a wide margin, as expected. The parish had voted consistently for the SDP in the nearly all recent presidential elections. Cape Cross was also Henneman's home parish, helping his victory in the parish. Mortensen finished second, and Vandreck third.
- Helmond Parish: Rand had focused most of her campaign efforts in her home parish of Helmond, and won by a very small margin over Henneman in it. The parish was considered an upset victory because of the SLP's extreme stances on many economic issues. Mortensen finished third.
- Central Parish: Central was a race between Peitersson and Vandreck. In the end, Vandreck succeeded in winning the parish by a narrow margin over Peitersson, with Henneman in third.
- Carrington Parish: Carrington was expected to vote for Vandreck, which it did. Dortman also contended the parish, and came in second, with Henneman in third.
- Adams Parish: As Mortensen's home parish, Adams was expected to vote for CD, as it often does. In the end, Henneman (second) and Vandreck (third) contested the parish, but were not able to win it.
- Mariaberg Parish: Mariaberg was considered a toss-up parish, and therefore was most contested by Henneman and Vandreck. Henneman won the parish by a moderate margin, and Vandreck finished second, while Peitersson took third.
- Sint-Willemstad Parish: As the home parish of Andersen, the CvB heavily contested Sint-Willemstad. However, unlike the SLP, its extreme views were not able to appeal to enough voters. This split the conservative vote, and led to a Henneman victory, with Andersen second and Vandreck third.
- Drenthe Parish: Drenthe voted for Peitersson, as expected, as Drenthe is Peitersson's home parish. Vandreck took second and Henneman third.
- Brunant Parish: The Greens, with disappointing results in other parishes, focused their efforts in Brunant, and were able to win the parish. Henneman took second and Peitersson third.
- Roseland Parish: As Roseland was not part of Brunant until 2011, Roseland did not vote in these elections.
Vandreck and the other candidates conceded the election in speeches the next morning, vowing to cooperate in Congress with the president and his allies. His second term is due to last until January 1, 2014.