Newtopia, Telluria, Venus -- 25 Apr. 2057: Prediction markets, polls and pundits were confounded by the bizarre, helter-skelter results in today's Venus-wide state Presidential and Directorial elections. The final results, many of which have already been challenged, show 12 Presidencies captured by the Socialist party; 9 by the Anarchist party; 5 by the Libertarians; 3 by the Communitarians; and one state, the terraforming hub of Telluria-Panegyric, taken by Technoprogressive candidate Zalyx Antimone Alvore. The Technoprogressives, an extreme outer-upper-leftwing party, are generally marginalized in the shadow of the Technocrats, which managed to hold only one Presidential seat, re-electing the immensely popular President Dax Mannheim in Elysium-Morningstar. State Directorates have also gone every which way, with the vast majority forced into coalitions and almost all in near-direct ideological opposition to the presidency.
Political commentators are scrambling to find an explanation for the bizarre results in what was widely predicted as a Socialist sweep across the board. Prediction market-centric blog Predictionomics, whose primary writer Len Bibbley lost heavily today investing in bets on Socialist wins, is on the hunt for evidence of market tampering. "There's just no way the markets could have got this so wrong without tampering," stated a clearly enraged Bibbley in a video post. Meanwhile, local state-level politics coverage on Stellar Political Review is focused on the unusual harshness of the campaign and the continual repetition of the "Socialist Sweep" mantra. "Venusians are a contrary and fractious lot," writes veteran Venusian political blogger Corpal Tawnal. "More than once during the campaign, I threw up my hands in disgust at the smear tactics and negativity being displayed between the Socialist and Technocrat candidates, all the while acting as if none of the other parties were even worth engaging with. In the end I voted Anarchist across the board, as a way of pissing into the airstream as much as anything else. And, how about that; [Anarchist party Presidential candidate] Gigas Fuentes took LVO. I'm thinking a whole lot of Venusians opened up their ballot key today and had the same idea I did. I'm just wondering if, in the cold hard light of the new day, our collective fit of pique won't be coming back to haunt us."