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Thanks to Rule of Drama, fictional elections often come down to a tiny handful of votes, or even just a single vote. This may result in a Dark Horse Victory or a victory by the candidate commonly reckoned to be the "underdog". Sometimes a crooked machine politician will be unseated, to the shock of everyone.

Then again, sometimes one side just plain gets clobbered. When that happens, you have a Landslide Election. If it's really one-sided, one might even call it a "Curb Stomp Election". These are not at all uncommon in Real Life; the examples could go on and on, but they generally fall under a few basic types[1]:

The election was held in a state where the elections are just for show, and only serve to confirm that the current despot or despots are supported by "the people".

  • Seen in many old Communist or generally authoritarian regimes which still have elections.
  • One of the most famous (and most over-the-top) recent examples was the 2002 Presidential referendum in Iraq, which boasted 100% voter turnout, and in which every single voter marked "Yes" to allowing Saddam Hussein to continue as Iraq's leader for 7 more years.
  • In 1927, Charles D.B. King put Hussein's rigged election to shame, when he claimed to receive 234,000 votes in the Liberian presidential election. The number of registered voters was less than 15,000. With a margin of victory at least 1460% greater than possible, the Guinness World Book of Records gives it the title of World's Most Fraudulent Election.
  • Many people suspect this to be the cause of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's massive victory in the Iranian presidential election of 2009.

The country does have a functioning multiparty system, but...

A party normally in strong contention nominates a more radical or philosophically principled candidate, whose proposals are too far out of the mainstream to garner much public support. He is then thoroughly clobbered by a more pragmatic opponent. Sometimes, however, this defeat is instrumental in securing a victory in some future election; the idealist candidate "rallies the troops", and gets them excited about politics again.

  • In 1964, the American Republican Party nominated outspoken Conservative Barry M. Goldwater for President, instead of easygoing moderate Nelson Rockefeller. Goldwater won only six states out of fifty, and President Johnson won 61% of the popular vote (still the highest percentage won by any President since 1820).

    It probably helped that Lyndon Johnson had recently signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which "outlawed unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities that served the general public", gaining much favor even among moderate Republicans. Goldwater had voted against the Act because he genuinely believed it wasn't within the remit of the federal government. This didn't stop his opponents from grouping him with people who used "states' rights" as a cover for racism.

    It also helped that Johnson had been president for less than a year, and the electorate wasn't ready to elect a new man when they hadn't even broken in the current one. However, a certain celebrity gave a speech on Goldwater's behalf that kick-started his own political career.
  • In the UK, Labour's legendarily poor, curbstomp-inducing campaign in 1983 (which included such promises as dismantling the UK's nuclear arsenal), which Labour MP Gerald Kaufman called "the longest suicide note in history".

    Labour had barely recovered from a 1981 split, when a wing of the Party left and went on to found the Social Democratic Party. In the elections Labour won 27.6% of the vote, an alliance between the Social Democrats and Liberals won 25.4%.
  • France in 2002: Far right politician Jean-Marie Le Pen managed to get the second place in the first turn of the presidential election, behind the incumbent conservative president Jacques Chirac, but ahead of the Prime Minister Lionel Jospin (he fell to third place due to massive abstention, vote-splitting on the left among various parties and being perceived as "soft on crime"). The runoff was therefore a contest between a moderately conservative outgoing president frequently accused of corruption scandals and a far right nationalist and overtly xenophobic politician. His slogan "Proud to be French", was mocked by protest signs reading "I'm ashamed to be French". As a result, nearly every non-far-right voter decided to vote for Chirac, who got reelected with 82% of the votes.

    Still, some French voters weren't happy about the choice offered. This was famously epitomised by a pre-election poster of Chirac with the caption "vote for the crook, not the fascist".
  • A similar example to France: in 1991, Louisiana voters also found themselves in a mess after incumbent governor Buddy Roemer placed third in the first round (largely due to a faltering government and a poorly handled party switch), and the final decision came down to Edwin Edwards, a three-term governor (who lost the previous election to Roemer) constantly accused of corruption but minority-friendly, and David Duke, a far-right Nazi-sympathising former Grand Wizard of the KKK. The outcome proved rather predictable: almost everybody closed ranks behind Edwards (he was endorsed locally by his former rivals Roemer and David Treen, and nationally by George HW Bush) and he went on to crush Duke by a 61%-39% landslide. As with the French one, bumper stickers expressing the importance of supporting Edwards appeared, two of the most popular being "Vote for the crook. It's important." and "Vote for the lizard, not the wizard".

    Duke won over half the white vote...[2] and, incredibly, eight percent of the black vote!

    In what can be either Hilarious in Hindsight or a scarily accurate prediction, the now-defunct Shreveport Journal considered Edwards' career over after his loss to Roemer in 1987 and said that the only way he could win again was if he ran against Hitler. Edwards also got into the act, snarking to a journalist that the only thing he had to do to win was "stay alive".[3]
  • The same thing happened in Romania in 2000: as a result of the then-ruling right-wing coalition collapsing and popular disillusionment, the choice came down to either Ion Iliescu, who had already served as president after Communism fell between 1989-1996 and remains (to say the least) very controversial over his involvement in the Mineriads, and Corneliu Vadim Tudor, an infamous far-right politician known for nationalism, xenophobia, irredentism (his party is the only one that still advocates reunification with Moldova), and populist anti-Semitic, anti-Roma and anti-Hungarian rhetoric. Predictably, Iliescu defeated Tudor by a 66.8%-33.2% majority, although the election was notable for having a really low turnout.

One candidate is so strong and so popular (sometimes because of a war effort) that the opposition has no chance whatsoever, even though said opposition would probably win against a generic candidate. Often, the main opposition will decline to run against the candidate, or even support it, leaving minor parties to try (and fail) to win.

    • Irish politics does this quite often; there's sometimes wide-ranging support for presidential candidates which leaves the election unopposed. The last time this happened was in 2004, where Mary McAleese ran with full backing from Fianna Fail (her old party) and Fine Gael.
    • The re-elections for Franklin D Roosevelt in 1936, 1940, and 1944 were all political landslides because, let's face it, Roosevelt was and still is very popular. In 1936, the Great Depression was still in full swing and FDR ran on a "we got you Social Security, now let me do the rest" campaign, and simply crushed Alf Landon, who only managed to win Maine and Vermont (notably, a magazine named The Literary Digest actually predicted a Landon landslide after conducting a straw poll; it ceased publication shortly after the election). In 1940, he rode into a third term after fixing the economy. And in 1944, there was the slight matter of a little war going on; indeed, many scholars believe that Thomas Dewey's 1944 campaign was better than his 1948 campaign (see below), but his major problem was running against Roosevelt.
    • Richard Nixon's 1972 re-election was primarily because pro-Vietnam War sentiment was still rife and his election team engaging in some of the dirtiest politics known to man. It's suggested that Nixon was an idiot (or, more accurately, paranoid, see his page more info) for breaking into the Watergate because he was so popular he could've won this election without the dirty tricks.
      • There was also an almost perfect storm of catastrophe for the Democratic candidate, George McGovern: He didn't clinch the nomination until the convention because the second-place finisher contested the California primary results. The fight to actually win the nomination consumed so much attention that his campaign team didn't pick a VP candidate until the convention's second day. They had more than half a dozen people turn the slot down before they essentially picked Tom Eagleton at random. The balloting for President and Vice President took so long that by the time McGovern delivered his acceptance speech, the only U.S. media market where it was still Prime Time was Guam. And, finally, it was revealed that Eagleton had a history of mental health problems, involving institutionalization and electric shock therapy, and McGovern had to dump him, by which time the only replacement he could get was Sargent Shriver, a man whose extensive record of public service did not include any prior elected office. Basically, the last good day of the campaign for McGovern was the California primary. It was all downhill from there. (You can read an excellent--if biased[4]--account of McGovern's campaign in Hunter S. Thompson's seminal Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72.)
    • Across the pond from the United States, the United Kingdom's general election in 1931 is a good example of this. Shortly before the election, the former Labour Prime Minister Ramsay Mac Donald had formed a National Government, which was composed of the Conservative Party, the vast majority of the Liberal Party and a handful of rogue but largely popular Labour M Ps. It was created with the goal of leading the UK through the Great Depression, and when the country went to the polls in 1931, its candidates won 556 of 615 seats in the Commons and an overall majority of 497. The Conservative Party alone won 473 seats (a majority of 331), and 55% of the vote - the only time a single party has won more than half the popular vote under universal suffrage. Labour, the only real party of opposition, suffered the worst election defeat for a major party in history too, losing over 80% (225) of the seats it held at dissolution. Incredibly, only two years earlier, the Conservative leader and former Prime Minister (now de facto Deputy, or even arguably Co-, PM under Macdonald), Stanley Baldwin, had lead his party into an election that saw more than a third of his parliamentary party wiped out. Four years later it was re-elected, this time with Baldwin becoming PM, and won the second largest majority in history despite losing 100 seats. It wasn't until 1945, when the National Government had disintegrated to the point where it was almost exclusively made up of the by-then-unpopular Conservative Party, that it lost power.
    • "Hurricane" Hazel McCallion, mayor of Mississauga, Ontario, squeaked into office in 1978 by narrowly defeating Ron Searle, and has stayed there ever since. (As of 2010, she is 89 years old!) She is so popular that for the last few elections she hasn't even bothered campaigning, instead taking a vacation during that time; she is generally elected with 80-90% of the vote. To date no real competitor has ever come up.
      • Fun fact? So far Mississauga has only had three mayors since consolidation in 1974. She's the third.
    • Singapore, all the way. The PAP remains the most trusted party in the nation's whole history, and has only begun really conceding votes and seats in the last decade.
    • Interestingly averted in France in 1965: this was the first direct presidential election in postwar France, and Charles de Gaulle was expected to handily win, seeing as he was the war hero and architect of the Fifth Republic. His opponent was future president François Mitterrand, running on behalf of the CIR, a temporary coalition of all the major non-Communist left-wing parties. De Gaulle was so confident in his victory he only announced his candidacy a month before the vote and didn't campaign actively. Mitterrand surprised everyone and did way better than was expected, grabbing just enough votes to prevent a first-round victory for de Gaulle (44% vs 31%, six points below the required amount) and securing 45% of the votes in the second, considerably narrowing de Gaulle's victory margin to 55%. The lack of a Landslide Election is now considered one of the first signs of de Gaulle's later decline and loss of power.

The country has a multiparty democracy, but the main opposition party disintegrates due to internal dissension and a general lack of organisation and purpose. One party will win all the major elections until a viable replacement for the opposition can be found.

    • The American Federalist Party collapsed shortly after 1816; James Monroe won the 1820 Presidential election essentially without opposition, winning 228 of 231 electoral votes. Eventually, the Federalists were replaced by the Whigs.
    • In Canada, when the Progressive Conservatives wound up so hated they got reduced to only 2 seats in 1993 and died off. The Liberals didn't have many problems governing for the rest of The Nineties. At one point, their official opposition was the Bloc Québecois, a party whose main goal is to secede Québec from Canada.
      • Not unexpected. Canada was under the effect of a widespread recession which had started in 1987. It had started in the United States and went on to include Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and (to a lesser extent) the rest of Europe and Japan. Unemployment in Canada had risen to unprecedented levels and the governing Progressive Conservatives were accused of failing to do anything about it. While the United States' economy had started recovering by 1992, in Canada the recession lasted to 1995.
      • Another thing which didn't help the PC's case was the infamous face ad, which, to many people, appeared to be mocking Chretien for his Bell's palsy. It didn't go over very well with the voters.

The party which has been governing for the past few years has been doing a spectacularly cruddy job, or at least many people believe that they have. In an election that most people think is long-overdue, the electorate decides to "Throw the Bums Out" in a big way.

    • For fifty years after the Civil War, the Republican Party dominated federal policy, which was characterized by high tariffs, temperence, and westward expansion. Between 1861 and 1913, only one Democrat (Grover Cleveland) was elected President of the United States.
    • The Canadian Federal Election of 1984 saw a crushing defeat of the Liberals, who had been in power for every year but one since 1963, by the Progressive Conservatives, who accused the Liberals of corruption, incompetence, and spendthrift irresponsibility. Evidently, the voters agreed.
      • Also, the resulting winner of the 1984 election, Brian Mulroney, wound up so hated that the PCs themselves got curbstomped in 1993.
    • The New Zealand general election of 1990 saw the National Party win 67 of the 97 seats in Parliament, and kick the Labour Party out of government over its wide-sweeping neo-liberal reforms ("Rogernomics") of the past six years.
      • And then when the new National government decided to continue the reforms, New Zealanders lost trust in the two-party system and ended up "screaming" in a 1992 indicative referendum on the voting system - 85% voted to ditch the existing First Past the Post voting system, and 70% nominated the Mixed Member Proportional system as its replacement.
    • After 18 years in office, in the UK's general election of 1997 the Conservatives received a massive "don't let the door hit your arse on the way out" notice. It's also happened a few more times in the UK, including (if I remember correctly) 1945 (sorry, Winston old boy, but Attlee is the man for peace) and 1979 (a great big "fuck you" to Labour in general and James Callaghan in particular).
      • 1979 wasn't a true landslide however; the swing to the Tories was only half that of Labour's in '97, and the majority was comfortable, but not very big at all. We only think of it as such because of the significance placed on the election in retrospect; 1983 and 1987 were, however, landslide re-elections with massive majorities. True landslide victories for an incoming goverment can also be found in 1886, 1906 and 1924. In 1886 the Conservatives hammered the Liberals badly; in 1906 the Liberals got their revenge when they crushed the Conservatives (their worst-ever election defeat). Finally, in 1924, the Conservatives returned to power at the expense of the Liberals once again.
      • Also, an interesting note, if the Tories in 1997 had lost just 10 more seats, it would have been the worst defeat for a ruling party in 165 years. John Major very narrowly avoided his name being recorded forever in British political history for all the wrong reasons.
    • Subverted by the 2010 UK general elections, where everyone was expecting the Tories to do to Labour what the latter did to the former in 1997. Labour had been in government for 13 years, the UK was in the middle of a recession, the Iraq and Afghan wars were still dragging on and Gordon Brown was unpopular. Yet not only did the Tories not win in a landslide, they actually failed to achieve enough seats to govern on their own, and so had to form a coalition with the centrist Liberal Democrats. Labour lost heavily, but kept enough seats for the prospect of an unstable multi-party coalition of Labour, the Lib Dems and the other minor parties with a majority of one or two to be semi-feasible.
    • Special mention goes to the 2009 Japanese general election, where the incumbent Liberal Democrats were utterly crushed by the opposition Democrats. It merits mention that until this point, the LDP had ruled Japan for an almost straight 54 years, except for an 11-month period from 1993 to 1994.
    • And of course, the US presidential election of 1932. The Great Depression was going on, millions of Americans were out of work, and Herbert Hoover wasn't doing shit. He received a massive "don't let the door hit your ass on the way out" notice - just to rub it in, during the election campaign a man wrote him a letter saying "vote for Roosevelt and make it unanimous".
    • The US 1980 presidential election saw Jimmy Carter going into the election with the Iran hostage crisis, a worsening economy at home, inflation, high interest rates and high unemployment all on his watch. He proceeded to get his ass kicked.
    • The 2011 Irish general election resulted in ruling party Fianna Fáil being knocked down from 77 T Ds (of 166) to 20, only managing to win one seat out of around forty in the capital Dublin, after a really deep recession had shattered confidence in the economy and the party.
      • And bear in mind that since the country's first election, Fianna Fáil had won elections fourteen out of twenty-six times on it's own, and another five times as part of a coalition. That's right, they pissed people off who'd been voting for them for nearly a century (the first election was in 1927). And their previous voting percentage was 41.6%- after the election, it was 17%. Yeah, we were pissed.
    • Within Quebec, the 2011 federal election proved to be this for the NDP. While the Tories won a healthy but hardly spectacular (in normal circumstances) majority in Canada as a whole, the race in Quebec was really between the sovereigntist (read: nationalist/separatist) Bloc Quebecois and the soft-federalist New Democratic Party (both parties are leftish and vaguely social-democratic; what distinguishes them in Quebec is their position on sovereignty). Before the election, the Bloc had previously had 47 of 75 seats from Quebec (2/3s). After the election, the Bloc had four of 75--the remaining 43 all went to the New Democrats. The NDP also took 7 of 14 Liberal seats in Quebec, and 5 of 10 Conservative ones. Yeah, it was that kind of election.
      • One Quebec riding was deemed so pro-Bloc that the NDP only run a token candidate in it. The candidate was a 24 year old woman with almost no political experience and did not even live in the riding. She did not campaign and cast an early absentee ballot so she could spend election day on vacation in Las Vegas (she had bought the plane tickets before the election was called and did not see a reason to change her plans). When she actually won the seat, everyone was dumbfounded and the NDP leadership publicly promised that they would make sure she that she took her new duties seriously.
    • Perhaps the most internationally famous example is the first multi-racial parliamentary election in South Africa in 1994, in which around 80% of the population was entitled to vote for the first time ever (and another 11% for the first time on the same terms as white people), with the end of apartheid, and every election post-apartheid since. The African National Congress - the party led by Nelson Mandela - won 252 of 400 seats and 62.65% of the popular vote and the National Party, which had governed for 46 years without interruption, retained only 82 of the 232 seats it was notionally defending with 21 of 103 incumbent National legislators losing their seats. Unsurprisingly, there was very little opposition to the ANC from the major parties, and the outcome of the election was a foregone conclusion from the start of the campaign. The ANC has repeated this success at every election since, winning larger majorities in 1999 and 2004, and only losing seats for the first time in 2009 (but still finishing with more seats than the party had in '94). A serious, viable national opposition party has yet to arise to replace the now-defunct Nationals.
    • The 2011 Southern Sudanese independence referendum was a variant of this. 99% of the voters went for independence, and really, considering what the northern state had been doing to the South, you can't blame 'em.
    • Spanish politics tend to work like this, with power alternating between the Socialist Party and the People's Party not because the opposition party has a particularly good candidate, but because voters are so fed up with the party in power. The Socialists, who had won four straight elections since 1982, were finally defeated in 1996 because of corruption scandals as well as a crisis which had put lots of people out of work. The People's Party took power and was reelected in 2000, but lost the election of 2004 just a few days after the March 11 bombings in Madrid due to its insistence in blaming the attack on the Basque terrorist group ETA insted of Al Qaeda, a move that was interpreted by many as an intention to mislead for a political gain. The Socialists regained power and were reelected in 2008... and lost the next election in 2011 quite miserably because of another economic crisis which put millions out of work.

A major party winds up getting split between two factions, allowing another party to come up the middle and win easily. May or may not overlap with Type 3, above.

    • The US presidential election of 1912 (very sorry) had the Republicans split between the conservative wing, led by William Howard Taft, and the liberal wing, led by Theodore Roosevelt. After losing the Republican primary, Roosevelt founded his own party called the Progressive Party. The resulting split of Republican voters allowed Democrat Woodrow Wilson to come up the middle and win 40 states, and 435 electoral votes.
    • The UK election in 1983 also counts as this; looking beyond the unpopular candidate, Labour, and the Left in general, were undergoing a lot of factionalisation at the time. One major breakaway, the SDP, was actually predicted to win the election with the Liberal Party until about two weeks to go to the election.
    • As pointed out above, Jospin flunked out in the first round of presidential elections in 2002 because too many of his supporters split and voted for other left-wing parties instead of supporting him.

No particular problem or political issue caused it; it's just that one candidate has a crippling lack of charisma and oratorical ability, and possesses zero ability to connect with the voters.

    • Again from an American Presidential election, President Ronald Reagan absolutely crushed Walter Mondale in 1984. President Reagan probably would have won no matter what, but Mondale's nasal speaking voice, hesitant phrasing, and inability to "spin" his message, particularly when contrasted with the ultra-smooth skills of "The Great Communicator", turned an ordinary defeat into a Landslide Election.
      • Also not helping Mondale was the fact he was Jimmy Carter's Vice President considering the conditions that led to Reagan's beatdown of Carter in 1980.
      • Or that Mondale often got eclipsed by his much more popular VP pick, Geraldine Ferraro, in his own campaign materials. Several women's groups famously wore buttons reading Ferraro and What's His Name.
      • An example of failure to spin: he publicly admitted that whoever became president was probably going to have to raise taxes, and while he was being honest about this responsibility, he emphasised that he couldn't expect Reagan to be so honest. The voters interpreted this as "Mondale promises to raise taxes!". Reagan did end up raising taxes in the end, for what that's worth.
    • Same with Canada in 1984, where John Turner's really old age, lack of charisma and archaic language (he called unemployment relief programs "make-work programs", not helping his case with young voters) proved no match for Mulroney.
    • The USA, 1948. Incumbent Harry S Truman is very low in the polls, there's been a three-way split in the Democratic party and his loss appears unstoppable. Problem was, Republican candidate Thomas Dewey was advised to not do anything that could screw up his candidacy. He wound up becoming infamous for platitude-filled speeches that didn't even say what would happen if he'd be president [5]. On the other hand, Truman decided eh, what the hell, might as well unleash a brutal campaign mocking Dewey and the Republicans at every turn and campaigning all across the country. Nobody thinks he has a chance. Result? Truman wins (and proves that the prevent defense is a fail in politics, at least) while the Chicago Tribune gets to eat their words and name a trope simultaneously.
    • The 2011 elections in Scotland produced a record win to the highly charismatic Alex Salmond's SNP at the expense of the dull as ditchwater opponent Iain Gray's Labour (oftentimes referred to as "who?"). Made all the more notable in that the Scottish Parliamentary system was set up (some might say rigged) specifically to prevent any party getting a landslide vote, to the point where when polls began to show the lead Salmond was predicted (and the polls actually fell short of the actual height of real support) pollsters scrambled to work out why their surveys were throwing up such bizarre results and what was wrong with their weighting-formulas. The SNP in the end wiped out all of its opposition, and managed to force all three main other parties into humiliating leadership elections.
    • The Canadian Liberals faced this problem doubly in 2011. On the right, Prime Minister Stephen Harper isn't actually that great of a communicator--instead, he runs an extremely tight ship, which combined with the excellent work of the spin doctors to produce an incredibly coherent Tory message. On the left, Jack Layton is well-known for his affability, and when you compare Layton to the pedantic, professorial style of Michael Ignatieff...well, it's hardly a contest. No wonder the Liberals were pushed down to third literally for the first time ever.
    • The 2003 Ontario election wound up being this after the Conservatives issued a press statement calling Liberal leader Dalton Mc Guinty an "evil reptilian kitten-eater from another planet". It made them look nuts, and things pretty much snowballed from there.

In fiction, of course, a Landslide Election averts deciding by one vote, so it is most often used for comedy, rather than for drama. When used for drama, it can serve to illustrate how much the villain has made himself beloved by the public (perhaps thereby proving that Democracy Is Bad), or serve as a cathartic final victory for the good guys, proving that they have triumphed beyond doubt. This is probably a more realistic way to show that the heroes have "won" than having them win by a narrow margin, since an election won by a very narrow margin generally does not give the winner a "mandate" to do what he wants, and one may rest assured that a significant portion of the electorate will probably resent the fact that he took office.

Because this deals with the results of elections, expect spoilers. Also, since these are so much more common in Real Life than in fiction, only truly exceptional real-life examples should be listed- it will vary depending on the electoral system in question, but ideally, shoot for a threshold of victory with at least 70% of the vote.

Compare Down to the Last Play.

Examples of Landslide Election include:


  • The South Park episode "Douche and Turd" featured an election for the position of "school mascot" between the title characters. The whole episode appeared to be a set-up for a Decided by One Vote scenario, with An Aesop about the importance of voting. After Stan is finally persuaded to cast his vote, which he does for the Turd Sandwich, the Giant Douche wins the election, 1410 to 36. To make matters worse, a messenger arrives just after the results are read to tell the characters that outside circumstances had rendered the whole election unnecessary, and neither candidate would take his place as mascot.
  • The 2002 Presidential Election on The West Wing was originally predicted to be close, but instead turned into a Landslide Election after President Bartlet eviscerated Governor Richie in the debate.
    • The usual aftermath is averted, however: while Bartlet is a compellingly charismatic leader who wins all his personal elections comfortably, his party never manages to profit from it, and he has to govern with a hostile congress throughout his term of office. Disappointed party members accusingly call him "The lonely landslide". Of course, if the Republicans didn't have power throughout the series, it would have undermined their status as the opposition, since audiences tend to root for the underdog.
  • The Simpsons saw Sideshow Bob (a convicted felon) defeat incumbent Mayor "Diamond" Joe Quimby (also a convicted felon) in a shocking upset landslide. It was later revealed that Bob had fixed the election.
    • The episode "E Pluribus Wiggum" also saw Ralph Wiggum win the first Presidential Primary in the United States by a massive landslide. The voters, fed up and angry, deliberately chose to vote for the biggest moron they could find.
    • The episode where a new class president would be elected was this. Only because two people in the entire class voted, resulting in "one for Martin, two for Martin!"
  • The "Election Night Special" sketch on Monty Python's Flying Circus featured a possible example; Silly candidate "Tarquin Fin-tim-lin-bin-whin-bim-lim-bus-stop-F'tang-F'tang-Olé-Biscuitbarrel" defeated Sensible Candidate Alan Jones, 58% to 42%. Both men thoroughly crushed the "Slightly Silly" independent, Kevin Phillips-Bong, who received zero votes.
  • Blackadder the Third featured a by-election in the rotten borough of "Dunny-on-the-Wold"; Baldrick was elected by 16,472, with zero votes cast in opposition. Not surprisingly, the election was fixed; Blackadder took the place of the only eligible voter (who "accidentally brutally cut his head off while combing his hair") and the returning officer (who "accidentally brutally stabbed himself in the stomach while shaving").
  • An episode of Rocko's Modern Life had Ed Bighead winning the election with hundred of thousands of votes and only two votes for Rocko when campaigning for the city dog catcher.
  • In the film version of The Last Hurrah, Frank Skeffington expects to win re-election handily, and we are given little reason at first to suppose that he won't win by a landslide. In the end, the vote is a landslide victory- for Skeffington's opponent, Kevin McCluskey. The change in mood at Skeffington's headquarters as the returns come in is a highlight of the film.
  • Mr. Lindermann in the first season of Heroes uses Micah's technopathic ability to manipulate the electronic voting machines and fix Nathan Petrelli's election to Congress into a landslide victory.
  • In British drama series The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard about an 'ordinary' woman with no political experience who starts a new political party the titular character ends up winning the General Election with 54% of the vote seats and 378 seats with the Conservatives and Labour reduced to less than 270 seats between them.
  • An episode of Blinky Bill featured an election for club president that Danny Dingo won by 47 votes to 2, even though there were only six club members.
  • An episode of Barney Miller took place on election day. Inspector Luger is a strong proponent of a good friend of his who is running for office, even though the only thing that anybody else can remember about the candidate is that he was accused of being involved with bribery and corruption in the sanitation department (the Inspector's awkward attempts to defend the candidate on the grounds that "they couldn't prove any of that" only seem to confirm the truth of the accusations). Not surprisingly, the candidate loses by a margin of more than 5 to 1.
  • A landslide is predicted at the end of Don Quixote, U.S.A., when the narrator has assumed the identity of a Caribbean insurgent, overthrown the dictator, and announced free elections. He refers to Johnson's election and says he'd be happy with sixty percent of the votes; his right-hand man says they'd have to run a crooked election to get less than ninety percent. The actual election results are never shown, but the narrator is still president years later. (The Woody Allen movie Bananas was partly inspired by this book, though obviously with a rather different ending.)
  • Transmetropolitan has a landslide election in the Smiler vs. Beast election, with 48 of the 50 states going to the Smiler.
  • The Skins election for Student President; Naomi is the intelligent, politically inclined, idealistic, injustice hating candidate who thinks she might be able to use the position to make a difference - up against Cook, whose slogan is "vote for me - I don't give a fuck either", and Upperclass Twit Crispin. Since all the students know that the election is largely a show for something that'll look good on the school's OFSTED report, they buy into Cook's anarchic philosophies instead. The teachers attempt to rig the result by stuffing the ballots for Cook into Harriet's bra, and declaring Naomi the winner. Naomi overheard their whole plan though, and since this is injustice hating Naomi we're talking about she pulls out all the votes in front of everybody and gracefully concedes defeat. And Cook promptly starts a riot.
  • On Dan for Mayor by election day Dan is expected to lose by a landslide with the polls showing him at less than 5% support. His main concern at that point is to actually come in second place so he can claim that he was a 'runner-up candidate'. The subversion comes right before the results are made official when the front-runner concedes the election since she has just been offered a position in the federal government. Dan does not want the job anymore but the only other candidate left is Wheelo The Clown.
  • At the end of Storm of Swords, the third book of A Song of Ice and Fire, the Night's Watch needs to vote for a new Lord Commander. They've spent nine days with about nine or so candidates and none even coming close to the necessary two-thirds of the votes. King Stannis demanded on the tenth day that the Night's Watch would choose a commander, or they wouldn't eat. Earlier that day, Sam convinced the two leading candidates to support Jon Snow, and his friend Edd offered Jon's name for consideration that night. On the tenth night of the voting, a very surprised Jon Snow wins. By a lot.

Notes

  1. Please forgive the excessive use of examples from American Presidential elections. Because the United States have a two-party system, as opposed to a system with more parties, and because Presidential elections involve only one person taking office, as opposed to Parliamentary systems where a whole slate of candidates stand, they make for very clean, neat examples, without a lot of confusion. Feel free to replace any of these if you have a better example, and break up the lamentable monotony
  2. When asked about his massive loss, he replied that he was proud of this.
  3. We are talking about a man who once said "The only way I can lose this election is if I'm caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy", and described his opponent as "so slow it takes him an hour and a half to watch 60 Minutes."
  4. Absurdly, extremely, unabashedly biased
  5. one newspaper summarised his entire campaign as: "Agriculture is important. Our rivers are full of fish. You cannot have freedom without liberty. Our future lies ahead."
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