This blog is dead: http://welections.wordpress.com/ is the new fad
The hunter’s party, CPNT has decided that it will not run independent lists, instead it will run common lists with the MPF. These MPF-CPNT lists are under the banner of the new European political party, Libertas. Not really a surprise, because CPNT is similar to the MPF when it comes to Europe. The idea of MPF-CPNT lists had already floated around a bit in, until Saint-Josse rejected the deal. In 2004, both parties combined won 8.4% (6.67% for the MPF, 1.73% for CPNT). Frédéric Nihous will lead the MPF-CPNT in the North-West, and Jean Saint-Josse in the South-West.
IFOP has just released a new poll, which is their second poll since November 2008, not counting that poll the PG commissioned for their wet dream. The change is compared to November 2008, but the UMP change is compared to the total UMP+NC polled separately, and the MPF-CPNT change is compared to the the total MPF+CPNT polled separately.
UMP 26% (+2)
Demographic and political breakdowns are interesting.
On a funny side note, the FN lists will be named Listes d’Entente Populaire Et Nationale, abbreviated LEPEN…Yes, the FN isn’t much of a personalist party.
The above is a map of the current composition of the Bas-Rhin and Haut-Rhin general councils, as of 2009. Since 1992, the changes to the Alsatian local political landscape hasn’t seen major reversals, unlike Bretagne. Both departments were strongholds of the various Christiandem parties at a local level, and the MRP-UDF controlled an overall majority of seats on its own for quite a long time in Bas-Rhin. The creation of a common party of the right, the UMP, has destroyed the remnants of the UDF in Alsace, even though there is still a sizeable non-UMP centrist voting bloc. The MoDem finished a (very) distant second in a large number of rural Alsatian constituencies in 2007.
The UMP has an overall majority in the Bas-Rhin general council, with 30 seats. The PS has 7 seats, and there are 3 DVD councillors. 3 of the 4 MoDem councillors sit with the UMP majority, and one (a former independent ecologist) sits with the opposition. All 7 Socialists are elected in the city of Strasbourg, where they hold a majority of the seats. Since 1994, where they held only Strasbourg-9, a poor canton including a large number of Strasbourg’s ZUS (Zone urbaine sensible: inner city area with high unemployment and so forth), they have made important gains in richer downtown Strasbourg, a trend also seen nationally. The PS is becoming more and more popular in downtown wealthy areas. Ironically, the PS does not hold Strasbourg-10, the large canton in the southeast of the city, which includes industrial areas along the Rhine as well as a ZUS. The current Modem councillor was elected in 2004 defeating the FN (Strasbourg-10 is an ideal setting for the FN). If the PS had made the runoff, they could have won. There is some left-wing strength in some suburbs of Strasbourg, such as Schiltigheim and Illkirch-Graffenstaden. Alfred Muller, PS then MDA (a local centre-left GM-like personalist party) Mayor of Schiltigheim held the canton of Schiltigheim until he was defeated by an independent ecologist in 2004. The UMP has huge majorities in the wealthy western suburban cantons. In rural areas, the UMP wins most elections by the first round.
The Haut-Rhin, more industrialized and slightly poorer than the Bas-Rhin, is more left-wing in its general orientation, even though it is still heavily left-leaning. In addition, contrarily to the Bas-Rhin, the Christian democrats’ decline in the department is not a recent event. More industrial, it was an early base of Gaullism. In fact, the UNR held the general council from 1958 to 1973, when the centrist Jean-Jacques Weber took over and held it until 1998. Lastly, the FN is strong in urban and industrial areas in the Haut-Rhin, while it is stronger in rural areas in the Bas-Rhin. Currently, there are 10 UMP councillors, 9 DVD, 6 PS, 4 DVG, 2 Greenies, and 1 far-right regionalist (Alsace d’Abord). The Socialists are strong in Mulhouse, which is much poorer than Strasbourg and has an important number of quartiers populaires (poorer and disadvantaged inner city areas). The PS holds the Nord and Ouest cantons. The FN often comes second in Mulhouse-Nord, and they won it in a by-election in 1995. The right holds the two other cantons, Est and Sud. IIRC, Mulhouse-Est includes wealthier downtown areas, and Mulhouse-Sud includes very wealthy suburbs. The fomer potash minining areas northwest of Mulhouse and the working-class city of Cernay are quite left-wing. The PS also holds Neuf-Brisach, which I know little about except that it’s major city, Neuf-Brisach, was built by Vauban and includes the harbour of Colmar. The Greenies hold two marginal cantons: Colmar-Sud, quite wealthy, which they narrowly won from Colmar’s quasi-perpetual election loser, Roland Wagner in 2008. The Greenies can thank the right’s divisions for their lucky win in Kayersberg, Alsatian wine country, in 2004. They won with only 31% in a four-way runoff which pitted the eventual Greenie winner with a UDF candidate, an Indie, and a DVD. The far-right regionalist Alsace d’Abord hold Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines, which they won with 34% in a three-way in 2004. Amusingly, the vote there split 34-33-32.
Around three polls have come out for the EU elections, including one public release (IFOP for ParisMatch), as well as other polls that have not been officially published.
It remains a bit early for these polls to have any real value, and neither the lists are finalized nor are we even close to the elections. In fact, around 55% say their voting intentions are not set in stone.
In terms of voter demographics, the breakdowns are quite interesting
Here are the major lists that will run no matter what: The UMP-NC, PS (now supported by the LeftRads), MoDem, Greenies/ecologist front, MPF (which will likely run under the Irish Libertas thingee), Nicolas Dupont-Aignan’s outfit (supported by small groups with tinpot names and the lol Bonapartists lol), PCF-PG, FN, NPA/the Trots/LO.
Other possible lists include the relatively new Alternative libérale (the classical liberal party run in, ironically, an authoritarian manner); a possible ecologist front (MEI, France en action, and what remains of GE); Paul-Marie Coûteaux, an MEP elected with the MPF in 2004 but leader of a small outfit called the RIF might run alone (rofl. political suicide); the “We Hate Marine Le Pen” FN dissidents (Carl Lang and Jean-Claude Martinez); an annoying Esperanto thingee; the royalists; a ROFL Maoist party; the old CNIP (which is now out of the UMP’s circle of friends) will run independent lists in a few regions; the Parti Breton; and finally the LaRouchites, again.
In other news, the UMP has nominated most of its top candidates by constituency. Incumbent MEPs are bolded.
They went for some big names in Paris (very big names in this case) and the Sud-Ouest (never say that the Baudis dynasty is dead). An interesting choice in Christophe Béchu, the young UMP President of the Maine-et-Loire general council. Élisabeth Morin, former UMP President of Poitou-Charentes (she was defeated by the drug addict in 2004), is an MEP since Roselyne Bachelot resigned. In the Nord-Ouest, Borloo and the Rads were able to get the Mayor of Valenciennes, Dominique Riquet to be top candidate. Valérie Létard, a NC cabinet member, was offered that post, but she prefers to try her hand at running in the regionals next year. Tokia Saïfi, a former GE member and now a Rad, will need to live with a second spot, after getting the top spot in 2004. In the Sud-Ouest, incumbent MEP Alain Lamassoure will either need to live with a third spot (he was #1 in 2004) or there is some talk of carpetbagging him to IdF. Only Grossetête and Daul led UMP lists in their respective constituencies in 2004.
Meanwhile, in the world of the Greenies.
Here are the top candidates for Europe Ecologie, a rally of Greenies, antiglobalization people, regionalists (the sell-out UDB and Partit Occitan) and so forth.
More cantonal by-election fun!
There was also a by-election in Avallon, Yonne to replace a PS councillor who passed away. Avallon is located in the southeast of the department and is almost entirely classified as urban/commuter belt, centred around Avallon (pop 06: 7,874), the fourth city in the department.
First Round, January 11
I : 8.745 ; V : 3.408 ; Exp : 3.333 ; Abs: 61,03 %
Isabelle Huberdeau (DVG) : 1.644 (49,32%)
The PS candidate won 42% in 2004, and 52% in the runoff. The UMP incumbent (who had won narrowly in 1998) won 38% and 48% in the runoff. The FN won 13% back then.
Runoff, January 18
I : 8.745 ; V :: 4.027 ; Exp :: 3.934 ; Abst : 53,95%
Mme Isabelle Huberdeau (DVG) : 2.107 (53.56%)
In Douarnenez, the by-election which I’ve been following rather closely, right-wing voters turned out way more in the runoff, and Le Floch defied expectations and won (by a rather impressive margin, considering the odds were all against him).
Runoff, January 18
I : 19.101 ; V : 6.662 ; Rxp : 6.435 ; Abs: 65,12%
M Hugues Tupin (PCF) : 2.993 (46.51%)
Tupin’s result is close to that of all the non-nationalist left-wing forces in the first round, but abstention changed in the UMP’s favour.
In the Ain, there were two by-election first rounds today.
I : 13.817 ; V : 2.870 ; Exp : 2.846 ; Abs : 79,23%
M Joël Aubernon (DVD) : 1.026 (36.05%)
Miribel is a suburb of Lyon. According to Insee stats, less than 30% of the population work in the canton. As it often is with urban cantons, abstention was sky-high.
The incumbent is a leftie, elected with over 51% by the first round in 2004. The FN won almost 17% in 2004. Combined leftie forces here are 59.6%, and unless the four lefties hate each other to death, Goubet should win relatively easily (however… remember Pouilly-en-Auxois last year…)
I : 4.153 ; V : 1.727 ; Exp :: 1.673 ; Abs : 58,42%
M Armel Morel (DVD) : 1.106 (66.11%)
Primarily rural canton of northern Ain, though the south of the canton is now in Bourg-en-Bresse’ commuter belt. Around +10% for the PS since 2004, and minor gains for the PCF too.
Upcoming cantonal by-elections include Valenton (Val-de-Marne) and Villecresnes (Val-de-Marne) in one week. The first one is held by a retiring PCF mayor and councillor, who won 100% in a 2004 runoff. Villecresnes is held by a UMP general councillor who won 57% in March last year whose election was voided because envelopes were sent to voters and these did not contain the profession de foi (program) of a DVD candidate. There will also be a by-election in Privas (Ardeche), since the PS incumbent was forced to step down following his election to the Senate. He had won over 60% in the 2004 runoff. I don’t know the date of that by-election. Privas is the fifth largest city in the department.
The first round of a cantonal election to replace outgoing Douarnenez UMP councillor Philippe Paul (elected as Senator in September) was held today. The canton is composed of the city of Douarnenez itself, as well as surrounding commuter belt communes. Douarnenez, once the stronghold of sardine factories, and the first city to elect a Communist mayor in the early 20s, was gained by the UMP (from the PS, which had won it from the UDF in 2001, which had defeated the PCF administration in 1995) in March last year. The sardine industry is reduced to little if anything at all, and the harbour has turned into your usual leisure port.
A map of the canton is available here.
The candidates were:
Hugues Tupin, Douarnenez municipal councillor (PCF)
The MoDem didn’t run a candidate against Paul, an ex-UDF himself, in March last year, but is doing so this time.
The results are
I : 19 101 ; V : 5 589 ; Exp : 5 478 ; Abs: 71,32 %
Hugues Tupin (PCF, though apparently counted as DVG) : 1 028 (18.77%)
Some random scenarios now.
Firstly, the state of the various forces
Tupin (PCF+PS+Greenies+Nats) 50.26
The Nats might not turn out en masse in the runoff, giving Tupin 45.99% then. Splitting the MoDem is more tricky. Breton MoDem voters generally split for the left by a quite important margin. According to my quick, unreliable, and very sketchy calculations, around 58% of Bayrou’s 22.5% in the canton of Douarnenez voted for Royal in the runoff (Royal won 54.6%). According to even sketchier and even more unreliable calculations, 61% of MoDem voters (12.2%) voted for the PS candidate in the general election (who won 50.6%). Assuming 61% of the MoDem voters this time voted for the leftie, and not counting Nats, Tupin wins 51%. And nearly 55% if the all the Nats turn out for Tupin. Hard to see a scenario where Le Floch wins this one, unless the dynamics of abstention change dramatically, or MoDem voters don’t turn out en masse for a Communist.
I’m therefore predicting a PCF pickup, which would return them to the general council, from which they are shut out of since they lost Huelgoat, their last canton, in March last year.
Bit late on this stuff, but I haven’t killed off this thing yet.
First, old first round stuff from nearly three weeks ago.
The “UMP” etiquette helped Robinet quite a bit, especially considering the guy had no name recognition whatsoever or almost. Falala increased a bit from 2007, but not as much as I would’ve predicted in the first place.
Runoff stuff. Robinet wins 52.49 vs. 47.51 for Quenard. Abstention was 75.84. Seems like some good transfers from Falala to Robinet, seems a bit better than the Falala-Dutreil transfers in 2007.
Some stuff on local by-elections mentioned in my other post
Mézières Centre-Ouest (Ardennes)
Cagnes-sur-Mer Centre (Alpes-Maritimes)
Berre L’Etang (Bouches-du-Rhone)
Mario Martinet (PS): 56.56%
PS 100.0% in runoff. PCF dropped out.
DVD 53.60 / 57.10
PRG incumbent, became surprise Senator in September.
DVG 50.54 / 53.18
Massively (70+) UMP in 2004.
The Cantal results are interesting. Aurillac is an industrial and secular area, as opposed to a conservative and Catholic department. In the middle of old RadSoc land, all Aurillac cantons were held by the left since 1994, and a few of those never elected a rightie. Saint-Flour-Sud is composed of part of Saint-Flour but also very conservative agricultural areas to the south of the canton. Saint-Flour itself remains a relatively conservative city, though there is a sizable left-wing electorate, as in every urban core. So, to say the least, surprising stuff here. A few explanations could be attempted. The PS winner in Saint-Flour is not a nobody in the canton - he’s the mayor of a rural commune, Villedieu. He was “running mate” to the PS Senatorial candidate in September. Rural voters are known to be close to their elected officials. Also, the dynamics of a by-election in rural land. Rural electorates are known to be volatile in by-elections (see Eure-et-Loir). In Aurillac-4, it is highly possible that Jacques Mezard, the PRG incumbent, had a personal vote and the by-election is the logical effect of his departure. We will have to wait until 2010 for Saint-Flour-Sud to confirm that it is a swing canton, and 2014 for Aurillac-4. In the meantime.
Renaud Dutreil, initially a rising star in the UMP and since March 2008 an epic failure in politics, has resigned to move to the United States to work for LVMH. At first elected in the Aisne, he carpetbagged to the Marne (in Reims) in 2007 with the city of Reims in mind. But in March 2008, he was defeated by the first round in Reims by the local UMP dissident Catherine Vautrin and the subsequent Socialist winner, Adeline Hazan. He has thus decided to leave politics and leaves his new constituency, Marne-1, which is entirely composed of a fraction of the city of Reims, vacant. A by-election will be held December 7 and 14.
In 2007, he defeated the UMP incumbent Francis Falala for the UMP nomination and ended a very, very long family dynasty control on the constituency. Francis Falala had suceeded his father, deputy and former Mayor of Reims, in 2002. His father had held the seat under the various Gaullist party names since ‘67. Falala tried in vain to stage a dissident candidacy against Dutreil but lost by the first round. He has since fallen out with the local UMP machine and they even ran a candidate against him in his canton in March (though that UMP paper candidate was trounced by Falala).
The 2007 results:
Dutreil beat the PS 54-46. Falala’s voters did not split massively for Dutreil. Do note that abstention was nearly 50% in both rounds.
Falala is running again, and the UMP has decided on a paper candidate. The 2007 PS candidate, who has since become a high-ranking member of the PS administration in Reims, is running again, as is a PS dissident. Apart from those four, there is a Greenie, a Commie, a Trot, a MoDem, and a FN.
Should be interesting, definitely. Falala is the one with the best name recognition on the right, since Robinet seems like a random name taken out of a hat by the local UMP (which, btw, loves to lose elections. Kinda like the Illinois GOP). A Falala/PS runoff is definitely a possibility, and I think in that scenario, the right’s victory would be quite comfortable, moreso than a Robinet/PS. If the UMP candidate (Robinet) loses, then the Vautrin leadership in the local UMP machine will need to face serious scrutiny.
Also being held tomorrow are a few cantonal by-elections.
Mézières Centre-Ouest (Ardennes): December 7-14, 2008
Cagnes-sur-Mer Centre (Alpes-Maritimes): December 7-14, 2008
Grasse-Nord (Alpes-Maritimes): December 7-14, 2008
Saint-Martin-Vésubie (Alpes-Maritimes): December 7-14, 2008
Grasse-Nord is probably the only one that will be remotely interesting, though Mézières Centre-Ouest could be fun too, especially because that left-wing Indie is running again. Saint-Martin-Vésubie will be hilarious just to watch the ownage of the opposition.
After all, I did look like a fool with my stupid UMP prediction in Gironde, and a very big foolish hack at that too. I should have read more into the leftie leaning of MoDem voters in this part of the world.
Anyways. Deluga won, and by a quite impressive margin (much larger than the last time he won, in ‘97), but it remains a by-election with sub-5o turnout and it’s wise not to go all crazy over these results. Turnout was slightly up from 38% in the first round to 43% this time, and those new voters went heavily for the Socialist. Deluga won with 54.3%, against 45.7% for Foulon. The MoDem voters likely split heavily for Deluga. I assume he also won MoDem voters in the 2007 runoff, or at worst lost them narrowly.
The Gironde prefecture remains a total joke, so there’s obviously little chance that communal data will ever be known.
The first round of the parliamentary by-election the 8th constituency of Gironde was held a week ago. The seat, which claims the “largest seat in France” status (around with 5 other constituencies, of which all are bogus), stretches from the wealthy and rightie Arcachon to the more blue-collar and leftie areas in the rest of the constituency. The seat has been held since 2002 by Marie-Hélène des Esgaulx (UMP), who was elected Senator in September and prompted this by-election. The seat was held from 1997 to 2002 by the Socialist François Deluga. The UDF won the seat in 1988 and 1993. The media didn’t say anything about this election, or else I would have posted a more complete profile of the constituency. Deluga is running in a third attempt to regain his seat lost in 2002. Yves Foulon, Mayor of Arcachon, ran as a DVD dissident candidate against des Esgaulx in 2002. This constituency is also one of the top CPNT constituencies: Saint-Josse polled over 11% here in 2002. The FN used to poll double digits in its good days here, over 12% in 1997 and Le Pen won nearly 15% in 2002.
François Deluga (PS) 43.77 (+12.27)
Parliamentary Left (PS, PCF) 46.08
The race will be tight, and very tough it seems for Foulon. Adding the LCR’s 3% in its entirety to Deluga/PCF, he has 49.3% (be careful doing that. Trot voters are unreliable in runoffs). Adding the FN’s 2.3% to Foulon/CPNT he has 47.1%. Once again, the MoDem’s weak but important 3.57% will likely decide the runoff. I’ll either look like a total fool and hack or a great predictor in a few hours, but I’m going to predict a narrow UMP victory. After all, I did very well predicting the last two by-elections (Rhone-11 and Eure-et-Loir-1), so jamais deux sans trois I hope!
Here is a map of 2007. The Gironde prefecture is a total joke, and has only posted the generic percentages without communal data. If only everybody was like the Rhone prefecture…