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Socialists hold DSK’s old seat in by-election

The Socialists have held former Finance Minister Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s Val d’Oise seat (Sarcelles) in a by-election on December 9 and 16. In June 2007, the UMP candidate and lawyer Sylvie Noachovitch had caused a surprise when she led DSK in the first round, before losing 55-45 to DSK. Resigning only a few months later to become head of the International Monetary Fund, his protege and incumbent Mayor of Sarcelles Fran├žois Pupponi became the PS candidate. This is the constituency of Villiers le Bel, where riots and building destruction happened in November 2007.

While participation was just 25.06%, the PS led the first round by 168 votes over Noachovitch, though the UMP vote was up albeit minimally. The surprise was the FN’s surge, from a mere 4% to 7.47% this election, and over 10% in Villiers le Bel. The Communist vote was also up to 6.03%, while the centrist MoDem lost 0.28% of its June 2007 vote.

Pupponi was elected today with around 54.4% of the vote, down from DSK’s second round score in June.

Could this FN re-birth from it’s June disaster be a nationwide trend? We’ll need to wait until March 2008 for a confirmation on that.

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