I didn’t follow the race as I should’ve, and was caught by surprise this Monday morning with a snippet on Le Monde about the by-election. The first round was held on Sunday the 7th, and the runoff is this Sunday. I didn’t keep tabs on the candidate, so I didn’t spot the MoDem not running a candidate.
Despite what the media said, the results are actually pretty close. On paper and strictly speaking, not really, but when you analyse them, they are. Gorges (UMP) won 47.76% of the vote. Most of that vote is UMP, of course, but a big part of the traditional MoDem vote went with him. The PS candidate won 28.09%, and a dissident took 14.51. The UMP is up 11.5% from the first by-election, so it corresponds to a chunk of the MoDem vote (which represented 18.5% last time). The PS is statistically down nearly 10 points, but the PS+PSd vote is actually up 4.6%. The rest of the MoDem vote went with one of the two PS candidates. The FN won 3.79, which is down from both the 2007 and the first by-election result (-0.39). Jamais deux sans trois. The LCR ran a candidate this time ’round, and he won 3.41%, up from 2.47 in 2007 (probably took most of the 2007 LO vote, which was about 1.2% IIRC). The Commies lost 1.4% of their by-election result and fell to 2.44. The POI (the new name for the Workers’ Party, a tiny joke Trot sect) won only one vote.
All this nice stuff gives up Right 47.76% vs. Mainstream Left and Trots 48.45% vs. FN 4.18%. Which corresponds to a very tight result. Tighter than the Rhone-11 by-election also covered here. I’m predicting a narrow UMP victory for now, and I’m eyeing a replay of the June 2007 results, where Gorges won by a handful of votes (50ish IIRC). A PS win is also a very realistic possibility, though.
A UMP re-gain would certainly be a bit of good news for the party, which of course hasn’t had the best fortunes lately. That could also be some bad news for the PS, although they might not notice it since they seem busy fighting each other this moment.
For anyone interested, the prefecture has detailed cantonal and communal data here. In PDF format.