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)
Hervé Fourn, Douarnenez municipal councillor (PS)
Bernard Conan (MoDem)
Jean Cathala, 2008 candidate (Greenies)
Erwan Le Floch, deputy mayor of Douarnenez (DVD)
Arnaud Vannier (Breizhistance). Left-wing Breton nat movement.
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%)
Hervé Fourn (PS) : 981 (17.91%)
Bernard Conan (Modem) : 613 (11.19%)
Jean Cathala (Verts) : 510 (9.31%)
Erwan Le Floch (DVD, though apparently counted as SE) : 2 112 (38.55%)
Arnaud Vannier (Breizhistance) : 234 (4.27%)
Some random scenarios now.
Firstly, the state of the various forces
Tupin (PCF+PS+Greenies+Nats) 50.26
Le Floch 38.55
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.