New Caledonia 2009: Results

New Caledonia renewed its three provincial legislatures yesterday, and these legislatures will in turn select the Congress of New Caledonia. In my last post, I outlined the various major parties and players in New Caledonia’s confusing and divided political scene.

For reminders, here are the major parties:

Loyalist (Anti-Independence)

Rally-UMP (RPCR): The main anti-independence right-wing party affiliated to the French UMP. Formerly a big tent for all loyalists, it has suffered numerous splits, including the departure of its historical leader, Jacques Lafleur.
Future Together (AE): Loyalist opposition to the RPCR started in 1994-1995, and emerged as the strongest political force for Loyalists in 2004. AE is considered more centrist than the RPCR, though many of its members are close the UMP in France. However, a sizeable share of its members are close to Bayrou’s Democratic Movement.
Caledonia Together (CE): Caledonia Together split off AE in 2008, due to a rivalry between Harold Martin (the AE President of Government) and Philippe Gomes (President of the Sud). CE is anti-independence, and ideologically quasi-identical to AE.
National Front (FN): The local branch of the French far-right FN. It is staunchly loyalist and even opposed the Noumea Accords in 1998 (all parties supported it except for them).
Rally for Caledonia (RPC): The name adopted by Jacques Lafleur’s new outfit when he left the RPCR.
Movement for Diversity (LMD): Party founded by Senator Simon Loueckhote, an anti-independence Kanak, when he left the RPC.

Nationalist (Pro-Independence)

National Union for Independence (UNI-Palika): The historically larger faction of the nationalist FLNKS union. While it started out very left-wing and very nationalist, it now favours dialogue with the loyalists but full independence after 2014. The term UNI refers to the electoral coalition based around the Party of Kanak Liberation (Palika) and its much smaller allies.
Caledonian Union (UC): New Caledonia’s oldest party, at first an autonomist cross-community party it is now the more radical component of the FLNKS. The UC favours sovereignty-association after 2014, but for now it rejects all dialogue with the loyalists.
Kanak Socialist Liberation (LKS): Formerly Marxist nationalist (non-FLNKS) party, it now favours perpetual dialogue between both sides.
Union of Pro-Independence Co-operation Committees (FCCI): The most moderate and right-wing part of the independence movement, the FCCI also favours perpetual dialogue and even co-operated electorally with the loyalists.
Labour Party (PT): New party founded by the radical USTKE trade union, which is strong island-wide. The PT is very left-wing, and is close to José Bové in French politics. It is considered as anti-capitalist, Trot, and all that stuff.

There also exists parties like Ouverture Citoyenne and Common Destiny, which are not classified in either coalition. Neither of the two take a side on the independence debate, but favour wishy-washy talks between everybody and love between everybody.

Here are the results. Due to the emergence of new parties, the changes for seat numbers are based on the standings at dissolution and not standings post-election in 2004. Note that in the Sud Province, a nationalist elected on the Future Together slate was re-elected on the FLNKS slate this year.

Congress (average of all 3 provinces)

RPCR 20.6% (-3.93%) winning 13 seats (±0)
Caledonia Together 16.83% (new) winning 10 seats (-2)
Future Together-Movement for Diversity 11.71% (-10.98%) winning 6 seats (-1)
UC 11.65% (-0.21%) winning 8 seats (+1)
UNI-FLNKS 10.52% (-5.84%) winning 8 seats (-2)
Labour Party 7.97% (new) winning 3 seats (new)
FLNKS Unitary (UC+UNI common list) 5.53% (new) winning 3 seats (+2)
Rally for Caledonia 4.46% (new) winning 2 seats (+1)
Ouverture Citoyenne 3.08% (new) winning 0 seats (new)
FN 2.7% (-4.76%) winning 0 seats (-4)
LKS 1.92% (-0.95%) winning 1 seat (±0)
Common Destiny 1.26% (-0.87%) winning 0 seats (±0)
Various loyalists 1.17% (-2.15%) winning 0 seats (±0)
FCCI 0.6% (-2.6%) winning 0 seats (-1)
Loyalists 57.45% (-0.46%) winning 31 seats (-4)
Nationalists 38.22% (-1.74%) winning 23 seats (+4)

Sud Province (FLNKS common list compared to UNI+UC Renewal+UC in 2004)

RPCR 28.54% (-2.65%) winning 15 seats (+1)
Caledonia Together 23.60% (new) winning 11 seats (-5)
Future Together-Movement for Diversity 16.33% (-17.56%) winning 8 seats (+5)
FLNKS (UC-UNI) 8.82% (-3%) winning 4 seats (+3)
Rally for Caledonia (RPC) 7.11% (new) winning 2 seats (+1)
Ouverture Citoyenne 4.91% (new) winning 0 seats (new)
FN 4.28% (-6.91%) winning 0 seats (-5)
Labour Party 3.68% (new) winning 0 seats (new)
Common Destiny 2.01% (-0.19%) winning 0 seats (±0)
ROC 0.73% (-0.05%) winning 0 seats
Loyalists 80.59% (-1.1%) winning 36 seats (-3)
Nationalists 12.5% (-3.61%) winning 4 seats (+3)

Nord Province

UNI-FLNKS 30.61% (-6.9%) winning 9 seats (-3)
UC 29.63% (+2.51%) winning 8 seats (+1)
Labour Party 11.97% (new) winning 3 seats (new)
RPCR 9.43% (-2%) winning 1 seat (-2)
Caledonia Together-RPCR dissident (Poadja) 9.05% (new) winning 1 seat (+1)
Future Together 6.53% (-2%) winning 0 seats (-1)
FCCI 2.79% (-2.96%) winning 0 seats (±0)
Nationalists 74.99% (+1.02%) winning 20 seats (+2)
Loyalists 25.01% (+2.4%) winning 2 seats (-2)

Îles Loyauté Province (UNI is UNI+UC Renewal in 2004)

UC 33.71% (+11.17%) winning 6 seats (+2)
UNI-FLNKS 24.66% (-2.82%) winning 4 seats (-2)
Labour Party 20.06% (new) winning 2 seats (new)
LKS 12.93% (-2.73%) winning 2 seats (±0)
RPCR 3.87% (-13.32%) winning 0 seats (±0)
Movement for Diversity 3.6% (new) winning 0 seats (-2)
Future Together-Caledonia Together-RPC 1.16% (new) winning 0 seats (new)
FCCI 0% (-8.85%) winning 0 seats (-2)
Nationalists 91.37% (+8.56%) winning 14 seats (+2)
Loyalists 8.63% (-8.56%) winning 0 seats (-2)

Congressional delegations.

Sud: RPCR 12, CE 9, AE 6, FLNKS 3, RPC 2
Nord: UNI 6, UC 5, PT 2, RPCR 1, CE 1
Iles: UC 3, UNI 2, PT 1, LKS 1

I have the data by municipality waiting for me to make a map, which will be coming relatively soon. Alternatively, look at the map of ethnicity and that’s pretty much your electoral map by coalition.

Somebody from Future Together commented that “this isn’t brilliant (commenting on AE’s result), but it isn’t brilliant for anybody!” That’s the best way to put it. The New Caledonian political scene, which not so long ago opposed a big-tent RPCR to a united FLNKS, is now hopelessly divided by partisan politics, typical French egomaniac politics, and petty squabbles between irrelevant people. This is kind of a pyrrhic victory for the RPCR, which is in good position to take the Presidency of the Sud Province and New Caledonia, but which lost votes to win its worst result ever. The split in the loyalist opposition to the RPCR allowed this “victory” of sorts for the RPCR, since in fact the Enemies Together would have won nearly 29% if they had run together, a result higher than AE’s 23% in 2004. As expected, neither side of the fence (loyalist or nationalist) gained significant ground nationally. While the nationalists have picked up seats in Congress, this is more the result of their newfound unity in the Sud Province where they ran very divided in 2004 and neither party broke 5% then. Ironically, the independence vote in the Sud has in fact slightly declined, if anything!

In the Nord, the UNI President Paul Néaoutyine is not alone anymore, and his list was closely followed by the Caledonian Union. Labour has also picked up 3 seats here, making them the kingmakers in the next nationalist governing coalition. In the Islands, where there are no anti-independence members left following the vote, the UC administration led by Néko Hnepeune should have no difficulty in governing, with a slightly increased plurality of seats. Labour’s strong showing in the province is also noteworthy.

The RPCR should probably emerge as the new senior governing party in Congress, though as I mentioned in my last post, the government is a perpetual grand coalition with the portfolios handed out proportionally based on the seats each party has. In the outgoing government, led by Harold Martin (Future Together), seven out of eleven portfolios were in loyalist hands, with the remaining four in nationalist hands. Based on the new seating, the nationalists could have five portfolios in the new government. It will be interesting to see whom emerges as President, but I have a feeling that Pierre Frogier, the leader of the RPCR (and a Sarkozyste) will take it.

As I said, maps and stuff later.

Posted on May 12, 2009, in DOM-TOM, France, New Caledonia. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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