Isère 4th (France) by-election runoff 2010
The second round of a legislative by-election in Isère’s 4th constituency was held on Sunday, June 6. The by-election came as a result of the nomination of its long-time incumbent PS deputy, Didier Migaud, to the presidency of the FrenchCours des Comptes, by President Nicolas Sarkozy. As a result of the first round last week, Marie-Noëlle Battisel of the PS and Fabrice Marchiol of the UMP qualified for the runoff in which the former was heavily favoured due to the high weight of the left, which included the Greens and Communists, in the first round. Migaud, who commanded a massive personal vote had won 62.8% in the 2007 runoff in a constituency which Sarkozy had won 50.7% in on May 6, 2007.
Marie-Noëlle Battisel (PS) 58.38% (-4.38%)
Fabrice Marchiol (UMP) 41.62% (+4.38%)
turnout 31.13% (+1.28% on May 29)
It’s quite obvious that Migaud’s strong personal vote hides a good number of things and makes a comparison or analysis of the UMP’s showing quite difficult. The bottom line is that the PS did about as well as it could, and the UMP did about as well as it could and that was relatively well considering the awful political climate for the right though its strong candidate (who is a Gaulliste social, thus a right-winger with larger appeal to the left – he does command a strong personal vote in his old mining community of La Mure) did help it out a bit. Comparing the results to that of March 2010, which is the best comparison because it did not involve Migaud and the party lines were similar, the PS improved narrowly on its 58% result back then, while the UMP did much better than its 29.95% showing in that race (where the FN weighed 12.1%). Amusingly, the left in the first round of this by-election weighed 58.75% – it won 58.38%.
In a by-election note of interest, a cantonal by-election in the inner city (in this case, in the negative American connotation of the term) canton of Villeurbanne Centre saw a paltry turnout of just 13.86% but a somewhat interesting result. For the record, Villeurbanne Centre is the most middle-class area of Villeurbanne, a very working-class suburb of Lyon and PS stronghold since the War. Like most areas of its type, the UMP vote has usually been terrible but the FN vote quite high. Here were the results:
Richard Llung (PS) 30.45 %
Béatrice Vessiller (Europe Ecologie) 22.67 %
Jean-Paul Regnault (UMP) 18.96 %
Stéphane Poncet (FN) 14.83 %
Jérôme Jouvenet (FG) 8.89 %
Hervé Morel 4.21 %
The interesting point about this election is the attitude of the UMP, FN and FG voters in the runoff. The FN voters will likely resort to apathy, but history shows that the UMP voters might prefer to vote for the EE candidate over the PS candidate – in the Grenoble-1 canton in 2004, a PS-Green runoff resulted in a Green victory (quite comfortable as well) because most right-wing voters voted Green over PS. A similar situation could happen here.