Yvelines’ 10th constituency (France) by-election

Anybody remember the last by-election in Yvelines’ 10th constituency in September 2009? For those who don’t, it is covered here and here. To quote a brief profile of the constituency posted in September…

The constituency is a very affluent exurban constituency of Paris, taking up a vast area of the southwest of the department, including the affluent city of Rambouillet and it’s well-known forest, as well as Montfort-l’Amaury and the more middle-income (and more left-wing) city of Maurepas. Predictably, the constituency is a right-wing stronghold, holding the current constituency since 1988, though the constituency elected a Radical, Jacqueline Thome-Patenôtre for twenty years between 1958 and 1978. The seat was notably held by Christine Boutin, a staunch social conservative who was a member of the centre-right UDF before she was excluded for running in the 2002 presidential election (1.19%) independently of Bayrou, the candidate of the UDF. Her personal outfit, the Forum of Social Republicans (FRS) – now known as the Christian Democratic Party (PDC) is a affiliate member of the governing centre-right UMP. In 2007, she was elected with a bit more than 58% in the runoff, after narrowly failing to win by the first round.

The Greens have had a strong vote here, in a constituency which includes more and more young professionals moving in to escape high property taxes in Paris. In the European elections, the Greens outpolled the PS decisively with 21.1% against 11.8% for the PS, while the UMP won 32.7%. In the regional elections last March, however, the PS came out on top of the Greens with 22.1% against around 20% for the Greens, while the UMP won 32.1%. The FN polled 8.7%, a respectable result for the far-right in an old wealthy constituency which isn’t a traditional FN area while the Left Front won 3.5%, placing behind DLR (4.3%) and the MoDem (4.1%). In the runoff, Huchon (PS) narrowly won the constituency with 50.9% against 49.1% for Pécresse (UMP).

The 2009 by-election had given Boutin’s suppléant Jean-Frédéric Poisson a tiny one vote victory over Green candidate Anny Poursinoff who had come ahead of the PS and DVG candidates who won 12.4% and 9.6% of the vote respectively. Of course, the State did not allow such a margin to stand and the election was invalidated and voters went back to the polls starting yesterday, July 4.

The Greens and PS settled on the common candidacy of Anny Poursinoff  with a PS suppléant. Poisson was again the UMP’s candidate, but faced opposition from the New Centre’s Michel Finck and, once again, from the FN candidate Philippe Chevrier, who had won 4.03% in 2009 coming out narrowly ahead of a two-way battle on the far-right with FN dissident Myriam Baeckeroot winning 3.1% of the vote. Vincent Liechti, who had won 4.7% running for the Left Front in 2009, ran again as did Pirate Party candidate Maxime Rouquet, looking to improve on his 2.06% showing in 2009. An independent candidate, Guillaume Sébileau, classified as ‘SE’ by the State (meaning no affiliation known), also ran, largely on a local issues campaign. Here are the results, compared to 2009 results (for Poursinoff, the sum of the 3 centre-left candidacies):

Anny Poursinoff (Green-PS) 42.62% (+0.49%)
Jean-Frédéric Poisson (UMP) 40.7% (-3.24%)
Philippe Chevrier (FN) 7.48% (+3.45%)
Vincent Liechti (FG) 4.05% (-0.67%)
Michel Finck (NC) 3.19% (+3.19%)
Guillaume Sébileau (SE) 1.3% (+1.3%)
Maxime Rouquet (Pirate) 0.66% (-1.4%)

Turnout 26.75% (+3.99%)

The results are obviously extremely bad for the UMP and extremely good for the left in general. In a very poor climate, again, for the government with scandals involving cabinet ministers and a pathetic attempt at a coverup of these scandals by creating a parliamentary commission to investigate the causes of an earth-shattering issue, the first round defeat of les bleus in South Africa. The UMP should have at least come out on top in the first round, especially in such a safe seat, but Poursinoff had no trouble at all in rallying the 2009 voters of the PS and DVG candidate Georges Mougeot. Back in March, it had also been said that low turnout had hurt the right and a slight boost in turnout in the runoff had saved the right in regions such as Alsace. Here, despite a nearly 4% increase in turnout since 2009, the right’s result remains poor.

The right, UMP and NC, weighs 43.89%, against 43.94% for the UMP alone in 2009. The far-right is worth 7.48%, up slightly from 7.11% in 2009. The left and Pirates are worth 47.33% against 48.95% in 2009. The final outcome is anyone’s guess, with the FN playing an important role in determining who wins. However, I would personally place my bets on a narrow victory for Anny Poursinoff.

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Posted on July 5, 2010, in By-elections, France. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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