24 March, 2014

Jean-Luc Rotureau's withdrawal and Laurent Gérault 'suspens make the second round unpredictable

La campagne en vue du second tour des élections municipales vient de prendre un nouveau tour avec la décision de Jean-Luc Rotureau, divers gauche, de ne pas se maintenir. M. Rotureau, qui n'a pas donné de consignes de vote, a cependant relevé que le programme de Frédéric Béatse était le plus proche du sien. Le centriste Laurent Gérault n'a pas appelé à voter Christophe Béchu, le vainqueur du 23 mars, hostile à toute alliance entre les deux tours, et a laissé 24 heures au maire sortant avant de se prononcer. Les deux candidats devront surtout convaincre les 40,77% d'abstentionnistes. Ce n'est pas gagné. 

Christophe Béchu
The decisions of the two outsiders of the Angers municipal elections, Jean-Luc Rotureau and Laurent Gérault, were made public on the next day after the first round. They confirm that the result of the polls is not yet settled. The leader of the first round, the conservative Christophe Béchu, who got 35,91%, either with 9,14% more than Frédéric Béatse, socialist candidate and outgoing mayor, could not have no many stocks of votes, except maybe among the abstainers. But these are rather numerous on the left side. For Frédéric Béatse, the result of the first round, 26,77%, is far from to be excellent but he could get additional voices from his former challenger Jean-Luc Rotureau and maybe from the centrist candidate, Laurent Gérault, let alone the abstainers.

Frédéric Béatse
At eleven am, Jean-Luc Rotureau, the left challenger of the outgoing mayor, Frédéric Béatse, announced his decision to give up. The candidate, who got 16,21% of the votes and was so able to keep going on for the second round, didn't expressly call his supporters to join Frédéric Béatse : "The electors will know to choose which candidate is best for them. Their votes are not our property" pointing out that "The programme of Frédéric Béatse is closer to our expectations than the platform of Christophe Béchu". Those words are less than an instruction but more than an information. The socialist candidate directly answered saying "I want to thank Jean-Luc Rotureau for his position. [His] project is the legagy of a very positive track record and of proposals we agree with, and on which I hope we can work together". Will the message be heard by the 16,20%?

Jean-Luc Rotureau
At six pm, it was Laurent Gérault's turn to express his standpoint. Mr. Gérault, who got 7,44% on the first round, and was so unable to keep going on for the next one,  didn't call his electors to vote for Christophe Béchu whose some of the running-mates were nevertheless for years members, as himself, of the minority in the outgoing city council. "I gave a call to Christophe Béchu as well as Frédéric Béatse's entourage to explain the policy of our list. Christophe Béchu remains on his line [no merger of the lists between the first and the second round]*. I think the answer of Frédéric Béatse will be the same. I am waiting 24 hours and if nothing happens, I will call my electors to vote according to their good conscience", letting so the door open.

Laurent Gérault
One of the key of the second round will be the abstainers who count for 40,77% of the registered voters. But such a level may indicate that the motivation of those people is clearly political and has nothing to see with indifference. The two remaining candidates will attempt to attract supplementary forces during a debate planned on March 27th. The final result could be very close.

* Editor's note

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