24 March, 2014

Things stay open for the second round of Angers municipal elections

Lors du 1er tour des élections municipales le candidat de l'opposition, Christophe Béchu l'a emporté avec 35,9% des voix, soit 9% de plus que le maire sortant. Pour autant, les choses restent très ouvertes pour le second tour en fonction des possibilités d'alliance dont chacun des deux premiers classés ont besoin. En effet, Jean-Luc Rotureau, avec 15% des voix, devient un allié indispensable pour Frédéric Béatse et Laurent Gérault, dont la marginalisation semblait acquise avec 2% des voix fait presque quatre fois plus. 

The first results of the Angers municipal elections saw the conservative candidate, Christophe Béchu ahead with 35,9% followed by the outgoing mayor, Frédéric Béatse with 26,8%. Their challengers, Jean-Luc Rotureau, on left, got 16,2% and the centrist Laurent Gérault, 7,4% while the far right candidate, Gaétan Dirand recorded 6,7%. For the two main candidates, the results look a little bit disappointing. Mr. Béchu hoped to reach 40% while the score of Mr. Béatse is behind his rival by around 10%.

But nevertheless the game remains open for the next round. On one side, the opportunities could look more favourable for Christophe Béchu for the second round rather than for Frédéric Béatse whose fate depends on a worse transfer of votes. The left side arrived deeply splitted for the 2014 and it is not sure Jean-Luc Rotureau's supporters will join the outgoing mayor. But the prospects of union between Christophe Béchu and Laurent Gérault, let alone Gaétan Dirand, are also rather weak. The first categorically refused to change his list between the two rounds.The first round was rather a good surprise for Mr. Gérault but also for Nathalie Sevaux who got 3,5% while she was totally unknown a few month ago.

The most important key for the second round is Jean-Luc Rotureau's décision to keep going or to give up. That division can't go on" between Mr. Béatse and Mr. Rotureau, urged Jean-Claude Antonini, "Nothing is insurmountable". Frédéric Béatse is aware of that point out that with Mr. Rotureau, "We have to see how we can go forward and examine points of projects". But the decision of Laurent Gérault, given his good score, will also be important. "I don't have any contact with anyone but the duty of a mayor is to gather" what implicitely let opened all prospects towards Mr. Béchu but also towards Mr. Béatse. "All will depend on their ability to gather, their ethic and their proposals". The decision will be made up on March 24th at midday.

The level of the turnout was a first indication of the interest of Angevins for the ballots because the city was considered as the place of a possible swing from left, in office since 1977, towards right which missed the victory by a very narrow margin in 2008. At 6 pm, more than 57,49% of Angers electors had voted. The figure is nevertheless in retreat by 1,48% compared to the previous municipal elections in 2008 (58,97%). The mood of the 2014 campaign was different because of the consequences on Angers resources of the general economic crisis of 2008 what led several candidates to restrain the city expenses and debt.

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