Corsica’s nationalists scored an emphatic victory in the second and decisive round of voting for the new Assemblée de Corse yesterday. With 56 per cent of the votes won, Giles Simeoni’s pragmatic alliance of autonomistes and indépendentistes will have an absolute majority of seats in the new body, which replaces two departmental councils and a regional council with a single unitary administration for the island.
Simeoni’s Pè a Corsica list benefitted from the inevitable of transfer of votes from the more radical independence movement, U Rinnovu, which had narrowly failed to cross the 7 per cent threshold to enter the second round. This helped Simeoni advance from 45 to 56 per cent. In second place Jean-Martin Mondoloni’s centre-right regionalists obtained 18 per cent, up from 15 per cent in the first round. By contrast there was no uplift for the En Marche (LREM) and Les Républicains (LR) lists led by Jean-Charles Orsucci and Valérie Bozzi respectively.
There had been some rumblings about the inability of the centre-right parties to form a combined list ahead of the second round, but the scale of the nationalist victory has rendered these redundant.
The Front National (FN), which scored just 3.3 per cent in the first round, failed to advance to the run-off, and nor did a left-wing alliance between France Insoumise and the Communist Party (PCP), which took only 5.7 per cent the previous weekend. The Socialist Party (PS) did not present a list at all, a reflection of its wider national crisis.
While the nationalists can now claim a mandate to advance their agenda of autonomous status for Corsica, their victory is muted slightly by a poor turnout – just under 53 per cent, in contrast to the 67 per cent seen in the final election to the previous Regional Assembly in December 2015. Talks with Paris over new constitutional arrangements are likely to begin in the New Year. Meanwhile the new 63-member Assembly will formally take up its powers on 1 January 2018.
FRANCE Corsica Assembly election, 2nd round
10 December 2017
List leader, list name [political orientation]
Gilles Simeoni – Pè a Corsica [nationalist] 67,253 votes or 56.46%
Jean-Martin Mondoloni – A Strada di l’Avvene [regional centre-right] 21,784 or 18.29%
Jean-Charles Orsucci – Andà per Dumane [LREM] 15,080 or 12.66%
Valérie Bozzi – Voir Plus Grand [LR] 14,990 or 12.59%
Seat allocation in new Assembly
Pè a Corsica 41
Strada di l’Avvene 10
La République en Marche 6
Les Républicains 6
Total: 63 seats
Eligible voters 234,289
‘Blanc’ 2,079 or 0.89%
‘Nuls’ 1,923 or 0.82%
Valid votes 119,107
Source: Ministry of the Interior, France. Full official results here.
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