French cantonal elections, 2011

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Party affiliation of the General Council Presidents of the various departments in the elections of 2011
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Cantonal elections to elect half the membership of the general councils of France's 100 departments were held on 20 and 27 March 2011.

Electoral system[edit]

The cantonal elections use a two-round system similar to that employed in the country's legislative elections.

  • Councillors are elected from single-member constituencies (the cantons).
  • A candidate securing the votes of at least 25% of the canton's registered voters and more than 50% of the total number of votes actually cast in the first round of voting is thereby elected. If no candidate satisfies these conditions, then a second round of voting is held one week later.
  • Entitled to present themselves in the second round are the two candidates who received the highest number of votes in the first round, plus any other candidate or candidates who received the votes of at least 12.5% of those registered to vote in the canton. This threshold used to be set at 10% and was modified for this election.
  • In the second round, the candidate receiving the highest number of votes is elected.

Context[edit]

French cantonal elections are usually paired with another election; for example, they were paired with the regional elections in 1998, the municipal elections in 2001, the regional elections in 2004, and the municipal elections in 2008. The 2011 elections were the first cantonal elections since 1992 not to be paired with another election.

Since cantonal councillors are electors for the senatorial elections, and considering that the forces in the Senate are, as of March 2011 almost balanced, the results of this election could play a role in the September 2011 senatorial elections.

Results[edit]

Party First round Second round Total seats
Votes % Seats Votes % Seats
Socialist Party (Parti socialiste) 2,284,967 24.94 150 2,802,094 35.43 670 820
Europe Écologie – Les Verts 752,992 8.22 0 216,144 2.73 27 27
Communist Party (Parti communiste français) 724,911 7.91 19 381,096 4.82 97 116
Miscellaneous Left (Divers gauche) 495,822 5.41 57 437,823 5.54 137 194
Left Radical Party (Parti radical de gauche) 135,958 1.48 17 119,967 1.51 34 51
Left Party (Parti de gauche) 92,386 1.01 1 16,095 0.20 4 5
Total Parliamentary Left 4,487,036 48.97 244 3,972,949 50.23 968 1,212
Union for a Popular Movement (Union pour un mouvement populaire} 1,554,744 16.97 92 1,581,756 20.00 277 369
Miscellaneous Right (Divers droite) 853,892 9.32 77 744,170 9.41 187 264
Presidential Majority-New Centre (Majorité-Nouveau Centre) 293,543 3.20 16 289,328 3.66 42 58
Presidential Majority (Majorité) 206,488 2.25 21 197,085 2.49 41 62
Total "Presidential Majority" 2,908,667 31.74 206 2,812,339 35.56 547 753
National Front (Front national) 1,379,902 15.06 0 915,504 11.57 2 2
Others (Autres) 123,543 1.35 6 95,251 1.20 28 34
Democratic Movement (Mouvement démocrate) 111,887 1.22 2 74,224 0.94 14 16
Other Far-left (Extrême gauche) 53,316 0.58 0 273 0.00 0 0
Regionalists and separatists 48,468 0.53 2 18,280 0.23 3 5
Other ecologists 34,112 0.37 0 16,074 0.20 2 2
Other far-right (Extrême droite} 13,673 0.15 0 4,932 0.06 1 1
Totals 9,160,604 100.00 460 7,909,826 100.00 1,566 2,026
Turnout 9,439,097 44.32 8 513 399 44.77

Abstention: 55.68%; invalid ballots; 2.95%

Sources[edit]