Monday, November 4, 2013

2013 Montreal election results

First, lets cover the simple stuff. Denis Coderre, former Liberal MP, has been elected Mayor of Montreal. The results were as follows:

32.12% - 149,114 - Denis Coderre - EDC
26.47% - 122,851 - Melanie Joly - VCM
25.53% - 118,515 - Richard Bergeron - PM
12.78% - 59,306 - Marcel Cote - CM

After this, things get complicated.

There are a few important things to understand about how things work in Montreal.

Not all people elected to City Council are City Councillors. Not all councillors elected are on city council.

Montreal has 3 'classes' of 'councillors' elected.

First is the Borough Mayors. Each Borough has a small degree of self-governance. Each Mayor thus has a little power of his or her own.

Second is the City Councillor. Each Borough has a few of these, between 5 and 0 depending on population.

Last is the Borough Council. These people do not sit in City Council. Each Borough has at least 4 councillors, so, those with 3 or fewer City Councillors thus have a number of Borough Councillors.

Each borough thus has it's own mini city council. All Boroughs work this way save for Ville-Marie, in the city centre, where the City Mayor serves as Borough Mayor. In addition to the 3 City Councillors from the area, the Mayor can appoint 2 others from City Council to join the Borough Council.

Also important is the idea of a 'Collister' or 'Co-Candidate'. This is a person who is running for City Council, as the 'clone' of sorts of someone who is running for Mayor of the City. There are some rules; first, this only applies to the City Council slot; not a Borough Mayor or a Borough Councillor. Second, this applies only to Mayoral candidates. Last, this applies only to candidates from registered parties.

In practise, what this means is that those running for Mayor, generally, remain (or are elected to) City Council even if they lose the race for Mayor. In 2009, both Harel and Bergeron lost their bid to become Mayor. Bergeron was re-elected in his Council seat, and Harel (who was not on Council at the time) won a seat. In 2005, Bourque and Bergeron, the losing Mayoral candidates, both had council seats after the election.

You have to go back to 1998 to find a major Mayoral candidate who did not have a council seat after losing a Mayoral election.

So. This leads us back to what happened last night.

Most important to know, related to this, is that Melanie Joly failed in her bid to win a seat on City Council. Beyond that, Marcel Cote also failed to take a seat on council. Cote was the nominee from CM, which included the old Vision party. Vision meanwhile had provided not only the Mayor - Laurent Blanchard - but also the Leader of the Opposition, Louise Harel. Both Blanchard and Harel lost their seats on council last night. In fact the only major personality, other than Coderre, to win his seat was Richard Bergeron, and even then, by a very small margin of votes.

Direct comparisons with the last election are made difficult by the fact that this group is a slippery bunch. Just because they ran in one borough last time does not mean they'll be running anywhere near there this time.

All in all the final results were as follows:

Borough Mayor
9 - EDC (Coderre)
3 - CM (Cote)
2 - PM (Bergeron)
1 - VCM (Joly)
4 - Various local parties

City Councillor
18 - EDC (Coderre)
18 - PM (Bergeron)
3 - CM (Cote)
3 - VCM (Joly)
3 - Various local parties
1 - Independent

Borough Councillor
12 - EDC (Coderre)
8 - PM (Bergeron)
4 - VCM (Joly)
13 - Various local parties
1 - Independent

The total for City Council is as follows:
27 - EDC (Coderre) [Mayor]
20 - PM (Bergeron) [Leader of the Opposition]
18 - All Others (listed below)
6 - CM (Cote) [Did not win seat]
4 - VCM (Joly) [Did not win seat]
7 - Various local parties
1 - Independent

Where things get a bit more complex is that not all CM members were Vision members. Where they get really complex is that Vision Montreal, still technically exists as a political party separate from CM. 

Three of their elected members are VM members, including Real Menard, the former MP, who is now their unofficial leader. One of them is a former UM member. One is a former Provincial politician (Liberal) and the final has never been a member of any municipal party and ran last time as an Independent (but lost).

The VCM is full of brand new councillors. The most powerful member is Normand Marinacci who is now their unofficial leader. He was elected Mayor his Borough; where an upstart local party was slaughtered by VCM. 

So what of these Local parties?
One of them, in particular the party in Anjou, ran in the 2005 election. Save for the Borough Councillor from the East, the exact same people were re-elected for the exact same party in this election. The local party here swept every seat. Given their history, it's likely this local party will have true staying power.

In some Boroughs, attempts at a local party failed hardcore. Verdun is one where only one member joined in the first place, and was then a rival to a second local party set up in the area, also supported by only one Councillor. Both parties now find themselves without any representation. One of the Mayoral candidates had set up locally, but his party was also defeated. Congrats, however, go to him (Michel Brule) for finishing 5th. His party, however, will be without representation. Outremont saw a more successful one-person-starts-a-local-party attempt, with the city council member (Mayor) being re-elected and being joined by 2 new party mates on her Borough council. Lasalle, saw the local party win almost every seat while in Lachine the local party did win every seat. 

Full Borough results are noted at the bottom of this post with the party holding the Mayor's seat noted as such.

With the defeat of so many big names the question of how many incumbents were re-elected comes up. In terms of those who did not shuffle around to another Borough (we know one did - Bergeron - and he won) the results are a bit surprising. The overwhelming majority of incumbents ran again. What's surprising is the trend. Being former members of Vision or Union Montreal did not matter, but, only if you were running for EDC. Former UM members did poorly when trying locally or with CM, and Vision members also did poorly under CM. Those Vision members who supported EDC or PM however were all re-elected.

3 - EDC-X
1 - PM
1 - VCM

5 - Local-X

2 - PM
1 - CM-X
1 - EDC
1 - Independent

4 - VCM-X
1 - Local

5 - Local - X

6 - Local - X
1 - EDC

2 - EDC
2 - PM
1 - CM - X

5 - EDC - X

3 - Local - X
1 - PM
1 - Independent

3 - EDC - X
2 - VCM

Le Plateau-Mont-Royal
7 - PM - X

7 - EDC - X

Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie
5 - PM - X

5 - EDC - X

4 - EDC - X
1 - CM

Le Sud-Ouest
4 - PM
1 - CM - X

4 - EDC - X
3 - PM

1 - EDC - X
2 - PM
1 - VCM
2 - Unknown

3 - EDC - X
1 - PM
1 - CM

So what happens now?

From these results I expect, with CM so devastated, the party will fall apart. Take the South-West for example, where the Mayor is from CM but all 4 other members are from PM. I would not be surprised at all to see that person join with PM. VCM is also in trouble. The party was started as a vehicle for Joly, but now that she's seatless, what happens next is anybody's guess.

This is why the following way of presenting the data

27 - EDC (Coderre) [Mayor]
20 - PM (Bergeron) [Leader of the Opposition]
18 - All Others (listed below)

Appeals to me. This, better than anything else, explains exactly what happened last night in the City Council election.

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