In the Vaud, the Civic Alliance is Under Scrutiny

Published: Wednesday, Sep 20th 2023, 08:40

Updated At: Friday, Oct 13th 2023, 14:12

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In the canton of Vaud, both the major bourgeois parties (FDP, SVP) and the left-wing parties (SP, Greens) are vying for an additional seat in the National Council or at least to maintain their current position. 19 National Council seats are up for grabs in Switzerland's third largest canton. On the bourgeois side, the "Alliance Vaudoise" (FDP, SVP, Centre) coalition, which was successful in the cantonal elections in the spring of 2022, is being put to the test. For the national elections, SVP, FDP and Centre have once again chosen to work together. However, the Centre has decided to join forces with the EVP and the Free List, a move which has not been well received by FDP and SVP. The Centre justifies its decision with arithmetic considerations, claiming that the alliance with the smaller parties gives them a better chance of regaining the National Council seat they lost in 2019. The SVP is particularly unhappy with the Centre's tactics, as Valérie Dittli was elected to the Vaud government with the support of SVP voters. Nevertheless, the SVP is determined to regain the fourth seat they lost four years ago, and is fielding their current representatives Michaël Buffat and Jacques Nicolet, as well as several well-known members of the Grand Council such as Yvan Pahud, Philippe Jobin and Jean-François Thuillard. The FDP, the strongest party in the canton, is aiming to increase its seats from five to six. They are running five incumbents, with Jacqueline de Quattro, Olivier Feller and Laurent Wehrli being the favourites, as well as Alexandre Berthoud and Daniel Ruch who were elected during the legislature. They will have to contend with serious outsiders from within the party such as the popular Laurence Cretegny and Sergei Aschwanden. The SP is aiming for a sixth seat in the National Council. While union leader Pierre-Yves Maillard is aiming for the Council of States, Roger Nordmann, Samuel Bendahan and Brigitte Crottaz are looking to defend their seats. Jessica Jaccoud, Jean Tschopp and Benoît Gaillard are also running for the National Council, but the SP will have to do without their star candidate Ada Marra, who is not running. The Greens had gained two seats in the last elections in 2019, and their goal is to defend the four seats. They are running the incumbents Léonore Porchet, Sophie Michaud Gigon, Valentine Python and Raphaël Mahaim, the latter of whom is also running for the Council of States. The radical left in Vaud, which is not currently represented in Bern, is pinning its hopes on Anaïs Timofte and Zakaria Dridi from the Workers' Party, as well as Hadrien Buclin and Ella-Mona Chevalley from Ensemble à Gauche. Both duos are also running for the Council of States. The two seats of the Green Liberals in the National Council are the most threatened, but the party is hoping to maintain its presence in the capital by fielding Céline Weber (who is also running for the Council of States) and François Pointet. In total, 384 people are running on 22 lists for one of the 19 seats in the Vaud National Council, a new record after 377 candidates had presented themselves for the election four years ago. The clear favourites for the Council of States are Pascal Broulis (FDP), the former Vaud finance director, and Pierre-Yves Maillard (SP), president of the Swiss Trade Union Confederation. Broulis is joined by SVP National Council member Michael Buffat, and the list is also supported by the Centre party. With Maillard on the ticket, the Green Raphaël Mahaim is also running. In view of this all-male line-up, the Young Greens and the Juso are each fielding a candidate. Angela Zimmermann (Young Greens) and Margarida Janeiro (Juso) are running on separate lists for a seat in the small chamber. Zimmermann's candidacy could split the Green vote.


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