Compromise in Coderre’s future after narrow win in Montreal

Denis Coderre, the newly elected mayor of Montreal, will arrive in office with a weaker mandate and fewer friends than any magistrate in at least 50 years.
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Mr. Coderre surely understood his predecessors had a difficult city to govern, with a major corruption crackdown still underway and a web of overlapping councils seating more than 100 elected officials.

The task just got more daunting.
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Montrealers drew a new electoral map Sunday that will pose a tough test of Mr. Coderre’s capacity to make peace with opponents – qualities for which he was not famous during six terms as a federal MP.

Mr. Coderre’s narrow popular vote win Sunday night, with just under one-third of voters supporting him, masked important defeats on other fronts in Montreal’s unique, multi-layered borough and party system.

His popular support faded compared to early poll results, meaning the longer voters looked at him, the less they liked him.
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Mr. Coderre’s party controls a minority of seats on council, which means he will need to coax independent and opposition councillors to support him if he wants to get anything done. “I have to find a way to reach out,” Mr. Coderre said Monday morning during a whirlwind tour of radio stations.

Mr. Coderre also failed to gain control of a majority of mayors’ seats in the powerful boroughs which form local neighbourhood governments within the city. When the boroughs and central city don’t get along, everything from budgeting to snow removal to building bike paths becomes extremely difficult.
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