07/02/2013 02:49 EDT | Updated 09/01/2013 05:12 EDT

Harel says lack of Anglophone support sank mayoral hopes

Vision Montreal leader Louise Harel is dropping out of the race for mayor after failing to attract Anglophone voters.

“I was not able to convince my fellow English-speaking citizens that I’m the better [choice] for them for Montreal,” she said Tuesday.

Her party will instead back a coalition led by economist and businessman Marcel Côté, who is expected to announce his candidacy on Wednesday.

She said she believes he’ll be able to better unite the eastern and western parts of the island with her party’s help.

"We know that Marcel Côté will put together the active forces from the west part and the east part of Montreal," she said.

Harel will stay on as leader of Vision Montreal and will run for a council seat in the downtown Ville-Marie borough.Projet Montreal leader Richard Bergeron said the decision is pure political opportunism.

He says Harel and Côté share no common ideology, and he called this a marriage of convenience, not of principle.

"What they call a coalition is a negotiation to win the next election," said Bergeron.