All The More Reason

Nearly there
April 20, 2007, 3:09 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

From midnight tonight, the publication of opinion polls relating to the presidential elections will be banned throughout France. It’s hard to imagine that there won’t be some sort of leak tomorrow or on Sunday, probably through the blogs and of the ‘Sego is trailing Bayrou!! Get out and vote!!’ variety, which makes it all the more sobering to think that the prohibition used to run for a full week before polling day.

The latest poll puts Sarkozy ahead of Royal in the first round 28% to 24%, with Bayrou at 19%. Le Pen, who has failed to gather a great deal of momentum in the closing stages, is stuck at 14%. However, with 21% of voters still undecided, his support may prove to have hidden depths.

Although Sarkozy is still the favourite, Bayrou is what a gambler might call ‘the value bet’ (and at a not ungenerous 11/2, I might be tempted to stick a few quid on myself). Opinion polls consistently show that he would beat Sarkozy quite comfortably in the second round, and if he pitches himself as a ‘unifying’ ‘Stop Sarko’ candidate it is difficult to see why these projections would be illusory. Although the Socialist Party grandees rather haughtily declare that they will only ever vote for their own candidate (and, even then, only half-heartedly), it’s likely that all but the most hardcore Sarkozy-as-highest-stage-of-capitalism-and-precursor-to-socialist-revolution-istas would line up behind the UDF candidate in the 2eme tour.  Mopping up the dregs to the left of Royal would allow him to wring out another 10-12%. Fascinating to think that these factional no-hopers, support for whom was dismissed as ‘votes inutiles’ by the front-runners (a ridiculous line- the very fact that they need to be attacked shows the equal ‘utility’ of a vote not cast to that of one cast) could hold the balance of power!

For Bayrou though, winning the second round is, in a sense, the easy bit. This is a battlefield he will not even be able to enter unless he can succesfully push aside both Royal and Le Pen on Sunday. In doing so, he must appeal to left, right and centre, studiously avoiding to alienate any one constituency – particularly the 21% of undecided voters, most of whom are unideological grist to the UDF’s pragmatic mill – all the while batting off the accusations of those, such as Le Monde, who argue that a vote for Bayrou paves Le Pen’s own path to the second round. Not so much ‘triangulation’ as ‘quadrangulation’. Or maybe just ‘politics’.

All of which is a rather long winded way of saying that I think it’s too close to call. Roll on 8pm Sunday. In the meantime, why not see who you should vote for by completing the online tests here or here. I’m off to the bookies.

Michael P


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Vous vous situez au centre gauche.

Aucun parti ne correspond exactement à vos opinions.

Cependant, les partis dont vous êtes le plus proche (dans l’ordre) :

1. Génération Ecologie
mais vous ne partagez pas toujours les mêmes opinions sur l’importance de la responsabilité personnelle des gens, ni sur l’évolution des moeurs.
(Génération Ecologie soutenait la candidature de sa présidente, France Gamerre, qui n’a pas réuni les 500 signatures nécessaires.)

Et, dans une moindre mesure :

2. Cap 21 (le mouvement de Corinne Lepage)
mais vous ne partagez pas toujours les mêmes opinions sur l’importance de la responsabilité personnelle des gens, ni sur l’évolution des moeurs.

(Cap 21 soutient la candidature de François Bayrou.)

Comment by allthemorereason

Here’s mine:

Vous vous situez tantôt à droite, tantôt à gauche selon les thèmes abordés.

Le parti dont vous êtes le plus proche :

Alternative Libérale
Alternative Libérale soutient la candidature de François Bayrou.

Comment by J.S.

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