04 May 2012

Un nouveau président ?

If the Socialist Party candidate, François Hollande, is not elected Président de la République Française on Sunday, it will be a major surprise. The campaign ends tonight at midnight. Saturday is a day for voters to reflect on their choice.

The big debate between Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy, the sitting president, took place Wednesday evening. Hollande went into the debate as the leader, and nothing that happened during his face-off with Sarkozy changed anything. Polls still show Hollande leading by 5 or 6 percentage points.

The presidential debate was watched on TV by three million fewer people than the 2007 debate was. Those who tuned out the debate might have been voters loyal to the far-right candidate, the Front National's Marine Le Pen, who announced that she would put a blank ballot in the urn on Sunday. Many of the six million who voted for her in the first round might do the same, reducing Sarkozy's score more than Hollande's.

The centrist candidate, François Bayrou, who was eliminated in the first round of voting two weeks ago, yesterday endorsed Hollande. The approximately 10% of the voters who supported him in the first round are of course free to vote as they choose, but many of them will follow their leader's example.

I'll be in a car somewhere in Massachusetts or New York state Sunday afternoon, Eastern Time, when the result comes in. I'll be listening to the radio, for sure.


  1. Alberta, a province in Canada, recently held elections with the most surprising outcome.

    ALL polls and opinions had a new up and coming party in front by high single digits.
    Come election night the status quo ruling party received an overwhelming majority again.

    This brought on a debate about validity of polls in the age of cell phones and other mobile devices. Something along the lines how difficult accurate polling has become.....nice excuse.

    I think it will be a razor thin decision.
    Merkel is watching.

  2. Bon voyage! Have a beautiful time, can't to hear all about it when you're back over a glass or 3 of chenin. Santé! - Laura

  3. Here I am at CDG airport outside Paris. We will board the plane in an hour.

    Bonjour Laura, à très bientôt.

  4. Last night Al Jazeera News here predicted a Hollande victory, but said that Sarko did very well in the debate.

    Sounds like y'all are headed for Albany.

  5. Diogenes, the consensus in the French press was that Hollande took control of the debate and Sarkozy faltered. We'll find out tomorrow if it mattered, I guess. We'll get to Albany NY tomorrow — staying with a friend in Massachusetts for a couple of nights.


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