Sunday, April 22, 2007

French Presidential election 1st round

Looking at the result from the 1st round in the French Presidential election, my interpretation of the result is that Nicolas Sarkozy is highly likely to be elected as the next President of France. Looking at the votes, I believe more of Bayrou votes are likely to transfer to Sarkozy in the 2nd round then Royal and coupled with National Front along with other assorted candidates, Sarkozy should be the ultimate winner. I would be surprised though not shocked if Royal came through to win but given her campaign to date and the distribution of votes in the 1st round, I cannot see her winning.

At the beginning of the year, I thought Segolene Royal would win as I believed the right in France under Jacques Chirac was a busted flush and that Sarkozy was too divisive a figure to be elected president. However, the impression that I've picked up from these shores is that the French now want a radical break from the past and see in Sarkozy a person who will deliver change and is prepared to make the tough decisions that politicians like Chirac have failed to make. The downside of Sarkozy is that like George Bush he is a divisive politician who deeply polarises the country.

In France, I think many see in Segolene Royal a politician who wants to continue with the status-quo and fail to make of the reforms that many people in France believe necessary to make. Many claimed a similarity between Royal and Blair in modernisation, though her platform did not reflect this and I doubt she would've pursued the changes necessary given the position of the French socialists. Throughout the campaign, she made many mistakes in outlining her policy positions and seemed ill-defined.

The huge turnout of nearly 85% shows that this election has engaged the people of France in choosing their next President. However, the most welcome news that the odious Jean-Marie Le Pen only got 12% of the vote, after the shock of 2002 when he came 2nd this is relief. The 2nd round will be interesting but I would be very surprised if Sarkozy did not win the election from this position, though I may be wrong in that assertion.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, I realised she would not win, when she started spouting all this left wing stuff about nationalisation... Even the French dont want more of this.

Until the french Socialists modernise, they are dead ducks. Strange thing is that the right does not need to modernise it just updates its policies.

Its the French way!

10:26 pm  

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