View Full Version : Hollande set to rule France

23-04-12, 08:07
The French have voted in the first round of the presidential election, and once again the results reveal a deeply divided France, with no less than five major candidates. François Hollande emerges on top with a meagre 28.6% of the votes, not far ahead of Sarkozy (27%). The final round will oppose the two candidates on 6 May, but all polls foresee an easy victory for Hollande.

As usual, the socialist party fared better in the south and west, and best of all in the south-west quarter of France. Sarkozy was most appreciated along the country's eastern border and in the rural areas of the north.

The big surprise was the good score of Marine Le Pen of the far-right National Front, who was expected around 13% but managed to collect 18% of the ballots, reaching over 30% of the electorate in the north-east quarter of the country and along the Mediterranean coast.

Communist-leaning Mélenchon snatched 11% of the votes and scored particularly well in the remote and mountainous regions (Pyrenees, Limousin, Auvergne, Cévennes, Haute-Provence).

Centrist candidate François Bayrou obtained 9%, far less than expected. He did best in the Basque region, Cévenens, Brittany and Alsace.

You can see a precise map of the results for each candidate here (http://www.lemonde.fr/election-presidentielle-2012/visuel/2012/04/23/rapports-de-force-entre-les-candidats_1688324_1471069.html).

23-04-12, 20:26

Socialist vote is gaining ground in Northern France, Paris region, Normandy and Central France.


23-04-12, 22:55
I'm a little confused about how the French voting system works. Will there now only be two candidates?

I fear France is going to become a more divided country, similar to how the US is. Here, the federal government is malinged with partisans who refuse to co-operate- as a result nothing gets done. As we see Hollande (a leftist) doing very well, we also see Sarkozy trying to appeal to FN and the extreme right, similarly FN seems to gain growing support- perhaps they could control the National Assembly. Part of this polarization could stem from economic issues, but I fear that eventually France will go the way my country has, and have very different parties unable to compromise.

27-04-12, 05:13
Hello Trapped, and welcome to the forum. Your lecture of the campaign is not totally accurate. A country like France (65+M people) is bound to be divided, and France has a lot of dual faces (North/South, East/West, Urban/Countryside,...) that explain the cleavages in peoples choices. In one sense, the two contenders are very similar with the Democrats vs Conservative pattern of the US, in fact, both have a quite similar program, with only the social vs liberal capitalism side that characterises both parties. The FN is very unlikely control the National Assembly anytime soon. The FN (which now sits on the moderate right to extreme right but is also and above all nationalist and anti-EU) is now banking on a socialist victory to attract as much as possible of the former Sarkozy backers. In a sense, it's not really Hollande who wins the election, it's rather the French who punish Sarkozy for not having been able to keep his words on his electoral promises. I also think many Frenchmen resent him for being too close to Germany, and being to Merkel what Blair was to Bush. I also believe that Hollande is not set to rule France but will preside its fall. The rise of the FN is going to affect a lot the manner EU policies are handled from the Elysee.

27-04-12, 17:12
Although France isn't a 2-party system in quite the same way as the US, it tends toward 2 dominant parties due to its electoral system. It isn't proportional, like, say, the Netherlands. The correlation between number of parties and electoral system is strong throughout the world.