A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

A real choice this time

The BBC is reporting that the first round results in France are likely to be this:

"Centre-right Mr Sarkozy won 30%, ahead of Ms Royal of the Socialists on 25.2%. Centrist Francois Bayrou got 18.3% and the far-right Jean-Marie Le Pen 11.5%."

So at least there will be a proper left vs right contest in the second round, unlike the travesty last time of a run-off between Le Pen and Chirac.

The far right result is down considerably from the last election, which has to be good news.

Brits could learn something from the 84.5% turnout too.

I can leave the Segolene Royal campaign sticker on my PC at work for a bit longer.


Blogger Owen said...

The reason that there was such a high turnout was because of the stark contrast between the candidates.

In this country, the three main parties have converged to such an extent that people no longer feel there's a real choice and therefore don't think there's much point them voting.

Anyway, let's hope Sarkozy gets smashed!


7:29 pm, April 22, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It does seem a little odd - almost spinning - that the new coverage keeps pushing the claim that French politics, and Royale in particular, has moved to the right, and this is at least a pyrrhic victory for Sarkozy and Le Pen, and yet, except for law and order issues, Royale's manifesto is to the left of the one Jospin offered five years ago.

7:54 pm, April 22, 2007

Blogger Ewan Watt said...


The decline in Le Pen's vote has been down to successful (albeit more moderate) co-optation by Royal and Sarkozy. If anything, Le Pen set the agenda for this election. Expect him to be very vocal in the next couple of weeks, just depends if anyone is still listening.

Allez Sarko!

8:10 pm, April 22, 2007

Anonymous Hope not Hate said...

Looks like the French voters have woken up at last!

11:40 pm, April 22, 2007

Anonymous Ted Harvey said...

The significant reason for the high turnout is the folk memory on the French Left of their experience last time around when many sat on their hands and did not vote (or voted in fragmentary ways). The result was the easy second round win for the right-of- centre with the alternative being the extreme right(never really on) The tragic irony was that an untold number of the Left had to vote in the second round for the right-of-centre candidate to ensure that worse did not happen.

Neil Kinnock described the French Left in the first round the last time in words something like 'selfish' and 'divisive' and 'self-regarding'.

This time around, a particularly unappealing right of centre candidate has further strengthened the Left turn-out.

The French experience underlines how voter apathy is one of the greatest (and unattended to) threats facing democracy in the UK.

9:37 am, April 23, 2007


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