Saturday, 21 April 2012

France 2012: The road to Élysée

With the French Presidential elections' first round tomorrow, I thought it might be handy for those interested in French politics to have a breakdown of what's happened so far. It's a pretty detailed piece - and I believe my first Feature article for The Student Journals - but that's because these elections, while perhaps a little dull, could have great significance to Europe.

If, as polls suggest, François Hollande does indeed win the elections, France would see its first Socialist President in two decades. The Left Front candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon has also been the candidate with the most supporters at his rallies and his supporters will be demanding of Hollande. Marine Le Pen has of course been stirring up the crowds through fear tactics, spewing the typical xenophobic and Islamophobic remarks we have come to expect of her.

That leaves incumbent President, Nicolas Sarkozy who continues to go further right-wing to capture Le Pen's supporters and is resorting to desperate tactics. With over 10% between him and Hollande in polls for the second round, he claims his best chance is in a national television debate between the two rounds. Hollande's lack of government experience may be telling or, instead, his witty humour may shine through, knocking Sarkozy out of the running for good. Tomorrow will reveal (almost) all.

Do let me know your thoughts under the piece.

So here you go:

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