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Hollande Leads French Vote For President …

  • April 23rd, 2012
  • Posted by EUEditor

hollande-francois-2.jpgThe French Socialist Party candidate Francois Hollande has headed the field in the Presidential elections conducted on Sunday (22.4.12), and will go into the second round of voting against the incumbent President, the conservative party (UMP) contender, Nicolas Sarkozy.

Recording projections founded on exit polls and first results, Le Monde made a figures summary:

“With 28.8%, Mr Hollande headed off Mr Sarkozy (26.1%) achieving something of a record result for a left wing candidate.

“Ms Marine Le Pen [National Front party, extreme right, anti-immigration] got a better score than her father had, with 18.5%, and Mr Jean-Luc Melenchon [Left Front, communist] could congratulate himself on his result [11.7%] despite being in fourth place – launching an appeal for the defeat of Mr Sarkozy.”

It was a high voter turn-out, 80.3%, comfortably ahead of the standard of recent decades.

The result was broadly in line with opinion polls over recent months, which also indicated voters’ preoccupations with economic problems, especially persistent double-digit employment – and which have forecast a 10% lead for Francois Hollande in the second round.

A supplementary issue was anxiety over “terrorism in the suburbs”, seized on by Ms Le Pen, whose father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, was co-founder of the National Front, routinely getting 17% or more in national polls.

The issue had intensified in the wake of the recent shootings around Toulouse of a group of Jewish children, a rabbi and off-duty soldiers, and a police round-up of Islamic militant groups that followed.

Mr Sarkozy had issued a late appeal to voters to stay with his government as the best chance of avoiding gross financial and economic failure.

With a history of strong rhetoric on the immigration issue he is seen in some quarters as a lout, and has struggled against an uneven record and extremely difficult agenda over five years in office. Talk as he might, he has not (to over-state the goals), evicted vast numbers of illegal immigrants, ended terrorism, reversed unemployment, or resolved the debt crisis (despite some good management in concert with EU partners).

His run-off with Mr Hollande will be on Sunday week 6.5.12.

Reference

Le Monde, Paris, “First news: for Hollande, ‘change is now coming’”, 22.4.12. www.lemonde.fr, (23.4.12).

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