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France: Surprise In PS Primary

  • October 11th, 2011
  • Posted by EUEditor

aubry.jpg hollande-francois.jpg  montebourg.jpgResults of the French Socialist Party’s (PS) primary vote this week (10.10.11) did anything but produce a rally behind the front-runner Francois Hollande (pictured, top), giving him a marginal lead over Martine Aubry, and the impact of a surprise showing by a third candidate, Arnaud Montebourg.

Mr Hollande received 39% of votes against 31% for Ms Aubry. (See EUAustralia Online, “France: Poll anoints Hollande PS front runner”, 26.8.11.)

Both were given a fright by Mr Montebourg, 48, a lawyer and deputy for Loire-Saone, who polled 17% on a platform of reversing economic globalisation and imposing strict regulation on banks.

Three other candidates got 13% including the 2007 party nominee Segolene Royale on 6%.

Mr Montebourg is now the likely king-maker, saying he sees the two lead candidates as much the same, but suggesting he will declare for one or the other after watching them in a televised debate — ahead of their one-to-one contest, in a second round of voting.

Already the Aubry forces have been pointing out attitudes in common with his stand on banking.

Some commentators are seeing the vote as an indication of wider public indignation at the impunity of corporate or financial manipulation, embroiled in financial crisis, in times when life in the “real” economy is marked by joblessness, withdrawal of government services and stress on mortgages.

The government political party, UMP, tried a different line, suggesting the Socialist Party would be getting in step with the radical Le Pen group, the National Front, if it took up the Montebourg line on globalisation.

Not that the party under President Nicolas Sarkozy could be expected to eschew a National Front kind of line against unsolicited immigration in France – a place where he has been before.



Reuters, London, “Montebourg steals show in French left’s primary”, 10.10.11., (11.10.11).

Le Monde, Paris, “Primaire socialiste : les cartes des résultats du premier tour” (Socialist primary, graphs of results from first round), 11.10.11., (11.10.11).


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