Posts Tagged ‘Marie Le Pen’

Sarkozy gets the ignominious boot and a Le Pen – Fillon presidential contest is likely

November 21, 2016

Sarkozy tried to adopt many of Le Pen’s positions but while he has provided Marie Le Pen’s positions with legitimacy, he has apparently only lost his own credibility. He has suffered a humiliating defeat coming behind both Fillon and Juppe in the centre-right primary.

France 24:

French ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy saw his ambition to lead the country for a second time dashed as he suffered a crushing defeat to his former prime minister, François Fillon, in the first round of a centre-right primary on Sunday.

Fillon will now face off against another former prime minister, Alain Juppé, in a November 27 run-off to become the centre-right Les Republicains’ nomination in May’s presidential election. With ballots counted at 8,709 polling stations out of a total 10,229, Fillon was seen gathering 44.1 percent of the votes, Juppé 28.2 percent and Sarkozy 21.0 percent.

Sarkozy, president from 2007-12, said he would now back Fillon, a surprise frontrunner in what is the centre-right’s first ever presidential primary, in the run-off vote.

As results trickled in Sunday evening and the gap between Sarkozy and Juppé became ever wider, Sarkozy had little choice but to concede defeat.

This was the first ever centre-right primary and anybody with 2€ was eligible to vote. With an unknown electorate, opinion polls were very circumspect. But those few which dared to make any predictions expexted Juppe to lead, Sarkozy to come second and for Fillon to be eliminated. Fillon’s margin over Juppe was surprising and gives him the edge for the run-off on November 27th.


Francois Fillon

But Fillon’s first-round win over Juppe and Sarkozy is also consistent with the narrative that opinion polls can no longer pick up trends which go against “political correctness”. The establishment are seen as the high priests of “political correctness” and nobody will admit to heresy in advance. Those who intend to vote against what is deemed “politically correct” just do not admit it. They neither admit to going against conventional wisdom whether in opinion polls or in exit polls. There were many secret voters against Brexit and many secret voters for Trump.

I expect also that France will have many secret voters for Marie Le Pen. While Fillon probably has a better chance against her than Sarkozy, opinion polls for the French Presidential elections (first round on 23rd April 2017 and the run-off round on May 7th) will almost certainly miss her “secret voters”. The polls will underestimate her strength. Her own party supporters probably can get her up to 30%. The left have no one to back and while many could force themselves to back Juppe just to keep Marie Le Pen out, they may abstain rather than back Fillon. After all for the unions Fillon is as bad as Margaret Thatcher.

For Marie Le Pen the best result would have been if Sarkozy had won. Fillon winning the primary run-off would be the next best thing since many of Sarkozy’s supporters at yesterday’s primary may well find a safe harbour with Le Pen.


If Sarkozy wins centre-right primary, Marie Le Pen will be next President of France

November 16, 2016

As with the US election, the French election will go to the one with the lower negatives (and bear in mind that Hillary Clinton did indeed have greater negatives where it counted than Donald Trump did).

Nicolas Sarkozy, beat Jean-Marie Le Pen to become president of France in 2007, and lost to Francois Hollande in 2012. He is now trying to win the centre-right primary election in November which would give him a strong chance of to become head of state again in May 2017.

But he begins to sound very much like Le Pen the father and may well meet Marie Le Pen who has broken away from her father to now be a not improbable candidate for President. Sarkozy (who, in my opinion, is about as trustworthy as Tony Blair’s pet snake) begins to sound remarkably like le Pen the father to try and take away Marine Le Pen’s base.

Le Pen versus Sarkozy? image The Telegraph

Le Pen versus Sarkozy? image The Telegraph

The Guardian:“War has been declared on us,” he told Valeurs Actuelles this month as he held court at the summer mansion of his singer-supermodel wife, Carla Bruni. “War. France must be merciless, it must push that fear over to the other side.” Sarkozy is putting forward a platform of hardline policies on French national identity, Islam, and security which veer even further to the far right than his hardline stance in 2012, when he set out to win over voters from Marine Le Pen’s Front National

He wants to ban the Muslim headscarf from universities and public companies, limit the French nationality rights of children born of foreign parents, and ban pork-free options in school canteens so Muslim and Jewish children would no longer be offered a substitute meal.

There are 4 candidates in the primary race,

Alain Juppé, 71, is the centre-right mayor of Bordeaux and former prime minister under Jacques Chirac. Once detested for his attempted pension changes in 1995 and nicknamed “Amstrad” for his robotic efficiency and cold, grey image, he is now France’s favourite politician.

Nicolas Sarkozy, 61, is currently leader of the right’s Les Républicains party. He was French president from 2007 to 2012.

Bruno Le Maire, 47, was an agriculture minister during Sarkozy’s presidency. The Normandy MP has styled himself as the candidate for “renewal”, standing for a new, younger generation in a contest dominated by older candidates.

François Fillon, 62, was Sarkozy’s prime minister, but has since questioned Sarkozy’s style and policies. He is running on a pro-business reform agenda, promising to tackle France’s economic woes.

As in the US election Marie Le Pen and Sarkozy have high negatives:

73% of French people did not want Hollande re-elected next year and 66% did not want Sarkozy back in office, while 63% did not want Le Pen.

Even if Marie Le Pen’s chances are still small, who her opponent will be could become crucial. If Sarkozy wins the right to stand in the first leg by winning the centre-right primary and if he joins Marie Le Pen as one of the two left standing after the first round in April 2017, then I can see Marie Le Pen winning the second round. Between the two of them I suspect that Sarkozy will have the greater negatives.

QuartzOn the face of it, her chances would appear slim. Unlike in the US, the French electoral system is designed to only deliver a president who is endorsed by an absolute majority of the electorate. But Le Pen’s rival parties are in disorder, which could ease her path, unless the electorate can pull together. ……. 

There are two rounds of voting in the French presidential election set two weeks apart. In 2017, the first round will be on Sunday April 23, the second on Sunday May 7.

 An unlimited number of candidates can stand in the first round, provided they gather a certain amount of support from local parliamentarians. If one of them achieves an absolute majority in the first round (50% plus one vote), then they are pronounced president. The fragmented nature of French politics means, however, that this has never happened since the system was set up in 1965. ………. 

There is every possibility that Le Pen will be ahead after the first round in April 2017 so the question is how much chance she has in the second round. ……

In the past, voters have united to prevent the far-right from winning the run off, but France’s other main parties are failing to offer new faces for voters—and recently we’ve seen all too well what can happen when the establishment fails to address the discontent of the people. They are also consumed by their own problems.  The left appears to have collapsed, while right-wing voters are deeply divided about who their candidate should be.  …….

Le Pen’s discourse of “the same old faces and the same old promises” has found some traction against this backdrop. With seven more-or-less familiar figures fighting it out, the contest hardly has the look of new blood about it. It doesn’t help that Sarkozy has various investigations hanging over his head and that Juppé was stripped of the right to stand for election or hold office for two years in 2004. …..

Voters on the left could probably see themselves voting for Juppé if he ended up in the second round with Le Pen but the same is not necessarily true in a Sarkozy/Le Pen contest.

If Sarkozy wins the centre-right primary, Marie Le Pen will be the next President of France. (And I would prefer a strident Marie to a slimy Nicolas).

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