Monday, April 23, 2007

There's Only Going To Be One Winner

Voters in France have set up a run-off for the presidency between the fairly right-wing Nicolas Sarkozy and the Socialist Segolene Royal. Francois Bayrou, a centre-left candidate who might have been able to win the presidency had he made it through to the second round, is out after finishing third. National Front leader Jean Marie Le Pen was happily only fourth, although when a racist fascist gets more than 10 percent of the vote in a major country like France, it's not really something to be too pleased about.

Although Royal is still talking a good game, there's only going to be one winner in the run-off in a fortnight's time. Sarkozy was around 6 points ahead on the first-round voting, but exit polls suggest he's well ahead when it comes to how people intend to vote in the second round.

It's interesting that what you could call 'Middle France' voters seem happier to throw in their lot with Sarkozy rather than Royal. Sarkozy's a man who may well put large parts of France's cushy welfare system (most obviously that infamous 35-hour working week) under threat to try to improve the economy. Socialists, even flashy new ones like Royal, would be much less likely to give away the working conditions the French have long held so dearly. But it looks as if enough French people have at last realised, that if they want to drag their country out of its current problems, they're going to have to spend a little bit longer at the office. That means Sarkozy will be the winner.

No comments: