French Elections 2012

While the coming French elections will see a sharp rise in the number of women députées, gender parity in the Assemblée nationale remains an elusive goal.

France votes on Sunday in the second round of elections for the lower house of its parliament, the Assemblée nationale. New President François Hollande has been lauded for appointing a parity government, but what are the chances of equality in parliament after the coming elections? Using data from the presidential and the first round of the parliamentary elections Rainbow Murray […]

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In Hollande’s new government, women have half the jobs, but less real power than under Sarkozy.

Many commentators have praised France’s new president François Hollande for appointing half of his cabinet and government’s posts to women. However, Rainbow Murray argues that these appointments are actually less favourable to women than the first Sarkozy government in 2007; most of the key ministerial posts have been given to men.  Last week, the newly elected French president François Hollande […]

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François Hollande’s victory is a very “normal” one for France’s left

The Monday morning edition of the French left magazine Libération featured a triumphant François Hollande alongside the headline “Normal!” to the bewilderment of many journalists outside France. Catherine Fieschi argues that “Normal!” perfectly captures the feeling of the left in France that Hollande’s victory does not mark a revolution in French politics, and reflects their feelings that he is more than […]

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Hollande’s crucial first task is to realise that “it’s the French economy, stupid”

One of the key problems that the newly elected French president François Hollande will have to tackle is France’s weak and falling export competitiveness. Bob Hancké suggests that this may not be quite as simple as some observers suggest: a large part of France’s economic policy-making has, due to the European monetary union (EMU), moved to Berlin – even before the […]

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After an inconclusive debate, on the final day of the French presidential election campaign, Hollande is still ahead

This Sunday sees incumbent French president Nicolas Sarkozy face off against his Socialist challenger François Hollande in the final round of the French election. After a debate this week where neither candidate was able to land a knockout blow, Françoise Boucek looks at polling for both candidates, finding that despite some positive perceptions of Sarkozy by the French public on competence […]

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François Hollande’s strong support among the young and middle-aged as well as the working class indicates that he will be the next President of the French Republic.

Which voting blocs supported François Hollande, and which supported Nicolas Sarkozy in the first round of the French presidential elections? As part of our continuing series on the French elections, Anne Corbett examines the data arguing that Hollande’s strong support among the young and middle-aged as well as the working class indicates that he will be next President of the French Republic. […]

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Marine Le Pen’s result in last Sunday’s French elections confounded the experts but does not signal the rise of the far right in Europe

Pollsters often get election results wrong, and this week’s French elections were no exception, with Front National candidate Marine Le Pen gaining more votes than was widely expected. As part of our continuing series on the French elections, Marley Morris reflects on the result, finding that while we should be careful to not exaggerate the success of Le Pen, the […]

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Marine Le Pen has achieved the best ever result for the Front National, and now stands as the ‘kingmaker’. But we should not overestimate the impact of her performance.

For many, Front National’s Marine Le Pen’s result of 18 per cent of votes cast in this week’s French presidential elections came as a surprise. Not for Jocelyn Evans and Gilles Ivaldi who had predicted this result last month on EUROPP. As part of our continuing series covering the French elections, they argue that this result does not represent a seismic change in […]

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Nicolas Sarkozy: down but not out in the French elections

The first round of France’s presidential elections resulted in a narrow lead for Socialist leader François Hollande over the incumbent president Nicolas Sarkozy and an unexpectedly high result for the National Front candidate Marine Le Pen. As part of our continuing series on the French elections, Maurice Fraser looks forward to the second round of the election on 6 May, arguing […]

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Marine Le Pen’s recent detoxification of the Front National has been at the expense of the party’s intellectual traditions.

The French far right party, the Front National, has been a perennial part of French elections for nearly 40 years, first under Jean-Marie Le Pen, and more recently his daughter, Marine. As part of our continuing series on the French elections, John Gaffney charts the intellectual history of the party and argues that Marine Le Pen has shed much of […]

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The French elections are too close to call. Watch out left and right!

As part of EUROPP’s continuing series on the 2012 French presidential elections, Françoise Boucek looks at the economic policies of the two main candidates, incumbent president Nicolas Sarkozy and Socialist leader François Hollande, and finds that they both perpetuate the myth that France’s post-war social model can continue with only minor changes in the face of rising government debt and […]

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France’s presidential election campaign is confirming the deep-seated caution of both main candidates. But, for all the disappointed expectations of Sarkozy as a reformer, there is still a sense that he ‘gets it’.

In May’s presidential elections, France faces a choice between the incumbent centre right candidate Nicolas Sarkozy, and the socialist, François Hollande. As the race narrows, Maurice Fraser looks at both candidates and the likely impacts their election might have on France’s domestic, EU and foreign policies. Whoever wins the election and becomes president, France is certain to retain its very […]

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Sarkozy’s image as a strong leader is helping him narrow the gap with Hollande, but it will not be sufficient to balance out his poor economic record.

Thomas Didier, Richard Nadeau and Michael S Lewis-Beck examine the 2012 French presidential election from two standpoints: first, a retrospective dimension emphasizes the burden of Sarkozy’s poor record as a president. Second, a prospective dimension highlights how Sarkozy’s image is playing in his favour – but not enough to secure a victory. A way to predict the outcome of the […]

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Marine Le Pen will not capture more than 15 per cent of the vote despite her efforts to transform Front National into a less radical populist party

How many voters will support Front National candidate Marine Le Pen in the upcoming French presidential elections? Catherine Fieschi argues that despite Le Pen’s efforts to transform the Front National into a less radical right-wing party her campaign has reached its limits, and that she will struggle to capture more than 15 per cent of the vote. Marine Le Pen’s […]

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LSE EUROPP launches a new series on the French presidential elections

The European Politics and Policy at LSE Blog (LSE EUROPP) has recently started a series on the French presidential elections to be held in April and May. Julian Kirchherr introduces the theme and gives an overview of some of the current articles, and those expected over the next few weeks. The European Politics and Policy at LSE Blog has recently […]

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Electoral forecasts predict that Marine Le Pen will capture 17 per cent of the vote in the upcoming French presidential elections, failing to outperform her father’s strongest result.

How many voters will support Front National candidate Marine Le Pen in the upcoming French Presidential Elections? Based on a prediction model informed by unemployment and immigration data Jocelyn Evans and Gilles Ivaldi argue that Le Pen will not be as successful as is currently anticipated by many observers. Six months ago, French political commentators began talking of an electoral ‘blue wave’ […]

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Book Review: Political leadership in France: From Charles de Gaulle to Nicolas Sarkozy by John Gaffney

In this passionate and exciting account of recent French politics, John Gaffney considers what Charles de Gaulle’s ideas and personality continue to mean for France. Fascinating accounts of the backgrounds and motivations behind Ségolène Royal and Nicolas Sarkozy make this essential reading for those looking to sharpen up their knowledge of French political history, finds Kate Saffin. Political leadership in France: From […]

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European questions have intruded into the French election campaign, signalling that the next European Parliamentary elections may be the first truly European ones.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel supports Nicolas Sarkozy’s election campaign. Meanwhile Sarkozy wants to exclude Greece from the Schengen Agreement and has called for protectionist measures within the European Union. Sir Julian Priestley argues that Merkel’s involvement in French domestic politics and Sarkozy’s Euroscepticism indicate that the next European Parliamentary elections may be the first to move beyond national issues and […]

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François Hollande is by no means certain to win the French Presidential election. He may yet fall foul of France’s well-known ‘Frontrunner Syndrome’, as Sarkozy’s fightback begins

In the run up to France’s presidential election on 22 April opinion polls place President Nicolas Sarkozy on the back foot against the Socialist candidate François Hollande. Yet Rainbow Murray argues that the contest is far from over yet. Sarkozy can draw on his recent experience on the European and world stages, and Hollande must overcome historical trends where election frontrunners […]

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The trend towards the Europeanisation of domestic politics is unstoppable (and good) but for the time being will be messy and uneven.

Last month, German Chancellor Angela Merkel threw her support behind the French President Nicolas Sarkozy, over his challenger François Hollande, and this week some of Europe’s centre-left leaders are gathering in Paris to support Hollande. Olaf Cramme argues that these events represent the continuing trend towards the Europeanisation of domestic politics in the EU, which may eventually see the emergence of a genuine debate […]

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