French Elections

The shock of Sunday’s French municipal elections was the Socialist defeat, not Front National success

France held municipal elections on 23 and 30 March. As Jocelyn Evans and Gilles Ivaldi write, François Hollande’s governing Socialist Party (PS) endured a particularly disappointing result, losing many of the gains it had made in the 2008 elections. They argue that while much of the media coverage centred on the success of the Front National; the PS’s defeat, […]

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Gender parity laws in France have been undermined by electoral reforms which work against female candidates

France passed gender parity laws in 2000 stating that all political parties should include equal numbers of men and women on party lists. Priscilla Lewis Southwell writes that despite the new laws leading to an initial increase in female representatives, this growth has stalled in recent elections. She argues that one of the major reasons for this is that France […]

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Book Review: French Presidential Elections

This scientific survey of French presidential elections from 1988-2007 provides a new benchmark for the analysis of voting behaviour and election outcomes in presidential systems. Françoise Boucek finds that the book thus provides general evidence of change and continuity in contemporary French politics while avoiding French ‘exceptionalism’ which too often characterises volumes written by country specialists. French Presidential Elections. Michael S. Lewis-Beck, Richard […]

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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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The worrying rise of EU intergovernmentalism is the only viable response to the opposing desires in Europe for greater democracy and the reassertion of national sovereignty.

Hostility towards the EU has moved from the fringes to the centre. Olaf Cramme argues that even Francois Hollande’s most ambitious growth pact will not change this – radical institutional reform is the only answer. The verdict on Merkozy has already been passed. Even a few days before the final round of the French election the mainstream commentariat in Europe seems […]

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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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Brussels blog round up for 21-27 April 2012: Hollande comes out in front in France, ‘ludicrous’ spending on the EEAS, and should some of the EU’s quangos get the chop?

Chris Gilson takes a look at the week in Brussels blogging. The EU Centre After Argentina’s recent expropriation of the Spanish energy firm, YPF, NpThinking, looks at the policy issues and the European Parliament’s response, while the Fride Blog maintains that the current Ibero-American rhetoric needs to be replaced with a Spanish foreign policy towards Latin America. This week, the Stokholm+40 […]

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Five minutes with Sven Giegold, Member of the European Parliament: “The European Citizens’ Initiative is a step towards a more direct involvement of citizens in European decision-making.”

Sven Giegold, Member of the European Parliament, argues that the new European Citizens’ Initiative will not solve the European Union’s democratic deficit. However, it is a step towards greater direct involvement of citizens in European decision-making. Is the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) the solution to Europe’s democratic deficit? No, I do not think so. The European Citizens’ Initiative is a […]

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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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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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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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European leaders must be wary of rising Eurosceptic populism from both the right and the left.

While the populist right is seen by many to be the home of Euroscepticism, Marley Morris argues that it can be attached to a variety of ideologies, both left and right. As European leaders struggle to find solutions to the economic and debt crisis this gives rise to Eurosceptic populism which is always anti-liberal and distinctly disinterested in nuanced solutions […]

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Brussels blog round up for 17-23 March 2012: The European Parliament drags its feet on EU wide constituencies, Ashton is criticized, and the IMF demands more guarantees on Greece.

Chris Gilson and Julian Kirchherr take a look at the week in Brussels blogging. The EU Centre Spain has now come under fire for its use of European Union (EU) structural funds. This indicates that European Union regional spending is in urgent need of a radical overhaul, argues Open Europe Blog. The German Marshall Fund Blog discusses China’s dispute with the EU, Japan […]

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