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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