French elections are done in two rounds. The top two candidates by popular vote square off in round two. Things do not look good for French president Nicolas Sarkozy, especially for round two. However, he may not make it that far.

Le Parisian has the results of the latest French Election Polls.

Round 1

François Hollande 31.5%;
Nicolas Sarkozy 26%;
Marine Le Pen 13.5%;
Francois Bayrou 13%

Round 2

François Hollande 57%
Nicolas Sarkozy 43%

The gap between Hollande and Sarkozy in the first round is deceptively close. The reality is Sarkozy would lose handily if it came down to those candidates. Euroskeptic Marine Le Pen has fallen quite a bit but the first round race may change significantly as a result of recent political developments.

Reader Andrea writes …

Hello Mish

Over then last days a few significant things happened for the French presidential elections.

Bayrou declared himself officially a candidate: Bayrou is the center of the political landscape and after his declaration and the media coverage he had, the polls showed quite a strong increase of his possible score. Now we have to see if it will hold, increase or if it is just a temporary effect of this media coverage.

He surged six points in the latest poll. in the last elections he got more than 18% of the first round vote.

The most interesting piece of news is that former prime minister Dominique de Villepin has declared this weekend he will be candidate.

De Villepin is from the right-wing side and he was member of Sarkozy’s party until a few months ago. He left to create his own party and actually the relations between the 2 have always been very bad. The announcement was quite surprising because it seemed that de Villepin had abandoned the idea to be candidate.

This could be another issue for Sarkozy because for sure almost any vote de Villepin will get will be a vote that otherwise would have gone to Sarkozy, and could be a danger for his position at the first round.

For the moment there are no polls made after the announcement and his media coverage. So let’s see what will be the impact of this in a few days. In my opinion there are increasing odds to see a situation with several candidates of the centre-right part political parties having a very close position and therefore an uncertain first round result.

Sarkozy may be bumped off in round one as a result.

Sarkozy’s Replacement Will Be Worse

The unfortunate irony is that as bad as Sarkozy is, Hollande would be worse. Please consider Socialist challenger François Hollande would renegotiate EU deal

François Hollande, who is the Socialist Party candidate for next year’s presidential elections in France and currently leading in opinion polls, says if he were elected he would re-negotiate last week’s EU fiscal pact.

François Hollande said he would renegotiate the pact to add what he said was missing from the deal. “I’d see to it that we add…ECB intervention, Eurobonds and a financial bail-out fund to respond to what is today the pressure of the markets”

All of these measures were explicitly opposed by Germany in the run-up to last week’s deal.

Hollande’s Socialists have accused Sarkozy of capitulating to German pressure, while he has accused them of undermining French policy by criticizing the deficit reduction plan.

Got that?

Hollande wants

  1. ECB intervention
  2. Eurobonds
  3. Financial Bail-Out Fund

Bickering Before Ink is Dry

The ink is not even dry yet and already the likely next president of France vows to renegotiate the terms in a manner unacceptable to Germany, Finland, the Netherlands.

Round one of the presidential election is April 22. Round two is May 6. Given the situation in Finland, there may not be a deal even on paper (and certainly not signed), by the time Sarkozy is booted. Then the process can start all over again with another summit. After Merkel is booted, the process can again start fresh.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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