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Sègo vs Sarko: presidential poll update

by whataboutbob Fri Apr 21st, 2006 at 07:26:47 AM EST

From today's Financial Times (behind subscription wall) is this article today:

French presidential candidate’s ratings surge

Ségolène Royal’s opinion poll ratings have surged ahead of all the other likely candidates for next year’s French presidential elections partly thanks to her innovative campaigning style on the internet and in magazine interviews.

In to the latest poll, published in Le Figaro newspaper on Thursday, a year ahead of the first round of elections, Ms Royal won the backing of 34 per cent of respondents.

Nicolas Sarkozy, the president of the ruling UMP party and most probable standard bearer for the French right, was the second most popular politician, with 30 per cent.

The prospect of a “Sarko-Ségo” battle between two such contrasting and colourful personalities has already captivated the French media. But early favourites in French presidential races have rarely won.

Well, let's check back in with our reader's in the know: what do you think?


Here's a little more from the same article:

Ms Royal’s popularity appears partly due to her novelty as a serious female candidate – the former environment minister appeared on the cover of five magazines last week – as well as her maverick campaigning style. Ms Royal has launched a website called desirsdavenir.org (desires for the future), encouraging the public to contribute to a “participative forum” and promising to adopt the best ideas.

Her critics have argued that her “wiki-programme” has only exposed the hollowness of her ideology but it has certainly aroused the interest of France’s internet users.

Stanislas Magniant, co-founder of Netpolitique.net, a French political website, said: “What she is doing is very smart because she is demonstrating that she is listening. That speaks volumes at a time when the French people think that they are not heard. She is using a queen bee strategy. You have a site and the whole blogosphere of Ségolenites are linking to it and creating a buzz around it. Everyone is talking about her and her programme.”

I have to give her credit, using the internet is creative...

Poll
ET French Pres Poll - who wins?
. Sègo 50%
. Sarko 25%
. Villepin 0%
. Holland 0%
. Chirac (gasp!) 16%
. other 8%

Votes: 12
Results | Other Polls
Display:
http://www.desirsdavenir.org/

And here's the thread on energy policy - already 650 comments to go through...

http://www.desirsdavenir.org/index.php?da=14&debat=4

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Apr 21st, 2006 at 07:29:00 AM EST
in this article, and in articles in Libération two days ago, is to say that she is not really of the left, but is quite centrist, and even borrowing ideas from the right (Libé states that she took ideas and slogans from Méhaignerie, a center-right politician, Sarkozy, Strauss-Kahn, a centrist socialist, and uses traditional family values (marriage between a man and a woman) in - some - of her speeches...

In Libé, I suspect that it's an attempt to taint her on the left, amongst the electorate of the left, but it might backfire.

In the FT, it's part of that process I noted already to either co-opt politicians of the left (those that seem willing to do "reforms") or demonize them. In this case, it's interesting to see that they are willing to give her credibility and playing with her current centrist appeal (whereas her politics have always been somewhat to the left of the socialist party previously).

Everybody now repeats her compliments to Tony Blair as an endorsement of the Third Way (and "reform"), when what she said was much more ambiguous, and in particular focused on his increase spending on healthcare and education, two of her favorite topics.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Apr 21st, 2006 at 07:38:41 AM EST
Here is, for reference, what she actually siad to the FT:


Royal the favourite to reign over left in French politics (February 2)

Ségolène Royal, the rising star of the French Socialist party, is a keen admirer of Tony Blair and could draw on some of the UK prime minister's policies if elected France's first woman president in next year's elections.

Her comments may surprise some people. While Mr Blair is widely admired by Europe's social democrats for reinvigorating the Labour party, that view is not widely held in France where many socialists who would otherwise be aligned with the Blair project see him as a crypto-Thatcherite.

"I think Tony Blair has been caricatured in France. It does not bother me to claim adherence to some of his ideas," Ms Royal told the FT. "He has reinvested in public services. On youth unemployment, he has had real success by using more flexibility but also more security."

"Young graduates are better treated in the UK than in France, so it is not just for tax reasons that so many of our young are leaving France to go and work in the City of London," said Ms Royal, distancing herself from her party's deeply ingrained suspicion of Anglo-Saxon capitalism and Blairism. "We must not be blocked on any issues - like the 35-hour week, for instance," she said.

However, Ms Royal may disappoint any overseas investors hoping she could become the acceptable face of French socialism, as her ideas seem to be equally inspired by late president François Mitterrand, her former political master.

"How can the government cut public sector recruitment while the interior minister is calling for more police in schools, on trains and in the suburbs?"

She is also a critic of the government's labour market reforms, giving small businesses and employers of young people more flexibility by allowing them to fire staff easily in the first two years of a contract. "It is bad. It hits youth and gives them the wrong message by devaluing work," she said.



In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Apr 21st, 2006 at 07:41:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ms Royal may disappoint any overseas investors hoping she could become the acceptable face of French socialism
No comment.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Apr 21st, 2006 at 07:42:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As has been pointed out before by our French contingent, presidential election polls depend a lot on the question that is posed (first round, second round, favourite candidate...). What was the question in Le Figaro's Thursday poll?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Apr 21st, 2006 at 07:39:03 AM EST
The article is here:
http://www.lefigaro.fr/france/20060421.WWW000000179__royal_et_sarkozy_champions_de_leur_camp_.html

I saw the poll yesterday, and while I don't remember the exact question, it was something like "who would you vote for in this line up", with the most likely 10 candidates - i.e. one per party:

  • Laguiller (Lutte Ouvrière - loony left)
  • Besancenot (Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire - trots)
  • Buffet (Parti Communiste)
  • Voynet (Greens) - she has not been chosen yet by her party
  • Royal
  • Bayou (center right)
  • Villepin
  • Sarkozy
  • de Villiers (sovereignist right)
  • Le Pen

Interesting to note that there are 4 women candidates, all of them from the left.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Apr 21st, 2006 at 07:56:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
er... one per party? I thought Villepin and Sarko were both UMP?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Apr 21st, 2006 at 07:59:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Good question... but their problem.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Apr 21st, 2006 at 08:41:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Whose problem? The UMP? Le Figaro? Or the candidates?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Apr 21st, 2006 at 09:07:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem of the right, the UMP, the candidates, and the embarrassment of Le Figaro to cover the infighting of the right...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Apr 21st, 2006 at 11:36:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This was the TNS Sofres Presidential Barometre First Wave, results in French on that page.

The barometre will regularly poll voting intentions. A list of candidates was given (see Jérôme's post) with a choice of five possible PS candidates in the first round of the election:

  • Royal (34%)
  • Jospin (23%)
  • Lang (22%)
  • Strauss-Kahn (18%)
  • Fabius (15%)

The numbers are the first-round voting intentions scored if this person were the PS candidate.

Those five seem reasonably the most likely contenders within the PS. Obviously, however, the polling institute's choice of candidates, overall and PS, influences the results.

The second-round voting intentions were Royal 51%, Sarkozy 49% of votes cast (No vote cast = 14%.)

More interesting in my eyes is the table of voting transfer from Round One to Round Two. From which it appears, to summarize, that Royal would get significantly better support from the far left than Sarkozy from the far right -- only 66% of first-round Le Pen voters would vote Sarko in Round Two, which would seem to indicate the failure (for the moment) of Sarko's vote-fishing on the xenophobic right.

But this is only a poll, and only one poll, and far from the election...

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 21st, 2006 at 10:47:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I should add that the hapless Fabius is the potential PS candidate that gives the extreme left its best score -- ie, if he were PS candidate, the Trots and Communists would get more first-round votes than with any other PS candidate.

Looks like a resounding success for his "Look, I'm a leftie!" campaign.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 21st, 2006 at 10:58:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
66% of Le Pen voters going to Sarkozy is actually pretty high. The Le Pen vote has never been purely a vote of the right, it's also a very populist and fuck-the-system vote (a vote successfully taken away from the communists). Don't forget that Le Pen is the first candidate of blue collar voters.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Apr 21st, 2006 at 11:37:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That might be because the Le Pen voters are sexist, or a warning that Sarkozy is more like Le Pen than your normal right-wing second-round candidate.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Apr 21st, 2006 at 11:44:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Agreed, but given Sarkozy's efforts I found it lower than he might have expected. The thing is we haven't really got a recent past election to make a comparison.

Royal's support on the left is interesting. She pulls voters away from the extreme left in Round One, and gets a good transfer from that sector in Round Two.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 21st, 2006 at 11:45:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bob, you missed Le Pen in your poll.</snark>

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Apr 21st, 2006 at 07:40:06 AM EST
What does she think of the Flamanville EPR?

She's not a sellout like Jospin is she? (re Superphénix, yes I don't forgive or forget)

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Fri Apr 21st, 2006 at 08:15:13 AM EST
Well, that's a good point for Jospin with me.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 21st, 2006 at 11:51:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know what you're complaining about, really...
Power production was halted in December 1996 for maintenance. However, following a court case led by opponents of the reactor, on February 28 1997 the Conseil d'État (Supreme State Administrative Court) ruled that a 1994 decree, authorizing that Superphénix could be restarted, was invalid. In June 1997, one of the first actions of Lionel Jospin on becoming Prime Minister was to announce the closure of the plant "because of its excessive costs". Jospin's government included Green ministers; critics have argued that Jospin's decision was motivated by political motives (i.e. please his unwieldy Green political allies) rather than rational considerations. (wiki)


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Apr 21st, 2006 at 11:55:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In June 1997, one of the first actions of Lionel Jospin on becoming Prime Minister was to announce the closure of the plant

[...]

critics have argued that Jospin's decision was motivated by political motives (i.e. please his unwieldy Green political allies) rather than rational considerations.

I guess I am one of those critics. ;)

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Fri Apr 21st, 2006 at 01:15:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Anyway, you don't know what she thinks about the Flamanville EPR?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Fri Apr 21st, 2006 at 01:15:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That shutdown was really infuriating. At long last, in 1996, SuperPhénix had reached sustained high power generation and was operating glitch-free in a very satisfactory manner. And Jospin cowered and took the opportunity of a planned maintenance to shut it down for good, junking a 9 billions euros investment and a very interesting technology just to placate his Green allies. A lot of good that did him in 2002. The cost argument (~1.3 billions euros budget overrun) was so stupid and fraudulent. A good 75% of those overruns were induced by the judicial guerrilla and administrative delays, not by the technical problems.

The worst offenders in this mess are clearly the so-called political ecologists (as opposed to actual ecologists, who know their science) and their facilitators, feckless socialist politicians. On them, case closed, so I'm not going to pile on.

But, as much as I like to heap my scorn on the Greens, SuperPhénix's supporters are not blameless. They sold this project as a slam dunk, a simple up-scaling of a mature technology demonstrated by the Phénix demonstration reactor, which would quickly become profitable.

Well, no. FNRs are not trivial and changing the scale changes a lot more than mere size. SuperPhénix was a complex beast, a full scale prototype of an entirely new design and it was completely predictable that it would have its share of glitches and problems. Also, the main argument of the 1992 Curien report to justify the continuing operation of SuperPhénix, using FNRs as waste incinerators, was at best disingenuous without significant advances and investments in reprocessing. Yes, FNRs can be used to burn some wastes but not all of them and advance separation and waste management is required.

Then, there is the problem of sodium chemical reactivity with oxygen and water. Overall, a sodium-cooled FNR is at least as safe as a PWR. No high pressure vessel, much better thermal behavior, excellent safety under LOCA (as demonstrated by EBR-II), inherent safety by doppler broadening, and so on. Plus add the intrinsic benefits of FNRs for fuel efficiency and fast flux applications. But sodium remains a concern and is just an stepping stone towards better coolants at higher core temperature.

SuperPhénix should have been sold for what it was: a full-scale prototype and a long term investment to master an important technology. An opportunity wasted.
by Francois in Paris on Fri Apr 21st, 2006 at 03:52:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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