Thu Feb 1st, 2007 at 08:44:54 AM EST
It's been a while since I did my last Pulse of the Nations poll review. I've decided I want to try something new. Because many of the polls tracked elections, I recognized that they're a lot more interesting together than apart. So what I've done is create charts. This is my first effort.
Because the only European election looming on the horizon in a "big" country is in France, I've decided to do my first diary on the French Presidential Election. I'm only using polls run in 2007. I want to create a running database on series data like this.
Although Socialist candidate Segolene Royal started the year with a slight advantage in the polls, over the course of the last month UMP candidate Nicolas Sarkozy was able to open a modest gap with Royal only to see this begin to close as the month ended. The margin between both candidates has remained well within the margin of error, and the race remains very close.
Among the second tier candidates, far-right candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen of the National Front has seen a steady drop in support from 15% at the start of the month to 10% at the end. Mainstream right candidate François Bayrou of the UDF appears to be drawing voters from Le Pen, more than doubling his vote share from 6% to 14%. The rest of the candidates are clustered under 10%. One oddity is the jump in support for Olivier Besancenot of the Revolutionary Communist League from around 3.5% for most of the month to 7% in a January 23 poll conducted by BVA.
No Presidential candidate is shown capturing a majority in the April 22 vote, forcing a second runoff vote on May 6 between conservative UMP frontrunner Nicolas Sarkozy and Socialist candidate Segolene Royal.
Mirroring the trends present in the first round, Royal started the month with a 4 point lead, flipping to 4 point deficit at midmonth, and closing to 2 points at the end of the month. While a runoff election is virtually guaranteed, the margin between the candidates has for the most part remained within the margin of error. This is a close election, however, Royal appears to be improving her performance as the month draws to a close. I know that Le-Pen's performance is modest compared to earlier elections, however it never ceases to amaze me that a blatant racist can garner the support of such a large percentage of the vote.