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Royal would win. were it not for the +65.

by UnEstranAvecVueSurMer Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 08:26:47 AM EST

My first diary will be 'hit and run'. Not what I expected, but I am completely taken aback by the latest Ifop poll.... results there:

Ifop Intention de Vote (PDF)

AgeRoyalSarkozy
18-24535347.5474752.5
25-345446
35-49 56454455
50-645149
65+2575

From the diaries ~ whataboutbob


http://www.lemonde.fr/web/article/0,1-0@2-823448,36-903405@51-841384,0.html

Nicolas Sarkozy perd 1,5 point mais battrait Ségolène Royal par 52,5 % des voix contre 47,5 %, selon un sondage Ifop-Fiducial réalisé pour M6 et Le Journal du Dimanche, rendu public samedi 28 avril.

So Le Monde has nothing better to say. Well.

So the candidate that talks most about working hard, labor flexibility and 'reform' appeals to those who don't work anymore. And the voters who still work don't massively buy the neoliberal rethoric. Is Sarkozy solely supported by his tough stance on security issues?

Ifop poll results from last week, April 22nd:

http://www.ifop2007.fr/photo/File/IntentionDeVote/M6-SSV-22042007-16159.pdf

AgeRoyalSarkozy
18-24625146384954
25-344456
35-49 48445256
50-644951
65+3466
Seriously, do I see something that's not there, or this a real change? the 36-64 have changed side last week, but the 65+ have radicalised their stance, and will tip the scale in favor of Sarkozy. Have the CPE 'generational war' thesis found convincing evidence? and are we * screwed?

Display:
My first diary! My first election! And the first and only page of that 20 pages paper due Monday that I have to go back to!

Rien n'est gratuit en ce bas monde. Tout s'expie, le bien comme le mal, se paie tot ou tard. Le bien c'est beaucoup plus cher, forcement. Celine
by UnEstranAvecVueSurMer (holopherne ahem gmail) on Sat Apr 28th, 2007 at 04:33:57 PM EST
There's a lot to chew on in that poll, thanks!

First of all, let's reformat your table:

AgeRoyalSarkozy
18-24535347.5474752.5
25-345446
35-49 56454455
50-645149
65+2575

Other interesting information: among the left, the Green vote splits 66:34 in favour of Royal, and the UDF vote splits 40:60 in favour of Sarkozy. All the others split at least 86:14 in the "expected" direction.

And, despite the UDF sympathisers splitting 40:60 in favour of Sarkozy, first-round Bayrou voters split 53:47 for Royal.

Another interesting statistic is the breakup by profession:

  • Artisan, merchant, business chief: 41:59 for Sarkozy
  • Cadres, liberal professions: 58:42 for Royal
  • Middle professionals: 47:53 for Sarkozy
  • Employess: 58:42 to Royal
  • Worker: 55:45 to Royal
  • Retired: 37:63 to Sarkozy
Which confirms the age statistic.

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Apr 28th, 2007 at 04:56:42 PM EST
Thanks for the table. I have no idea how you do that. Copy paste from pdf docs isn't all that great.

As for the numbers themselves I can't really understand what dynamic tipped three age groups toward Royal but radicallized the +65. I can grasp how Royal was more reassuring, last week with a fairly logical discourse geared toward the middle, and how Sarkozy lost the edge by missing out on the action. But i stop there; these aren't reasons to completely change your vote.

As far as the +65 vote, it seems to me to be too far skewed toaward sarkozy to be explained simply by a stereotypical 'more conservative as you get older' argument. It seems to me that the seniors have been fairly ignored during the campaign as an explicit voting group, or, merely, as an interest group. To the best of my knowledge neither royal nor sarkozy have insisted that pensions would remain the same, or be augmented. Since basic interest doesn't explain the vote, I would resort to some more symbolic explainations... but i'd be on shaky grounds.

Rien n'est gratuit en ce bas monde. Tout s'expie, le bien comme le mal, se paie tot ou tard. Le bien c'est beaucoup plus cher, forcement. Celine

by UnEstranAvecVueSurMer (holopherne ahem gmail) on Sat Apr 28th, 2007 at 09:05:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the very thought-provoking polls.

To the best of my knowledge neither royal nor sarkozy have insisted that pensions would remain the same, or be augmented. Since basic interest doesn't explain the vote, I would resort to some more symbolic explainations... but i'd be on shaky grounds.

My guess is that Sarkozy appeals to older people's desire for "law and order" -- for strength, for sécurité.

My sense is that many older people are afraid and have lost faith in the public authorities to keep them safe.  And I bet Sarkozy is much more reassuring for them than Royal.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 01:06:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Royal should promise to buy seniors a Kärcher.

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 04:23:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now, that's funny.
by andrethegiant on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 10:45:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It will be less funny when she loses.

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 10:48:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
http://www.lemonde.fr/web/article/0,1-0@2-823448,36-903432@51-823374,0.html

Je veux tourner la page de mai 1968", a lancé Nicolas Sarkozy, en meeting au Palais omnisports de Paris-Bercy, dimanche 29 avril. En attaquant sur différents angles, le candidat de l'UMP a fustigé la gauche qui "entre Jules Ferry et mai 1968, a choisi 1968", l'accusant d'avoir prôné "l'assistanat, l'égalitarisme, le nivellement, les 35 heures".

Is this luck? I don't believe so. He directly appeals to the values of order that have characterized the France in which today's +65 have grown up. Order, security, work, the very things that have made de Gaulle. I think he reads France well when he speaks like this. 1968 was traumatic for a lot of people, and linking his fight to that specific event is a very good move. I don't know what Royal can do about this, unfortunately. She has shown a realism that was somewhat unexepected of her, but her 'just order' has been so ridiculed over the past months that she can't really use it anymore. Sarkozy successfully occupies all the scene with a 'let's put France back on tracks' theme that leaves few open spaces.

The problem with the situation she seems to be facing is that she has nothing to gain from continuing to open to the center. If she wants to win she will be forced to talk about security related issues in the coming days. Maybe the best way for her at this point is to start a mea culpa about the PS's responsability in the current state of the Banlieues, and advocate a complete change: giving up the right to difference that hasn't worked and promise to give them jobs, to never build projects like these, etc...

Ok, my bet: she will talk about immigration related issues tomorrow.

Rien n'est gratuit en ce bas monde. Tout s'expie, le bien comme le mal, se paie tot ou tard. Le bien c'est beaucoup plus cher, forcement. Celine

by UnEstranAvecVueSurMer (holopherne ahem gmail) on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 02:43:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"I want to turn the page of May 68"?

WTF?!

And I though it was only the lyrical left youth that was living 40 years in the past...

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 03:44:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The right wing everywhere likes to claim the country was perfect 40 years ago. That's the definition of conservative, and also why some conservative parties south of the Pyreneans still like Franco...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 03:55:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What's so horrible about l'égalitarisme?! Are these mean old people ready to abandon liberté and fraternité too? And re the banlieues, how many years does the Right have to be in power before they take responsibility for them?
by Matt in NYC on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 08:19:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The old people have (relatively) least reasons to vote out of pure self-interest. Their life quality will not be affected much by either election outcome, at least perceivably. (Are American olders better off with Bush's pharmaceuptical policies?)

What are best reasons for old people to make their choises? I see two options:

A. Taking care of own offsprings. But in the modern best times, there is relatively little hardship of living. Future perspectives can be easily perceived as bright, even too bright. What an eldery person can do to "help" their offsprings? They may rather wish to make life harder.

B. Making a choice for France's future. Seniors may think more of what kind of country is more  functional (or just). And here Sarkozy's recognizable order may strike a chord with seniors. Royal's proposals are instrumental rather than narrative, maybe too inovative to be trusted by "saw-it-all" minds.

If these considerations are important, Royal's tactics towards seniors can be adopted as follows:

  1. "Buying off" promises to seniors deserve less effort.
  2. Make a case that extensive welfare increases functionality of the society: individuals become more free to pursue creativity.
  3. Remind historical dangers of supporting promotion for "law and order" and less regulated economics.

Of course, these measures do not have to targeted or spelled out too obviously to seniors. But these might be the aspects that seniors are picking up.
by das monde on Mon Apr 30th, 2007 at 12:44:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think one of the reasons is that people over 65 (and especially women over 65) are less likely to accept a woman as president.

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 08:22:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I think that may be true. My mother, all of 74 would never vote for a woman leader even though she has done quite well for herself in the marketplace. It's looks to me like the age stat may be revealing hidden prejudices learned early on. This is strictly conjecture, obviously, but it would interesting to see if a poll could be devised to flesh out that possibility.
by delicatemonster (delicatemons@delicatemonster.com) on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 11:27:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a combination of things.  You see similar problems for the Left in America.  The Dems are typically able to hold down a solid chunk of the elderly with their Social Security and Medicare stances, but the elderly are, as you say, less likely to accept women (or minorities).  Being more conservative, -- that is until candidates start talking about reforming their pensions at all, at which point they seem to become raving communists -- they tend to associate conservative politicians with "restoring national greatness" and all that garbage, too.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 11:39:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That is an extremely depressing comment, which makes it all the more plausible, unfortunately.

But why "especially women over 65"?  What dynamic is at work that makes women of that generation more than men less likely to accept a woman as president?  (Should I say French women of that generation?)  Do you suspect a certain vindictive bitterness with respect to the social and political opportunities/freedoms that younger French women of today have that were not available to them when they were in their prime?

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 11:46:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It should come as no surprise that women are more conservative in some ways. Women play a strong role in propagating gender roles through primary socialisation of children.

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 12:05:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but why are women more conservative than men?  That they play a strong role in propagating gender roles is simply evidence -- not an explanation -- for this.

However, it does suggest one possibility:  If socialisation of children happens through the mother more than through the father, then both boys and girls are taught gender roles by what their mother tells them.  However, in addition to that, girls have on a day to day basis an up-close example/role model of how to be "women", while boys learn how to be "men" mainly through what their mother tells them, and not as much as daughters by what they pick up from the example of their father, who in this scenario would be presumably less present than the mother.  In other words, the close up example of the mother reinforces and fleshes out the female gender role taught by the mother to daughters; but this reinforcement/fleshing out of the male gender roles is much weaker in sons whose father is less involved in their socialisation than the mother.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 12:34:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The thing is that older women are probably very conservative. For one thing, feminism came too late for them - to put it roughly, they still get nothing of its frills. I would also recognize that socialization outside family increased much in modern times, at the expense of "education" within family.

Other (falsifiable) possibility is that conservative women might live longer.

But the particular 75-25 distribution is not explainable by conservatvism of elder women alone.

by das monde on Mon Apr 30th, 2007 at 01:55:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It would require a near unanimity among the women, assuming the men break nearly 50:50 as the 50-64-year-olds do.

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Apr 30th, 2007 at 04:27:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not quite, as there are significantly more older women than older men, considering the life expectancies.

I'm sure you can find the exact numbers over at INED or at INSEE.

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Apr 30th, 2007 at 04:49:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OK
By sex and age: recent data
65 and over: Total 10,111,093; Male: 4,165,027; Female: 5,910,955
Some  possibilities:
  • Men - 60:40 for Royal; Women - 0:100 for Sarkozy
  • Men - 50:50; Women - 7:93 for Sarkozy
  • Men - 25:75 for Sarkozy; Women - 25:75 for Sarkozy
  • Men - 0:100 for Sarkozy; Women - 43:57 for Sarkozy
Note it is impossible for the women to break 50:50 and still have a 25:75 overall split.

If 14:1 is not "near unanimity", I don't know what is.

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Apr 30th, 2007 at 05:25:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sorry, how exactly did we decide that this was all women's fault?  Since we have no data regarding the gender breakdown of the over-65 vote?

What percentage of France's 65+ population is female?

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Mon Apr 30th, 2007 at 10:00:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
65 and over: Total 10,111,093; Male: 4,165,027; Female: 5,910,955

What percentage of France's 65+ population is female?

That would be 58.5% female and 41.5% male.

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Apr 30th, 2007 at 10:06:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, I could have done that math myself, but I for some reason didn't see that you'd included the numbers.

I think we would have to eliminate the possibility that women or men voted 100% for anybody.  That doesn't happen.  You've said it's nigh-impossible for women to have split 50-50.  It seems likely that one of two things happened:  (a) a large majority of women and men voted for Sarkozy, in roughly equal proportions, or (b) a majority of both women and men voted for Sarkozy, but a larger majority of women did.

We have no evidence (that I know of) that (a) is not true, but everyone here seems to be assuming that (b) is the case.  It would not surprise me if (b) was in fact true, but I just wanted to note that we do not have the data to support that, and if it's true, we don't know how wide the gap between senior men and senior women was.  Without that data, all this speculaton about older women being overwhelmingly more conservative and listening to their priests more is not terribly constructive.

Really, all we know is that a significant majority of older people voted for Sarkozy.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Mon Apr 30th, 2007 at 10:21:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is not voted but would vote (according to a poll).

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Apr 30th, 2007 at 10:25:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You are correct, sorry, I'm clearly a little distracted today.  But the points stand.  We don't have a gender breakdown of intent to vote, do we?

Which I think is rather strange.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Mon Apr 30th, 2007 at 10:29:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We do, but not of gender and age.

Overall, men break 47:53 for Sarkozy, and women 48:52.

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Apr 30th, 2007 at 10:31:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So what is likely is that men and women of the same age vote similarly in the SR/NS duel - but since there are more older women than older men, women end up voting more for NS.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Mon Apr 30th, 2007 at 11:56:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That is inconsistent since overall women favour Royal (albeit by 1% only). If women voted in the same proportion as their age group, as they are overrepres nted in the grouo that iverwhelmingly votes for Sarkozy, one would expect women to vote more in favour of Sarkozy in the aggregate.

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Apr 30th, 2007 at 04:14:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sorry, how exactly did we decide that this was all women's fault?

About here, I think.

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Apr 30th, 2007 at 10:13:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think he makes a good point about the differences in generation, too, though.  The norms are, I suspect, radically different in the eyes of older women, French or not, compared with younger women, and I think that holds relative to older/younger men, if that makes any sense.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 12:43:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I often mention the case of Spanish women majoritarily opposing women's suffrage in the 1930's when the Second Spanish Republic gave them the vote, and going on to vote for the right-wing at the next election.

There are two reasons for this: one the acceptance by women of the social gender norms that it was not for women to take part in decisions in the public sphere; and the other a stronger propensity by women to follow what the Cathilic priests said in their weekly holilies.

Some of the same might be at play here. Including what someone mentioned of not letting a younger woman (Segolene is 53) become the "alpha female" in the matriarchy.

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 02:24:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Probably true.  There's a certain segment of the female population that lashes out against any and all signs of feminist principles taking root, but that's not limited to only the older generations, at least not in the states.  The Catholic Church also, obviously, hasn't traditionally played as strong a role in the states as in Spain.  The views you're talking about are similar to those you'll find among conservative Baptists in the Deep South here.

It's more associated with political conservatism and the propping up of the fantasy of "Old America" -- family sitting around dinner table, Johnny Carson, Mommy watching kids while Daddy goes to work, and all that other horseshit that conveniently ignores what a hole Old America was compared with modern-day America.

(Elements of it were better, of course, but I'll take Civil Rights and the Internet over the Machine Governments and the Dust Bowl any day, quite honestly.)

It's not unlike the fantasy of The Family FarmerTM that the press loves to play with.

It's, to a degree, action based upon a longing for something that never really existed.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 03:38:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Catholic
homilies

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 03:48:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
maybe, but older women in the U.S. aren't as consistently conservative as their male counterparts. They're not, for example, the primary audience for right-wing radio. That would be men over 65.

Still, these are devastating figures, whether they're overwhelmingly female or not. It's expecially frightening that Europeans live, like, forever!

 

by Matt in NYC on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 01:39:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This will probably not be a welcome comment-- and let me qualify it as much as possible by saying it is utter conjecture on my part, based on admittedly limited subjective experience-- but it seems to me that women tend to be more competitive with other women. Perversely, the older school might consider a woman leader as unjustly 'getting ahead'.
by delicatemonster (delicatemons@delicatemonster.com) on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 12:49:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was unable to find any mention of the margin of error. Not did I see an accounting of the numbers in each subcategory.

With less than 1000 participants in the entire survey the margin of error was about 3%. In subcategories the error is much larger, and this accounts for results being all over the map. This is an unreliable survey in the subcategories.

by afox (afox at rockgardener dott com) on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 08:57:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The categories that represent fewer than 50 people are marked with an asterisk.

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 08:59:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That had struck me as well when I saw one of these polls. I was travelling that day, and tore off the relevant page of the paper, but have not gone around to scan it.

But the irony of the candidate trying to "rehabilitate work" being elected by those that do not work is indeed pretty rich.

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Apr 28th, 2007 at 05:30:14 PM EST
Strange looking poll numbers. Do you believe the 9-point shift for Sarko among the 18-24 since last sunday?
by Fete des fous on Sat Apr 28th, 2007 at 07:39:42 PM EST
The youths are notoriously fickle.
The old crowd, they know the youths are scum, and so vote Sarko.
These numbers all make perfect sense ;)

Here is the second table. The one in the diary has R and S switched...

AgeRoyalSarkozy
18-24625146384954
25-344456
35-49 48445256
50-644951
65+3466
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Sat Apr 28th, 2007 at 08:02:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the Table. I hadn't notived the 18-24 change. Indeed that's quite a change. +9% for sarkozy on both edges of the electorate. That doesn't make any sense.

Rien n'est gratuit en ce bas monde. Tout s'expie, le bien comme le mal, se paie tot ou tard. Le bien c'est beaucoup plus cher, forcement. Celine
by UnEstranAvecVueSurMer (holopherne ahem gmail) on Sat Apr 28th, 2007 at 09:10:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe the machisme factor?

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 04:20:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm afraid you simply got the 04/22 results flipped. Just swap "R" and "S" and the numbers align with the IFOP sheet you link to ;-)

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sat Apr 28th, 2007 at 08:35:54 PM EST
Quick response. And I see now your main point stands - among the 65+ segment, Sarko has gathered steam, unfortunately. And that's plenty of voters.

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sat Apr 28th, 2007 at 09:03:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry for the mistake on the graph, hope that didn't confuse too many people. Thank someone for providing the table because I have no idea how to do it.

He's gathered steam indeed... but I'm puzzled as to why. I mean, it can't just be because he hung out with Giscard d'Estaing!

Rien n'est gratuit en ce bas monde. Tout s'expie, le bien comme le mal, se paie tot ou tard. Le bien c'est beaucoup plus cher, forcement. Celine

by UnEstranAvecVueSurMer (holopherne ahem gmail) on Sat Apr 28th, 2007 at 09:08:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is fascinating.  In the US, we have had a couple of articles over the past few years predicting an upcoming generational war over the issues of social security and medicare, as the baby boom generation retires.  (sorry I can't link to any of these, maybe I'll search later.)  The premise being that these social programs will put heavy burdens on the younger generations as the bulge of baby boomers retire.  But the oldest baby boomers are 61 this year, and social security retirement for that age group is 66.  In addition, tax revenues supporting social security are, I believe, projected to remain positive, tax revenue versus expenditures, until 2018.  So the sense has been we're still a long time away from this, and it's a problem for someone else to handle--the "kick the can down the road" approach of our spineless Congress.

I believe retirement is a little earlier in France, but France and the US have similar demographics.  So perhaps this issue is presenting itself earlier in France?  Are there parts in the Royal platform that would make retirees worried about the ability of the French economy to support them in retirement.  Or maybe the same idea asked differently, are there platforms in the Sarko candidacy that might make the retirees feel more comfortable that money will be there for them in their retirement?

by wchurchill on Sat Apr 28th, 2007 at 09:24:01 PM EST
between the U.S. and Europe when it comes to voting behavior and age is that in Europe, retirees almost always vote more conservative than the rest of the electorate, whereas in the U.S., that is at the very least less so, and depending on the part of the country and the issues that dominate the elections, the elderly may well prefer Democrats over Rethugs by significant margins. The most important reason for this difference is the fact that Democrats guarantee the continuation of social service programs whereas Repubs perennially vow to axe them. The debate over social services has a fundamentally different dynamics in Europe, and one part of that is that conservative parties generally present themselves as guarantors of the retirement benefits and healthcare of the oldsters. A secondary issue is of course the experience of the Greatest Generation in the U.S. - especially those who have seen both WWII and the Great Depression before it. So many of these folks will always have an FDR Democrat somewhere in them.

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sat Apr 28th, 2007 at 10:49:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it has nothing to do with economics, actually.

It has to do with fear of foreigners - which I imagine is highest amongst older french generations, where racism is probably more acceptable, and they have lived at least part of their life in a France that had very few non-European immigrants. And relatedly, it has to do with "law and order" and the fact that Sarkozy is seen as having a hard hand on these kind of issues, at least more so than Royal.

So its down to these two factors, I think.

by Ben P (wbp@u.washington.edu) on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 01:45:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You nailed it: it comes down to fear.  Fear of loss of identity -- the question of l'identité nationale -- and the fear of being personally harmed by violence and crime.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.
by marco on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 02:01:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed: "It's not tolerance we need, but a way of thinking that allows us to get outside of the boxes they want to lock us in..." (Alessi Dell'Umbria in reaction to the riots last year).

The national myth (and this includes the idea that "the state is always right" mixed with white identity and catholicism), is fueling this.  The Left, which falls on the statist side, gives free reign to internal institutions like the CRS in the name of security and doesn't thoroughly question the role of institutions in causing divisive inequality in France.  The Right uses class difference and mixes it with extremely potent racial differences based on some vague notion that there has been a monolithic "France" since Astrix roamed its woods.  

If folks would just call the Edict de Nantes "Louis XIV's Final Solution," then maybe what were fighting for would become clearer.

I like Asterix, be he wasn't French!  If people would just get beyond their national myths, then maybe democracy could work.

Anyway, waking thoughts from the u.s. west coast.

by andrethegiant on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 10:57:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If people would just get beyond their national myths, then maybe democracy could work.

I like them West Coast thoughts.  Keep them coming.

Having said that, can you explain more what you meant by this:

The Left, which falls on the statist side, gives free reign to internal institutions like the CRS in the name of security and doesn't thoroughly question the role of institutions in causing divisive inequality in France.

?

I am guessing that an example of this would be the CRS focusing on non-whites in discharing their "crowd and riot control" duties?

Does the left in France really support giving the CRS that much leeway to execute its functions as an organ of the state?

Do you think that diversifying these police forces ethnically could help ameliorate the problem of "causing divisive inequality in France"?

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 11:16:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Do you think that diversifying these police forces ethnically could help ameliorate the problem of "causing divisive inequality in France"

Interesting question. I would be interested in an answer too, especially since I read reader´s comments of a Libération article alluding at studies/opinions about some unexpected problems arising from having now some minorities in the police force. Even if only in small numbers so far.
Unfortunately it was only an allusion and I couldn´t gather what the problem was.

La répartie est dans l'escalier. Elle revient de suite.

by lacordaire on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 04:58:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it has nothing to do with economics, actually.

It has to do with fear of foreigners - which I imagine is highest amongst older french generations, where racism is probably more acceptable, and they have lived at least part of their life in a France that had very few non-European immigrants. And relatedly, it has to do with "law and order" and the fact that Sarkozy is seen as having a hard hand on these kind of issues, at least more so than Royal.

So its down to these two factors, I think.

by Ben P (wbp@u.washington.edu) on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 01:46:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Does the poll breakdown how many voters there are in each demographic group? If so; what would the split have to be in the 65+ group in order for Royal to lead the overall poll. My instincts tell me the election will be much closer than the polls because I believe the far right(LePen) will have less of a turnout than expected and women across all political groups will vote for Royal in greater numbers than polled.

I hope I am right.

by An American in London on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 04:26:59 AM EST
The 65+ generations are those that were already well integrated in society before 1968. They grew up in a society that had strong notions of authority and order, they believed in De Gaulle. The main effect of 1968 was an erosion of authority as a positive value. No longer are people expected to obey.

Sarkozy's discourse insists on the negative effects of 1968 (as is usual in France, the right wing tries to undo the last revolution), and on restoring authority. That's how he appeals to those old voters.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 06:37:26 AM EST
Is it possible Sarkozy's support in the 65 + category stems from a combination of what has been posted-security, immigration issues; with the older demographic's disapproval of Royal having an umarried partner and four children with him out of wedlock?

In some perverse way are the older voters giving more credilbility to Sarkozy's broken marriage with the blame on his wife running away with another man and more blame on Royal's modern day partnership?  

by An American in London on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 09:23:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
French voters (even older ones) typically give little or no importance to questions of marital/sexual mores when choosing candidates.

linca's 1968 explanation is spot on imo - this is a matter, for these pre-baby-boomers, of considering the country has gone down the drain, authority and discipline need to come back, etc. Jérôme points out the irony of people who no longer work supporting the candidate who says he's for the "work value", but in fact it's quite "logical": they feel they worked hard during their lifetimes and now no one works any more.

So I'd say it's law, order, authority, discipline, work. In fact a line-up that will get out the silver-haired vote in pretty much any country, and certainly in France.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 11:58:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don´t agree, anecdote wise. I talked with my mother - she is well into the over 65 category - about the acceptance of Segolene by her friends who are mostly women over 65 and among them a lot rural and/or deeply catholics women and she told me that some of them were mentioning the kids out of wedlock.
She confirm the statistic of the poll, and told me she had some heated argument when saying around  she was prone to vote Segolene.

La répartie est dans l'escalier. Elle revient de suite.
by lacordaire on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 04:46:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
1968 was apparently the main theme of Sarkozy's last large Paris meeting according to Le Monde

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 02:39:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just commented on that above... no luck there...

Rien n'est gratuit en ce bas monde. Tout s'expie, le bien comme le mal, se paie tot ou tard. Le bien c'est beaucoup plus cher, forcement. Celine
by UnEstranAvecVueSurMer (holopherne ahem gmail) on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 02:43:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Does that mean would should pray for a heat wave before the second round?

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 08:27:14 AM EST
we should pray...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 08:27:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A lightning avian flu pandemic would be enough to do the trick.

DoDo, can we borrow some hungarian chickens (I think it's the place of the last breakout) ? :)

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 08:44:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Avian flu isn't selective enough...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 08:50:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 08:47:42 AM EST
Share of population source INED:

http://www.ined.fr/fichier/t_telechargement/6575/telechargement_fichier_fr_classeur1.xls

Together with poll data:


Age     SR  NS   share of population in %
18-24   53  47   11.2
25-34   54  46   16.3
35-49   56  44   26.8
50-64   51  49   23.9
65-+    25  75   21.8

NS wins only the 65+ part of the population, quite impressive.

Remultiplying share of population and SR vs NS choice gives a total of 47.385 vs 52.615 which is coherent with the overall result, may be there's not much difference in participation by age (to be checked, could be cancellation too).

I note that from 22Apr2007 to 27Apr2007, SR did +1.5 (to 47.5), NS -1.5 (to 52.5) and no opinion went from 11% to 9%.

If this is trend and not noise at 5% no opinion SR wins 50.5-49.5 :).

by Laurent GUERBY on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 09:53:31 AM EST
The Sarkozy lead in the polls can be overcome on Wednesday's debate and even more important-the media spin on the debate. It would sure help Royal if the polls tightened after the debate to give her some momentum. My feeling is there is more incentive for a greater number of people to come out to vote for Royal as opposed to Sarkozy.
by An American in London on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 10:22:42 AM EST
The good news is that with bad poll numbers, she'll have an advantage. In 2000, the late night shows and popular culture spoofed Bush'd intellience and when he could, as Alexandra Pelosi put it, "string together a sentence" in te debates, the people were impressed and he won the debate-just by being mediocre(everyone expected Gore, the intelligent one, to do better). In the recent Democratic debate, all eyes were on Obama, and when he was mediocre, his stock fell. Clinton, who is believed to be aliented by the party's left wing, got a big boost by simply performing as well as Obama did. I'm a big Obama fan (and even more so a Royal fan) but even I had second thoughts about Hillary by her not-exactly-extrodinary performance. Eyes will be on Nicolas to be the master orator, but Royal is the one to benefit from the debate. Go Sego!
by pelcan on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 02:29:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I had missed your first comment but I take this opportunity to welcome you on ET.

You're probably right, but too bad polls could demobilise Royal voters. The ideal would be polls showing the gap closing.

BTW, did you notice we have much less polls for the second round?

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 02:49:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Does anyone know what % of the 65+ vote Chirac go in his first Presidential election?

A 75-25% split on an age demographic seems preposterous on its surface. It seems far to wide a margin when in most elections age demographics are a landslide at 55-45.

by An American in London on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 01:19:19 PM EST
I just looked at that last night--it was 31%.  
Chirac won the votes of 31 percent of those over 65, but just 16 percent of those under 25. The last figure shows sharp disillusionment among young people with the corrupt and reactionary president. Seven years ago Chirac was able to win 29 percent of young voters.

But since that was a first round vote, and also with the complicating Le Pen factor of that election, one needs to analyze that further to translate it into an implication for the upcoming second round--I think they do anyway.  For example, Le Pen got 19% of that age group.  This would be an interesting area, maybe, to dig into.  But at first glance I don't think it's positive for Royal--particularly since I would imagine this 65+ group will have an above average turnout, which in France may need to be 90+% in this coming election.

by wchurchill on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 02:45:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
couldn't Royal simply bribe her way to a win by promising a pension boost?

This strategy is used regularly in the UK. Sometimes it even works.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 04:40:15 PM EST
This seems to be about "values".

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 05:12:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If not a bribe, Royal should certainly spend the coming week pounding Sarko on the eroding "pouvoir d'achat" of elderlies during the past 5 years. I am not too familiar with Sarko's program but there must be ways to plant the seed of doubt in the mind of a few foggies about the effect that his proposed cutbacks will have on their well being. If need be even a rumor would do ... ;)
by Fete des fous on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 09:46:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No. Seniors might be least interested in bribes. (See above.)
by das monde on Mon Apr 30th, 2007 at 12:47:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, Sarkozy is already doing the bribing - he has promised to repeal the estate tax, so that "the fruits of a life of hard work can be passed on to the children". Of course the measure essentially favorises the very wealthy, and the average home is hardly taxed these days, but many people aren't very aware of how much they'd be taxed upon ther death.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Mon Apr 30th, 2007 at 07:30:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The fruits of a life of hard work can already be passed on to the children, you just have to ensure that you pass on the part above the Estate tax threashold gradually while you're alive.

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Apr 30th, 2007 at 07:45:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Does anyone (in addition to lacordaire) know any actual French people (including women) over the age of 65 who they could ask about this?
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Mon Apr 30th, 2007 at 02:43:42 AM EST
The ones I know vote for Royal...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Mon Apr 30th, 2007 at 09:07:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can think of two, rural, Catholic, culturally conservative women over 65. Whom I wouldn't question on their voting intentions (the secrecy of the ballot tends to be more of a fetish with the older folks - these women were alive when women got the vote in France, 1944...), but I'm pretty sure one will vote Sarkozy and the other Royal because of ingrained family and local left/right traditions. Yet, no doubt, each would say Royal was wrong to stay unmarried to Hollande.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Apr 30th, 2007 at 03:47:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't really mean to ask them how they were planning to vote, I was thinking more along the lines of, "Why do you think people in your age group seem to prefer Sarkozy so much more than younger people?"
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Mon Apr 30th, 2007 at 04:18:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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