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Opinion polling and the French Elections

by Frank Schnittger Sat Apr 22nd, 2017 at 11:27:54 AM EST


Wikipedia provides an excellent summary graphic (above) of opinion polling in the 2017 French Presidential election (first round). It is illegal, in France, to publish any more opinion polls after midnight last night, so this is the final picture we have of the state of the race prior to the election. Of course, as with any polling analysis, one has to issue a number of caveats:


Firstly, the opinion polls called both the Brexit and Trump elections wrong. Yes Hillary Clinton did win the popular vote by c. 3%, but polls had her winning by a higher margin, and predictions were based on state level polling and these called the crucial swing states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan and Florida wrong. Given these predictions were based on hundreds of polls, this was an industry level failure.

Similarly, Brexit polls overwhelmingly showed the Remain side to have a narrow lead although some polls did show a majority for leave, and the trend line showed a significant convergence in the last few weeks and days of the campaign:

In both cases pollsters faced the problem of how to predict the behaviour of late breaking undecided voters in the race who appear to have plumped heavily for Brexit and Trump. There may also have been a shy Tory effect, whereby respondents may have been reluctant to share their real preferences with pollsters, for fear of being seen to make an unfashionable or unpopular choice.

Pollsters in the French Presidential elections may have similar difficulties, with even recent polls showing a level of undecided or abstention in the 20-30% range. How these potential voters behave will be crucial to the eventual outcome, given that the four leading contenders are all within a narrow 5% range.  

There may also be large scale tactical voting with voters voting not necessarily for their preferred candidate, but for a candidate they perceive to be at least minimally acceptable, in order to ensure they will have at least one acceptable candidate to vote for in the second round.

This could damage candidates such as Hamon who are seen as being unlikely to make the second round, with Parti Socialiste voters opting for Mélenchon or Macron instead. Similarly some Fillon supporters may opt for Macron if they feel the latter has a better chance of making the second round and if they do not wish to be faced with a choice of Le Pen or Mélenchon at that stage.

Finally, there is the impact of late breaking events such as the terrorist incident in the Champs Elysees last Thursday. Will this help more right wing "Law and Order" or racist candidates like Le Pen or Fillon? Only three opinion pollsters were in the field on Friday, and appear to have found no discernable impact on voter intentions. But in fairness to pollsters, it is very difficult to discern how this might impact the outcome on Sunday.

But if we were to take the polling trends at face value, what outcome can we expect? The graphical trendline of polls (see top image) appears to show Macron establishing a small lead over Le Pen at the top of the leader board, with Fillon maintaining an even smaller lead over a surging Mélenchon who appears to be benefiting from Hamon's rapid decline and elimination as a likely second round contender.

Le Pen has been declining steadily in the polls perhaps because Mélenchon is eating into her anti-EU support whilst also becoming a credible second round candidate. Despite some last minute jitters in the Macron camp, Macron appears to be holding his overall lead in the contest.

So the most likely second round scenario would therefore appear to indicate a Macron/Le Pen contest, with Macron winning easily by a 62-37% margin. Macron would also beat Fillon by a 65-35% margin or Mélenchon by a 60-40% margin. Mélenchon would also beat Le Pen by c. 60-40% or Fillon by 56-44%, and Fillon would beat Le Pen by c. 57-43%.

It thus appears that the French people would prefer almost anyone to Le Pen in the second round, with Macron slightly favoured to be her opponent and ultimate victor in the second round. However Macron's support is also viewed as being the "softest", with many people unclear as to his policies and viewing him as, at best, the lesser of four evils. He doesn't have a long established party machine to support his candidacy and is therefore most at risk of under-performing his polls.

With 20-30% of voters still undecided or likely to abstain, any combination of the leading four candidates is still possible. We are thus likely to see a President Macron, Fillon, Mélenchon, or Le Pen in declining order of probability.

Display:
I'm suspecting that polls are having systematic problems that are not reflected accurately in the probabilities. Apart from the problems of predicting elections (and I would include last UK parliament election in the list) I have also noticed in my work that people increasingly don't answer their phones when you call from a number they don't know and people in comment sections during the US election writing about how if you answered once, pollsters kept calling (without being asked to be in a poll).

These are annecdotes, but could point towards inexpensive and accurate polling over the phone being a thing of the past. Door to door would still probably work, but I don't think anyone does that anymore. Or to put it another way, as a society we traded inexpensive and accurate polling for phone salespeople once caller ID became a standard feature.

by fjallstrom on Sat Apr 22nd, 2017 at 03:26:23 PM EST
All fair points, but it is difficult to know whether such problems bias the sample towards any particular candidate. For the moment, an aggregation of such polls is the best indicator we have of how the election is trending, but my confidence in any predictions based on polls in a tight race is low. Thus any combination of two from the four leading candidates is still possible, and the likelihood of a Macron/Le Pen match-up is only marginally higher than the other match-ups.

Fladem has an interesting chart of average polling error up in a comment on this diary on Booman.

The largest error recorded in the sample period is 3.36%, which would not be enough to lift Fillon or Mélenchon above Macron or Le Pen. So it would be a bit of an upset if either made the second round at this stage.  But as you say, the problems with telephone polling may have been getting gradually worse...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Apr 22nd, 2017 at 04:33:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One way to assess the pollsters' work would be to check how they did during the last presidential election in 2012:

During the last week before the first round on 22 April, Hollande was polled at 27-28% (he got 28.6% of the vote), Sarkozy 26-28% with CSA at 24% (he got 27.2% of the vote), Le Pen was at 14-16% during the first half of April but last week polls showed her at 17% (and she ended up with 17.9% of the vote). The largest difference was with Mélenchon who was polled at 13-15% and ended up with only 11.1% of the vote; Bayrou was also polled at 9-11% and received 9.1% of the vote.

All in all, it looks like the polls didn't do too badly, catching the rise of Le Pen in the last week but less so the fall of Mélenchon, and the differences between the polls vs. first round results were around 1% for the first three candidates.

by Bernard on Sat Apr 22nd, 2017 at 06:04:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]

But he also underlines large error margins: FN last polled between 17 and 28 %.

by Bjinse on Sun Apr 23rd, 2017 at 12:43:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
fjallstrom:
These are annecdotes, but could point towards inexpensive and accurate polling over the phone being a thing of the past. Door to door would still probably work, but I don't think anyone does that anymore.

True enough: there was a subject on TV last week on French pollsters. To a large extent, they no longer do phone calls but run their polls over the net. Their panel members must fill a questionnaire to sort them out by age, gender, occupation etc... and they are regularly solicited by email, which is easier to ignore if you don't feel like filling the web form out (poll companies like Harris also offer goodies and a contest to lure people to answer the poll).

by Bernard on Sat Apr 22nd, 2017 at 06:11:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The main problem I see with polls these days is that folk forget about the margin of error. In Portugal, for instance, many polls are presented with intervals instead of absolute values - as they always should.

Take for instance the Odoxa poll published yesterday, where the margin of error is given at 2.5. The results therefore were:

Macron: 22.5 - 27.5
Le Pen: 20.0 - 25.0
Mélenchon: 17.0 - 22.0
Filion: 17.0 - 22.0

Looking at the polls this way one clearly sees what exactly they having been telling us this past two weeks: anything can happen.

The only thing that seems mildly certain is Macron on the second round. In various others last minute polls one also finds that his lower bond is higher than the higher bounds for Mélenchon and Fillon. But not by much.

In essence, Sunday is to provide the hell of an election night.

You might find me At The Edge Of Time.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Sat Apr 22nd, 2017 at 05:28:23 PM EST
That is, at least, a major improvement on Irish newspapers which often headline a 1% shift in the polls when the moe is 3%...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Apr 22nd, 2017 at 06:39:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Frank:
It is illegal to publish any more opinion polls after midnight last night
It is illegal to publish in France. It is not illegal to run polls as long as they are not published by French media. But foreign media is not bound by such restriction. For instance, check out La Tribune de Genève: what do you know, they have a last minute poll published today (Saturday 22 April), something their French counterparts are not allowed to do.

Back in the days, political parties and major media were ordering polls during the last days and also getting exit poll results before the poll closure, Sunday at 20:00.

With the advent of Internet, upon every French election day, people started crowding the web sites of Belgian and Swiss media, such as Le Soir, La Libre Belgique, RTBF or La Tribune de Genève. In the early years, these sites were not prepared for such an influx of visitors (see this article from 2007) and were frequently crashing or slowed to a crawl.

For tomorrow, webmasters from all French speaking Belgian and Swiss media have beefed up their bandwidth and server resources to prepare for the influx of visitors from their more populous neighbor.

by Bernard on Sat Apr 22nd, 2017 at 06:48:56 PM EST
"Emmanuel Macron pointe en tête avec 24% suivi de Marine Le Pen à 23%. François Fillon (20,5%) et Jean-Luc Mélenchon (18,5%) sont éliminés."

So no significant change from the averages I referred to except that it tends to confirm the order the lead candidates are most likely to finish in.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Apr 22nd, 2017 at 07:07:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And it would take more than a 2.5% shift to change the outcome any significantly, such as Fillon or Mélenchon edging ahead of Le Pen or Macron.
by Bernard on Sat Apr 22nd, 2017 at 08:06:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yeah, that article was published yesterday at 3pm.

If anyone sees any polling from today, I'm interested. Particularly any indication as to which way the "undecided" (still at least 25% yesterday) are breaking.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Sun Apr 23rd, 2017 at 10:41:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe Andorra as well; they published polls for the last Spanish election, when it was illegal to do so in Spain.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Apr 22nd, 2017 at 09:27:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Two anecdata points :
  • I had lunch yesterday with four old friends, all left/far left voters, all certain to vote today and not one of them sure of which candidate they were going to vote for.
  • I've been to the polling booth twice so far, at 10.45 and 12, and both times the queue was so long I decided to come back later. I've never seen that. I will go back about 2pm, hoping for a lunchtime lull. I will check national estimates of voting rates, but it looks like a blowout.

In sum : all bets are off.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Sun Apr 23rd, 2017 at 10:39:04 AM EST
A high turnout would benefit Macron?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Apr 23rd, 2017 at 11:02:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
benefits democracy...
by Bjinse on Sun Apr 23rd, 2017 at 12:46:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My impression (backed by polling data) is that those favouring Macron and Le Pen have been the most highly motivated and sure of their vote; late-deciding voters may be hesitating between the mainstream left (or right) candidate and the minor ones. That would (in my dreams at least) tend to favour Mélenchon and Fillon.
The "useful vote" phenomenon can work both ways on the left : in favour of Mélenchon, at the expense of Hamon and the minor candidates, or in favour of Macron. My personal propaganda line is that this second option is a "second round" position, that no-one on the left should vote for Macron in the first round... We'll see.

It seems actually that turnout is fairly average :


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Sun Apr 23rd, 2017 at 01:26:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Américains et Anglais vont devoir désormais faire appel aux instituts de sondage français, vainqueurs du premier tour.

— bernard pivot (@bernardpivot1) April 23, 2017

The Americans and the English are going to have to use French pollsters in the future. They are the winners of the first round.

(It's true. Astonishingly, collectively, they nailed it)

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Sun Apr 23rd, 2017 at 09:04:57 PM EST

European far right parties have often underperformed their opinion poll averages.  More recently, Brexit and Trump may also have served as a salutary reminder to European voters that indulging in fantasies, not bothering to vote, or playing "lefter than thou" games can have serious consequences, and that we can't take long cherished norms or institutions like the EU for granted.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Apr 24th, 2017 at 08:58:54 AM EST
Candidate  Vote  Poll average (based on graphic at top of diary)
Macron      23.9      24.0
Le Pen       21.7      22.3
Fillon         20.0      19.7
Mélenchon 19.2      18.9

All in all, a very good performance by the pollsters with Fillon and Mélenchon slightly out-performing their polls and Le Pen underperforming by the largest margin.

The second round may be more challenging to predict.  With a 25% advantage in the opinion polls at present, Macron may have difficulty motivating his supporters to vote again, and left wing voters could abstain en masse. Or will Le Pen voters become demotivated by the size of Macron's lead?

It will be interesting to see whether he maintains that lead in the polls in the run up to the second round.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Apr 24th, 2017 at 09:54:10 AM EST
Fillon and Mélenchon slightly out-performing their polls

well, I called that... but optimistically overestimated it.

Yes, there is a lot of agonizing, recrimination, name_calling etc going on in the social media, notably the Insoumis -- Mélenchon's movement -- arguing about what to do for the second round.
Mélenchon has been heavily criticized for not calling for his voters to back Macron. He has made it clear that he will be voting for him personally, but the Insoumis are holding a consultation, with the three options being :
A) blank vote
B) vote Macron
C) abstain.
The result will be announced on Friday.

Personally, I have swung between voting Macron, voting blank, and back to Macron. My partner, who will be out of the country on the 7th of May, was going to give me a procuration to vote in her place, then decided on Sunday that she wouldn't. And coming back to the procuration, so that I can cast a blank vote on her behalf.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Apr 26th, 2017 at 09:10:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well either Macron or Le Pen will be President after the election. So the question is which you prefer, or whether you hate both equally and have no view one way or the other.  Democracy is often about choosing the lesser evil rather than offering an ideal choice.

Your opportunity to influence the shape of the next Presidency will come in the legislative elections...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Apr 26th, 2017 at 10:10:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No. Macron will be president after the election. The only question is what percentage you give him.

I would like Le Pen's percentage to be really low of course. But Macron was already, I think, a mentally highly unstable person, completely exalted with his own self. Listening to his meetings was just scary, it was like a televangelist show.
So on the back of a huge percentage, all bets are off...

Don't try to second-guess my vote from these lines - I am just pointing out that the question is not who will be president but by which margin.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Thu Apr 27th, 2017 at 09:25:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Marine Le Pen May Get a Lift From an Unlikely Source: The Far Left - The New York Times -

One of Mr. Mélenchon's top aides derided the candidate's critics in a telephone interview Tuesday. "You've got to look at where the criticism is coming from," said Éric Coquerel, a member of the Paris regional council.

"It's coming from those whose policies have favored the development of the National Front, from the Socialist Party," said Mr. Coquerel, referring to the quarrel that divided the French left for five years: the governing Socialists' mild pro-market turn, seen as a betrayal by France's far left.

"We don't want to help Marine Le Pen, but we don't want to endorse Mr. Macron," he said.

"He's the candidate of free trade," Mr. Coquerel said. "He's going to assist in the Uberization of society. Everything we are going to fight against in the coming months. There's no possible rapprochement."


Bold for silly editorializing.

This is a perfectly reasonable stance. Of course Centrists are desperate to sell their horse shoe theories about the Left secretly preferring the fascists.
Especially in France this demand to kiss the centrists ring has nothing at all to do with keeping the fascists out. They want to pull everyone into their TINA non-politics, effectively murdering democracy. After all they don't even care for any of the things the fascists would destroy.
 Our very reasonable centrists are doing their best to have refugees drown in the Mediterranean, build border fences across Europe, support the worst kind of despots around the globe, conspire to provide international companies with veto power over public policies and are now chomping at the bit to hand broad censorship powers over to private companies to prevent "fake news". Sure Le Pen would be worse but they are not offering any principles to adhere to.

by generic on Fri Apr 28th, 2017 at 03:15:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I just watched Méluche's weekly talk, below. He talks about the media hysteria concerning his non-endorsement for the second round. He tells us we know who he's going to vote for, but he won't tell us who it is. Fair enough.



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Apr 28th, 2017 at 04:46:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Were any of these people among those who held their noses and voted voted for Chriac when a similar choice was placed before them? If yes, how can they now rationalize not voting for Macron?

I guess eaten bread is soon forgotten. Not so long ago France was looking at a very real prospect of having to choose between Fillon and Le Pen. If a significant number of those who did support Fillon transfer to Le Pen, she has far better prospects than her father even did.

by det on Wed Apr 26th, 2017 at 10:40:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eh, my politics certainly changed massively since that time so I don't think the issue of consistency arises.
by generic on Thu Apr 27th, 2017 at 01:18:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All voters under the age of 33 were not around back then, 15 years ago.
by Bernard on Thu Apr 27th, 2017 at 06:47:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's tough to relate all this in a few paragraphs, there is a depth of local and historical context which doesn't translate trivially for an international audience.

Personally I didn't qualify to vote 15 years ago (it's complicated - I was candidate in the 2002 legislatives, but wasn't on the electoral roll), but I handed out Green Party leaflets calling for voting Chirac.

The more salient reference is that most of them voted for Hollande five years ago, for a program that was quite decent on paper (Piketty wrote most of his economic program!), and look at the wasteland he left behind him.

Now, Hollande is the most unpopular president in history, and we are invited - no, commanded - to vote for his spiritual son, his successor in all but name, who will do nothing other than continue and deepen his neo-liberal reforms. So we are doubly cuckolded. Macron will deepen and widen the social chasm that leave an unhealthy plurality of citizens economically disenfranchised, marginalised, precarious, teetering on the edge of poverty or already in it.

These are the Deplorables that vote for Le Pen, and in part, for Mélenchon (and that is his triumph in this election -- a few more weeks of campaign, and he would have won it). According to the polls, about 20% of Mélenchon's electors will vote for Le Pen, 50% for Macron while holding their noses, and the rest will abstain or vote blank. What he recommends will have little effect on that split. And he needs those of his electors who will vote Le Pen next week, and as many of their peers as possible, for the legislatives in June.

More than anything else, what has sunk the French left is over-intellectualizing the vote, and under-emoting. I'm listening to my own emotions, and trying to commune with the herd. I'll vote according to reason, because that's who I am, but with empathy.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Apr 27th, 2017 at 07:18:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Were any of these people among those who held their noses and voted voted for Chriac when a similar choice was placed before them? If yes, how can they now rationalize not voting for Macron?"

How? Where do I start?

First, people now know that, rather than taking strong consideration of the fact that more left wing than right wing voters voted for him in 2002, Chirac went full throttle, claiming a plebiscite for right-wing policies.

But also, in 2002, at least candidates had been running on their platforms. Macron was running on his person (for very long without a program at all, and even when it came you could see that it was a PR exercise in dropping in key words to give you the impression that he agreed with you, whatever your position).
But worse: the argument paraded throughout the campaign was that you have to vote for me to block the FN, and in the second round it is your duty to vote against them. This essentially turned the system into a first past the post from the get go, whereas in 2002 this was only following an unexpected result in the first round.
First past the post is a terrible system for parliament, let alone for president...

Third, Marine is not Jean-Marie. No, I am not trying to defend her. We must, though, at least acknowledge that they are different people.

Fourth, it could be argued that, economically, Macron is to the right of Chirac, at least on some key considerations that may matter a lot for some voters.

Fifth, in 2002 people had not yet experienced the 2007 crisis and the grinding impact of Germany's pig-headedness (and Macron's desired Europe is very much one where France would simply be in a position to do the same as Germany). Admittedly, France only felt the pinch of the Eurozone crisis as a whole - that is big enough- but for those who care for the plight of Greeks and Spaniards, voting for someone who wants more of it can be very painful.

That's just off the top of my head. I'm sure you can find other reasons why this would be the case.
Again, don't try to read my vote from this. I am simply pointing to a number of reasons why some people could feel different today.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Thu Apr 27th, 2017 at 10:30:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I started spreadsheeting on Monday. Taking the results from my own district, and comparing with 2012, I derived some trivial formulae to explain the shifts. So, for example, Macron equals Bayrou plus three-eighths of Hollande plus three-sixteenths of Sarkozy; Mélonchon equals himself plus three-eighths of Hollande plus half of Eva Joly.

This gives a model that extrapolates fairly well to the regional and national levels (with the exception of Le Pen, who actually shrank considerably in my district). Next step : pull up the numbers from the 2012 legislatives, and make projections for the département.

The Lyon region is a special case : it is the prototype of Macronia. But here's what we get :
Of the fourteen legislative districts of the Rhône, there were eight LR and six PS elected in 2012. According to my projection, based on the presidential numbers, we could get two LR, eight En Marche, and four Insoumis.

This is taking no account of personalities, nor of possible alliances. It assumes, for example, that the two PS MPs who declared for Macron before the presidential election, will be returned as EM (or their districts will). And in all probability, one PS will survive (Najat Belkacem, one of the few ministers to emerge with her reputation more or less intact).

I have really no idea what legislative results might look like elsewhere. Frankly, I don't thing anyone else does either.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Apr 27th, 2017 at 07:27:44 AM EST
Macron has tried to position himself in the centre of the political spectrum, as distant as possible from his mentor Hollande.  That doesn't prevent the right from regarding him as a Socialist, and the left regarding him as a neo-liberal, marketista reformer.

But assuming En Marche doesn't secure a majority in the legislative elections, does he look left or right to achieve a majority? A lot will depend on the arithmetic: does En Marche+PS give an adequate but not excessive majority, or will he look for Gaullist support?

Who will be the logical leader of the opposition - Le Pen, Sarkozy/Fillon/Juppe, or Mélenchon?  Will PS make something of a come back, and if so under which leader?  Hamon's 6% doesn't provide much of a base to work from, and may not be enough to provide En Marche with a working majority.

Assuming Le Pen gets c. 40% of the vote, will she be able to translate this into a large or even near majority parliamentary block in the legislature, or is much of this a personal vote?  

If she becomes the effective leader of the opposition, will this marginalise the Gaullists regardless of who they chose as their new leader?

It seems to me that the most likely configuration post the Presidential and Legislative elections is of a President Macron with Le Pen as the effective leader of the opposition in the legislature and with everyone else struggling for relevance, either as a Macron ally or as a third force in parliament.

Could this spell the end of the Gaullists? Can PS recover or will they be marginalised by Mélenchon?  Either way, it seems to me that the political landscape will be much changed, with many established players out in the cold.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Apr 27th, 2017 at 01:48:33 PM EST
The FN will not get a significant number of deputes.

Parliament ALSO follows a two rounds electoral system. Even with 40% (which she won't get) in the second round, that does in no way translate in even being present in most second rounds of the legislatives.
And present in the second round, in most cases, will mean being trounced, except where there will be 3 candidates. But expect a strong pressure for one of them to drop in such cases.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Thu Apr 27th, 2017 at 01:59:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not so sure about that. I'll have to do some simulations. Remember, 12.5% of enrolled electors gets you into the second round. There will be plenty of three-way and four-way second rounds (a left candidate will not stand down for a Macronite, and vice versa), and nobody will be ready to stand down to prevent an FN win at district level. This is perfectly explicit in what LR leaders are saying to the press. My pick is that this may well be the election where the "cordon sanitaire" busts, and, in certain regions, LR and FN candidates go for mutual desistment.

My next simulation will be the Loire department, which I also know intimately. Off the top of my head, it wouldn't surprise me if FN got one or two MPs out of six.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Apr 27th, 2017 at 05:04:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Christ on a bike. Using Le Monde's simulator, the Loire will plausibly return four FN MPs (with one Insoumis and one Macronite, from Saint Etienne).

Then the local factors come into play. The FN candidates have been around forever and are known to be morons, etc.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Apr 27th, 2017 at 05:17:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's a handy simulator from Le Monde!

It lets you play with abstention rates and calculates who gets to stay in the second round of the legislatives. This will save me some tedious data acquisition and spreadsheeting!


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Apr 27th, 2017 at 05:14:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's the correct link for the simulator

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Apr 27th, 2017 at 06:56:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
British media backing Le Pen view of Europe through Brexit prism
So who cops the blame for this one? If those ghastly metropolitan liberals - with their snide, superior ways and smothering of the plain man's right to fake news - stand accused of causing the stampede towards Trump-style misogynists, racists and isolationists, who is to blame for the rise of the unapologetically centrist Emmanuel Macron?

In case you've been away, the news is that the chosen candidate of Trump, Putin, Farage et al, Marine Le Pen, did not win. And Macron is neither left nor right. Apparently.

Even so, after Sunday, France is being portrayed as an echo of the United States, with electoral maps showing vast, rural spreads of Le Pen-supporting Forgottens versus solid clumps of Macron in the big cities. Macron is not that easily bracketed. He won the majority in places such as Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, Brittany, Ile-de-France and Pays de Loire.

Still, after attempting to find representative young people for its Monday bulletin, Channel 4 News admitted it couldn't find a single young Le Pen supporter in Paris.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Apr 27th, 2017 at 02:10:05 PM EST
Actually, Macron "won the majority" nowhere. He won a plurality in the regions named, but the rural/urban and economic health factors dominate.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Apr 27th, 2017 at 05:12:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
British media backing Le Pen view of Europe through Brexit prism
But all those British headlines virtually cheerleading Le Pen, suggested she is "storming into the final straight" - when even her own campaign directors were disappointed in her showing - go a little further. After all, her vote was no surprise. The polls got it bang on. The woman has just two MPs in the French parliament. What makes her the catnip to their keyboards?

The answer is that for the rabidly pro-Brexit media, everything European is seen through the Brexit prism and their desperate need to defend that stance.

Le Pen has made electoral headway, yes. But she is not exactly a 24-year-old shooting star, more a career politician leading a 45-year-old party founded by her father, funding much of its activities with income from the EU whose principles she roundly rejects (and is currently under investigation over alleged misappropriation of some of those EU funds), yet somehow manages to wear the coveted "outsider" label, in this two-horse race.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Apr 27th, 2017 at 02:18:50 PM EST
I think it was one of his biographers who wrote that, in the 1880s or 1890s Morgan asked one of his aides how many and which newspapers he would have to control and, when told, proceeded to buy or suborn those papers. It was pursuant to that goal that he made Sulzberger publisher of the NYT. (Wish all my memories came with links to verify them!)

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Apr 27th, 2017 at 02:50:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Your synaptic links come with a lot of credit around here!

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Apr 27th, 2017 at 03:00:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Original 99% Movement
 Washington's Blog


Fearful GOPers, Failed Dem Prepare for Jeb Bush Draft →
1917: J.P. Morgan bought US corporate media to be 1%'s lying sacks of spin?
Posted on January 28, 2012 by Carl Herman   

Congressman Oscar Callaway lost his Congressional election for opposing US entry into WW 1. Before he left office, he demanded investigation into JP Morgan & Co for purchasing control over America's leading 25 newspapers in order to propagandize US public opinion in favor of his corporate and banking interests, including profits from US participation in the war. Mr. Callaway alleged he had the evidence to prove Morgan associates were working as editors to select and edit articles, with the press receiving monthly payments for their allegiance to Morgan.

One of the leading papers, The New York Times, printed the story of Congressman Callaway's call for investigation from Washington, D.C., but the editor chose a curious obfuscating headline:

    FOR PRESS INVESTIGATION

    Moore Asks Inquiry Into Charges

    on Preparedness Campaign.

The US Congressional Record of 1917 recorded Callaway's actions.

The US eventually followed "opinion leaders" into the war, despite no national security risk from the sinking of a British ship (Lusitania) carrying over four million rounds of ammunition to kill Germans, and Germany's offer to Mexico to attack the US with an empty promise of German help if, and only if, the US declared war on Germany first (Zimmermann telegram; Mexico rejected the offer immediately as a military impossibility and a ploy for Americans to busy themselves killing Mexicans instead of Germans). The US then imprisoned people who questioned the war, including US candidates for President.

Both my grandfathers risked their lives in the American Expeditionary Force, as did your relatives, in a war media-fed to the public with lies of commission and omission.

Congressman Callaway joined Congressman Abraham Lincoln in being deposed from Congress for challenging lying war rhetoric and being branded as "unpatriotic."

I found no follow-up report of Mr. Callaway's request for investigation. However, we have abundant evidence that US corporate media is controlled for propaganda in our world of the present to cover-up the US' history of unlawful wars. Consider this as one example:

    The Church Senate Committee hearings had the cooperation of CIA Director William Colby's testimony that over 400 CIA operatives were controlling US corporate media reporting on specific issues of national interest in what they called Operation Mockingbird. This stunning testimony was then confirmed by Pulitzer Prize reporter Carl Bernstein's research and reporting. Of course, corporate media refused to publish Bernstein's article and it became the cover-story for Rolling Stone



"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Apr 27th, 2017 at 08:34:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't recognize this as my source, but it is confirmation.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Apr 27th, 2017 at 08:35:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
More precisely, a single poll is one percent closer. Isn't the Independent a wonderful paper?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Apr 28th, 2017 at 05:01:49 AM EST
No one seems to complain when the financial market reporting does this. Must feel very unfair.
by generic on Fri Apr 28th, 2017 at 06:07:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, I do. WHen I cannot ignore the noise level.

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 28th, 2017 at 03:55:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, the whole "intellectual" left has gone through the same process as I have : two or three days of canvassing all the possibilities (i.e. voting Macron, voting blank, not voting), then coming reluctantly to the conclusion that we don't have a choice.

It would be a whole lot easier if Macron were to actually pose as some sort of unity candidate, or alternatively, to STFU. He rants on in his irritating oratorial style (sort of like Hitler on extasy) about how he wants every vote to be an endorsement of his programme...

Meanwhile, the "popular" left has been subjected to attempts by the FN to attract their votes, by harping on alleged similarities in the programs of Le Pen and Mélenchon :



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Apr 28th, 2017 at 04:54:55 PM EST
Anglo-merican media picked up this campaign early last week. Notably, NPR's one and only correspondent in Paris Eleanor Beardsley at least once identified Le Pen as a far-left candidate.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Mon May 1st, 2017 at 12:50:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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