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is a bit of wishful thinking on my part, but it includes two bits of underlying reasoning:

  • I don't see Royal not in the second round. She has strong popular support (which you see in strong attendances to her regional events, and record viewings for her videos on internet video-sharing sites), she benefits from the weakness of the rest of the left (the communists are invisible, the Greens have imploded, Chevénement is not running, Laguiller is running old and stale) and the residual feeling of guilt from 21 April (it will play);

  • I don't see Le Pen below 20%. Megret is not running, de Villiers is weaker than last time, and all the factors that lead to the protest vote for him are still there (if anybody is going to capture that popular/populist vote, it's Royal more than anyone else).

Thus Sarkozy is squeezed; with Bayrou running strong (but I think he peaked too early, a lot of people are suddenly beginning to take a harder look at his programme, his past and his friends, and it's not so flattering), his room to manoeuver is getting smaller.

Ultimately, I expect something like this:
Royal: 24%
Sarkozy: 21%
Le Pen 21%
Bayrou 16%

And Sarkozy, being a rightwinger, will be lucky and get to the second round.

(But then I get all my bets and prognoses wrong, so caveat emptor...)

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Mar 10th, 2007 at 04:37:18 PM EST
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