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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 ]

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