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But you ignore how the french system, actually works: because you need as a rule two rounds, in the first round everybody can indulge his political inclinations fully. Here is the place to show your purity or make a protest or a symbolic vote.
More neutrally, you can vote your first preference.

In the second round then there is place for pragmatism and the voting for the lesser evil. And indeed:

Nicolas Sarkozy UMP    18,983,138    53.06%
Ségolène Royal    PS    16,790,440    46.94%

As you can see, Royal had no problems to gather the left and also got some voters from UDF or FN. Wasn't enough, but would the second round really been different if Royal got 31% in the first round like Sarkozy?

And the same game is played in parliamentary elections, but here in some constituencies the green or communist candidate will make it to the second round and then expect the socialist voters to vote for him. Mostly works.

I won't claim that  this is a perfect system, but the voters use it competent enough.

by IM on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 02:55:23 PM EST
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I used the first round to show how marginal the left parties are - those to the left of the despised social democrats - really are.

It is inutile in the extreme to complain that the Social democrats have "betrayed" a left that has minimal public support.

by rootless2 on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 03:54:32 PM EST
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The first round of the 2007 presidential election was the least significant when it comes to minor party support on the left, because of what happened in the first round in 2002 - an election that showed that most people on the left would rather vote for someone else than the SocDem candidate...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 06:13:01 PM EST
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