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Jérôme, thanks for the digest.

Here's a tracking poll from an apparently independent website. Both Holland and Sarkozy on a gentle decline, Le Pen very erratic. The ingredients are there for an exciting race.

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 Thu Jan 5th, 2012 at 05:39:30 AM EST
Bayrou is surprisingly high.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jan 5th, 2012 at 06:39:29 AM EST
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Given that the UMP and the Socialists are more apart than what you usually have in European democracies this is not surprising. But in the end he'll always have a neutral effect, taking votes from each site.

The big question in these elections is Le Pen, if she can topple Sarkozy in the first round it would be something.

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 Thu Jan 5th, 2012 at 07:30:52 AM EST
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I think there are two major things at stake in the first round
  1. who gets on the second round from the right, because it's by no means a given that Sarkozy will be there
  2. what's the balance of power on the left between Hollande, Joly, Mélenchon and, to some extent, Bayrou. A Hollande who must deal with a 15% Bayrou will not be the same than a Hollande having to deal with a 5% Bayrou.


Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 5th, 2012 at 08:43:58 AM EST
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may be seen as a tolerable substitute to Sarkozy for right-wing people who will never vote for a socialist but cannot stand Sarkozy (there's quite a few, and many of them won't vote for le Pen or the other hard right candidates or de Villepin).

He is definitely of center-right persuasion (the "center" has been part of the right for most of the past 40 years) but he broke away from Chirac and then Sarkozy more credibly than previous centrists, voting against them in parliament a number of times on high profile votes. The result has been that he's lost most of his MP group - as they know that locally they will be elected by allying with the traditional right. Sarkozy has tried to nurture competing "centrist" candidates, who have funding and a parliamentary group - that's the Hervé Morin situation (but he's not well known and polls 0-1%)

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 5th, 2012 at 09:03:29 AM EST
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Bayrou's support in 2007 always struck me as very shallow, and primarily resulting from Royale's uninspiring campaigning.   Any chance Villepin actually gets some play and can swallow the anti-Sarkozy non-FN right vote?  He seems the best alternative to Bayrou for such a voter.
by paving on Thu Jan 5th, 2012 at 05:07:34 PM EST
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It's one of the open question marks of this election. Villepin is also tainted by his open rivalry/hate with Sarkozy, which may not make him an alternative, but part of the same petty system they hate.

Bayrou is a 'nicer' vote.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Jan 6th, 2012 at 02:59:30 AM EST
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