Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
you say, Jérôme. Most of the polls I've seen have him more in the 7-10% range, and I can't recall any poll which has Eva Joly ahead of him. He's been ahead of Bayrou on more than a few as well, as recently as late November/early December.

A lot depends, I would say, on how "centrist" Hollande becomes in order to woo Bayrou voters in the Parisian bobo set in the event things tighten up a bit between now and May and in so doing seperate himself from Sarkozy in the first round. Some of the folks on my side of the spectrum would vote Mélenchon as a result, instead of Hollande, especially considering Hollande's presence in the second round is probably more or less assured in any event (though the same cannot be said of Sarkozy). We're all over the debacle of 2002, Besancenot is keeping the sort of comfortable low profile one can afford one's self when one's wife makes 10K€/month, Arlette is retired and all the other extreme left figures are walking dead people, Poutou and Arthaud polling at 1% or less, and I doubt they'll share as much as two percent of the general in the first round. So, Mélenchon is the only credible left alternative to Hollande (the Greens and especially Joly too ideologically heteroclite to be properly refered to as left), and so a Mélenchon vote is a natural and safe one for voters on the left. Indeed, one of the uncommented points in this election so far is that the left, after having tried and failed to properly unite in 2007, instead seeing seperate Besancenot, Laguiller and Buffet candidacies, has finally done so.

I'd bet money he comes in close to 10%, pehaps more.

Chevènement is a wild card, and here I agree with your implication that he is unlikely to actually run, adding to this observation that he polls quite poorly (under 2% on everything I see) and is not quite old (he'll be 73 on election day).

One final comment. While in the past the PCF, now a critical part of the Front de Gauche, have gotten their seats via maintenance of historical "fiefdoms," this is beginning to change, a notable exception (and harbinger of hoped-for future developments) being the rise of André Chassaigne, Mélenchon's opponent in the united left primary, whose base is in political terrain not particularly warm to the PCF (rural Puy-de-Dôme). Another example would be Michel Le Scouarnec, elected in these recently past senatorials in similarly not-particularly-friendly to PCF Morbihan.

And, of course, we have not yet really seen the full impact of the Europe-wide "bankers first" austerity. I am sure things will become more interesting as 2012 and the rest of the decade progresses, regardless of how well Hollande governs.


The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Wed Jan 4th, 2012 at 02:54:13 PM EST
Pretty complicated set of postulates there.

I'd agree with you that the Trots will be lucky to pull in 3% between them. I'd also agree that Eva Joly is quite unlikely to do better than Mélenchon (though not for the reason you state - EELV will have a hard time because Joly is not an obvious candidate, and because the Verts have decided to throw the presidential in return for legislative seats).

But "We're all over the debacle of 2002", who dat? I think a lot of voters have firmly fixed in their minds that the first round is not to be pissed around with.

It's not my preferred set-up - the more Seriously Centrist™ Hollande is, the more I want to bash my head against the wall. But not so much because of crudely electoral designs. Much more because the time ahead calls for a political discourse that compellingly narrates... reality. Just watch the people flock to it if that happens. But Mélenchon isn't narrating either: just throwing lighted squibs.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 4th, 2012 at 03:34:34 PM EST
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And quite a few I know as well. Linca, for instance, has also recently weighed in with his impressions on these pages in the recent past, with the same impression as I have. But, admittedly, I could be wrong in general and have seen no polling on the subject.

Agree with you on Joly, and would go further to make a similar comment on Mélenchon, who is not in my view an optimal candidate for us either, though in the primary my guy lost. Anybody who has seen Chassaigne speak and work a crowd will know that he has some serious potential, not just as a candidate who poses as the conscience of the PS, but who is a rassembleur in his own right.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Sat Jan 7th, 2012 at 08:31:53 AM EST
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the sprinkling of the extreme left votes over 3-4 candidates has always seemed to me to be a totally stupid thing - having one candidate concentrate these votes would give them visibility and a voice, which would be useful against the ever-rightwards draft of policies these days.

Having 10% for the greens and 10% for Melenchon, plus a good enough showing of Hollande, should be the target.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 5th, 2012 at 05:00:33 AM EST
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It is in the nature of the extreme left, to procreate through cell division...

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sun Jan 8th, 2012 at 08:18:03 AM EST
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