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Polls A La Franšaise 2 (picture-heavy)

by NordicStorm Mon May 7th, 2007 at 04:58:16 AM EST

My previous diary on the subject of French presidential polls (Polls A La Franšaise) focused on the polling of the first round of the French presidential election. In this diary, one day after the second round, I'll focus on the polling of the second round.
For some background on my polling averages, check out the aforementioned diary.

From the diaries ~ whataboutbob


The Head-to-Head Graphs
Below you'll find two graphs: one graph of the polling average for Royal vs. Sarkozy from January 2 to May 4, and one graph featuring the polling average and the actual polls for the last two weeks of the election.




If the graphs were right, the election would have ended somewhere in the ballpark of:
Royal: 46%
Sarkozy: 54%

The actual election result was:
Royal: 46.9%
Sarkozy: 53.1%

In other words, the polling average was very close, if slightly underestimating Royal. The poll having Royal and Sarkozy almost on parity was conducted by Tunisian pollster 3C, newcomers to the scene. Better luck next time guys!
As can be seen from the graphs, Sarkozy lead the head-to-head for much of the duration of the campaign. Right before the first round, the gap between Royal and Sarkozy decreased significantly, only to immediately return to it's previous levels in the aftermath of the first round.
The polls were then tightening marginally up until the debate. Until that point, there were still a select few of us who remained optimistic that Royal could pull this off, but the poll numbers following the debate, which were giving Sarkozy a victory margin in landslide territory, forced even the most hopeless of optimists among us (like yours truly) to concede that the election was pretty much over.

The last few polls before the election were as follows:

BVACSAIFOPIPSOSLH2TNS-S.
Date4.53.54.54.530.44.5
Royal45.0%47.0%47.0%45.0%48.0%45.5%
Sarkozy55.0%53.0%53.0%55.0%52.0%54.5%

The pollsters who got the closest were thus CSA and IFOP, though all of the pollsters were reasonably close.


Crossover Votes
In the last two weeks, the pollsters also regularly polled how Bayrou and Le Pen voters would vote in the second round, following the elimination of their respective candidates in the first round. The two graphs below show how the crossover votes changed during the last two weeks (averages and actual poll numbers) for Bayrou and Le Pen voters, respectively:




One caveat: Some pollsters didn't report how many of the voters would abstain, but merely the percentages for the candidates of the voters intending to vote in the second round (thus, the sum of the percentages for the candidates would equal 100%, and the people abstaining were simply discarded). For a meaningful comparison, I thus had to commit the cardinal sin of recalculating the numbers accordingly for the pollsters that did report the number of absentions. In both graphs I've also plotted the number of absentions where reported. It's obviously not directly comparable to percentages for the candidates, but it gives us some idea of how the sympathies changed during the last two weeks.

According to the graphs, Bayrou voters would break about evenly for Royal and Sarkozy, whereas Le Pen voters would behave as expected by voting overwhelmingly for Sarkozy.
Exit polling indicated the following break-down among previous Le Pen and Bayrou voters:

Bayrou voters
Royal: 41% (49%)
Sarkozy: 42% (51%)
Abstentions/Blank: 17%

Le Pen voters
Royal: 15% (19%)
Sarkozy: 63% (81%)
Abstentions/Blank: 23%

Numbers in parenthesis excludes abstentions, for comparison's sake. (Average of the following sources: IPSOS (pdf), TNS-SOFRES, CSA (pdf))


What If...?
Prior to the first round, a few of the pollsters also polled other potential second rounds; most frequently polled was Sarkozy vs. Bayrou, and a distant second was Royal vs. Bayrou. Below, the graphs for the respective match-up:




Do note that the second graph is not of polling averages, but of the actual polls, as there were too few polls released to plot any sort of meaningful average. The averages in the first graph consists primarily of IPSOS polls, as they were the only ones polling Bayrou vs. Sarkozy on a regular basis.


Conclusions
Over all, the polls very close to the actual results. The one big mistake all the pollsters did make this time around was severely overestimating Le Pen's poll numbers in the first round. In 2002, they underestimated him; in 2007, they overestimated him. In the second round, it appears they were all in the right neighbourhood.


Oh, One More Thing...
The first two polls I have in my Excel file were done on October 13, 2006, by IFOP and TNS-Sofres. Both showed Royal losing to Sarkozy 47% - 53%.

Display:
Phew! Glad this thing's over. Let's do this again in five years, shall we?

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde
by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Mon May 7th, 2007 at 01:34:52 AM EST
The pollster who got the closest was thus IFOP

Did CSA not have the exact same result?

BTW, the final result is:

  Nombre % Inscrits
Inscrits 44 472 363 100,00
Abstentions 7 128 894 16,03
Votants 37 343 469 83,97

  Nombre % Votants
Blancs ou Nuls 1 569 450 4,20
Exprimés 35 774 019 95,80

  Voix % Exprimés
  M.  Nicolas  SARKOZY 18 983 408 53,06
  Mme  Ségolène  ROYAL 16 790 611 46,94


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon May 7th, 2007 at 02:21:18 AM EST
Did CSA not have the exact same result?

Yes, but I'm a paid shill of IFOP to boost their reputation.

(Updated the diary)

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde

by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Mon May 7th, 2007 at 02:26:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for your great work on the polls throughout the campaign, Nordic!

BTW, I think the Tunisian pollster presents raw results without "retreatment", which serves to give an idea of how the others work...

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon May 7th, 2007 at 03:15:40 AM EST
Yes indeed, excellent work NordicStorm. Thank you!!

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Mon May 7th, 2007 at 04:57:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, I think they did do a bit of magic voodoo number adjusting. Basically, of those polled who declined to name a candidate (because they hadn't decided who to vote for yet), they asked the question again. A vast majority still didn't name a candidate, but a few of them did. They then used that percentage for the candidates and applied it to all undecideds to arrive at their final number.
Their study is available here. To be fair, the study was done before the debate.

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde
by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Mon May 7th, 2007 at 07:05:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
right now. Not center-left; not center right
Sarkozy 53-Royal 47
Bayrou  53-Sarcozy 47, makes that clear.
There was no chance to vote the center in the 2nd round so we got center right with a little extreme right mixed in. I agree with Kuchner. We need an alliance between the PS and the PD.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Mon May 7th, 2007 at 06:09:24 AM EST
And after five years of Sarko you may well get one, out of sheer desperation.

The bottom graphs seem to suggest that the French really wanted Bayrou, but because the race was between the other two a lot of the voting was tactical.

So instead of a centre-rightist we now have a monster that a lot of people didn't really want - although apparently they wanted the alternative even less.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon May 7th, 2007 at 08:33:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The bottom graphs seem to suggest that the French really wanted Bayrou, but because the race was between the other two a lot of the voting was tactical.

I don't understand these matters at all, but if the French really wanted Bayrou, didn't they have the chance to vote for him in the first round?  The numbers seem to suggest that the Parti Socialiste voters wanted a PS candidate, but in the absence of such a candidate they would have voted Bayrou over Sarkozy.  Whereas, the Bayrou voters did not (in the majority) want a PS candidate and, in the absence of their preferred candidate voted Sarkozy over Royal.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Mon May 7th, 2007 at 09:40:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And, of course, the Sarkozy voters did not want a PS candidate and would have voted Bayrou over Royal.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Mon May 7th, 2007 at 09:41:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That would be my interpretation as well. Much of Bayrou's support would have been people voting against the opponent rather than people voting for him (I suppose that holds true for Sarkozy vs. Royal as well).

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde
by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Mon May 7th, 2007 at 09:48:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
These results do not correspond to the polls cited in Royal would win. were it not for the +65.:

The 18 to 24 set strongly backed Ms. Royal, giving her 58 percent, according to Ipsos.

But voters in the 25 to 34 years old group nearly equally strongly backed Mr. Sarkozy, a conservative, giving him 57 percent.

The vote was 50-50 in the 35 to 44 age group, while voters of 45 to 59 years -- the May '68 generation whom Sarkozy recently denounced -- chose Ms. Royal.

Mr. Sarkozy's strongest backing by age group, however, came from voters older than 60. Among those 70 and older, a whopping 68 percent preferred him. In the Paris metropolitan area, the vote split 50-50, Ipsos found.

Is it possible that 25-34 year olds so strongly favored Sarkozy because they are the ones who are going through or most recently went through the travails of securing employment and are exasperated by their experiences?

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Mon May 7th, 2007 at 12:52:52 PM EST
Or maybe they rebel against ther babyboomer parents?

Or they are the eighties kids?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon May 7th, 2007 at 01:23:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I saw that too and wondered if its an error. It would be rare to see a configuration like that.
by desmoulins (gsb6@lycos.com) on Mon May 7th, 2007 at 03:42:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I saw that too and wondered if its an error. It would be rare to see a configuration like that.

Interesting.  I just realized I forgot to include the source, which was the New York Times' Meg Bortin's "With Sarkozy, Bush May Find a Close Friend in France".  But oddly, when you go to that liink, you now get "With Sarkozy, Bush May Find a Close Friend in France" by Elaine Sciolino, which does not include those figures.

However, Meg Bortin's article is still on the International Herald Tribune version of the article, including the passage I excerpted.

At any rate, the same figures are cited again in another article:

Sarkozy Win Comes From Unlikely Corners

According to the Ipsos poll, Sarkozy cruised in his traditional electoral base: 82 percent of small business owners, and 67 percent of farmers voted for him. Befitting a conservative, he won 61 percent of votes by those over age 61, and 68 percent among voters 70 or older.

Royal's best showing was among 18- to 24-year-olds, but Sarkozy tallied 57 percent among the 25- to 34-year-old tranche. <...>

Nicolas Sarkozy won the women's vote and fared well among blue-collar workers, even though his rival for the French presidency was a woman and a Socialist.

<...>

Official figures showed Sarkozy won France's one-time industrial heartland in the north, which French media said had not voted for a rightist presidential candidate since Charles de Gaulle in 1965.

Sarkozy even tallied nearly 44 percent of the vote in the Seine-Saint-Denis region north of Paris, where a wave of rioting erupted in late 2005 while he was interior minister and infuriated many there by calling troublemakers ''scum.''

<...>

''The main attraction among workers were the security-immigration duo, which works, and the values of hard work: He put the emphasis on increasing purchasing power,'' said Frederic Dabi, a pollster with Ifop.

On one U.S. radio program (Diane Rehm Show), Philip Gordon (Brookings Institution scholar and English translator of Sarkozy's book Testimony) also stated that the only age group that Royal won more votes in was the 18 to 24 year olds.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Mon May 7th, 2007 at 09:56:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Le Point: Nicolas Sarkozy triomphe auprès des seniors, selon Ipsos

Ségolène Royal a réalisé son meilleur score auprès des 18-24 ans avec 58% des suffrages.

Chez les 35-44 ans, les deux finalistes recueillent chacun 50% des voix, Nicolas Sarkozy obtient 57% des suffrages des 25-34 ans et Ségolène Royal 55% des suffrages de 45-59 ans.

Selon Ipsos, 54% des hommes ont voté pour Nicolas Sarkozy et 52% des femmes.

Selon les résultats définitifs du second tour, le candidat de l'UMP a obtenu 53,06% des voix, soit près de 19 millions de votes.

Nicolas Sarkozy a réalisé ses meilleurs scores en milieu rural (57%) et dans les villes de 20.000 à 100.000 habitants (56%), tandis que Ségolène Royal obtient ses meilleurs résultats dans les villes de plus de 100.000 habitants (50%) et l'agglomération parisienne (50%).

Les artisans et commerçants ont voté à 82% pour Nicolas Sarkozy, les agriculteurs à 67%, les professions libérales et les cadres supérieurs à 52%.

Ségolène Royal arrive en tête chez les professions intermédiaires (51%), les employés (51%) et les ouvriers (54%).



Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.
by marco on Mon May 7th, 2007 at 10:01:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fredouil has been harping that the only age group that prefers Royal is 18-24 and they are always wrong.

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 7th, 2007 at 03:53:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It would be nice to have a poll with the useful demographics of the vote (% of voters per age group) so that we can confirm the vote of the 25-34 y.o. Do you know of one?

Also the IPSOS poll shows that women voted in greater proportion for SR than males in all age groups,  especially for the under 60 y.o. It seems to question comments about the relative conservatism of french women: IPSOS poll, see page 3

by Fete des fous on Mon May 7th, 2007 at 09:41:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe not so surprising. 25-34 is the age when you first work and have to pay taxes (and in France you pay lots more when you're childless and/or single), you need very little healthcare or other forms of distribution,

Maybe they  feel they can take care of themselves well enough and don't want to be dragged down by others, and were attracted by Sarkozy's superficial discourse.

Also, you don't worry yet about schools, pensions are far away - you just want to get ahead in life.

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue May 8th, 2007 at 06:04:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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