L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

23 April 2007 Blog Home : April 2007 : Permalink

Apathy Vote Loses

As I explained in The Sarko Referendum Approaches last week, I was hoping for a Sarko-Sego match up for round two because this should almost certainöly ensure that we see President Sarko. Round one was interesting for a couple of reasons.

Firstly a lot of people voted. The BBC reports 84.6% turnout which is far better than most recent French elections and many in other traditional democracies too. To put this into perspective this means is that even François Bayrou, the third place candidate, beat the apathy vote, as did the combined left/right loony fringe vote.

Secondly this time the main candidates of the left and right did better on polling day than they had been doing in recent opinion polls. Sarko especially did well stealing votes (apparently) from Le Pen. Given that Le Pen and others had predicted the reverse effect (Le Pen gaining from Sarko) this is probably a sign that on the right at least, pragmatism ruled. Both Bayrou's weak showing - certainly Sarko seems not to have seen many defectors to Bayrou - and Royal's strength indicates that the centre-left felt the same way.

Thirdly the figures show  just oevr 40% right (Sarko + Le Pen), just under 40% left (Royal + the various loony lefties) and 20% centrist (Bayrou and De Villiers). In other words the country is fairly evenly divided.

Fourthly Le Pen did badly making this photo of Le Pen in the bin that I took on Easter look eerily prescient:

So that is all good news. We had a humdinger of an election with real candidates promising real things and not business as usual and the public responded by voting.

Now we see how the run off goes. And this is indeed the Sarko referendum. We know that 31.2% of the electorate likes Sarko and that 10.4% likes Le Pen so those voters should be secure for Sarko in round 2. Unfortunately that is no more than 41.6% so Sarko needs about half the De Villiers and Bayrou voters too. This is entirely doable - he may end up with the majority of Bayrou voters since many of them seem to be uncomfortable with Royal - but, on theother hand, this same collection of people are the ones that Royal needs to woo too.

I despise l'Escroc and Vile Pin