Despite all the warnings of imminent havoc from Ségolène Royal, his run-off opponent, and the left, the French have given a solid mandate to Sarko the Hungarian immigrant's son to apply the radical medicine that he has been prescribing for the country's ills.
According to early estimates, Sarko has won 54 percent of the vote and Royal 46 percent with a very high turnout of about 85 percent. When word of the exit polls arrived, cheering erupted among Sarkozy's supporters, gathered in a concert hall where he is to make a victory speech
Police are out in force around Paris and the big cities in case of rioting by poor immigrant youths upset at the victory of the man they hold responsible for their ills. Bus-loads of riot police are assembled near the Place de la Concorde, at the foot of the Champs Elysées where a stage is being erected for Sarkozy's victory celebration. Johnny Hallyday, the national rock idol for over four decades has come from his Swiss tax exile to appear alongside Sarko and their mates.54:46 is not the overwhelming mandate we might have wanted but it is certainly clear enough that no one is going to seriously contest the result as being stolen or whatever. And with an 85% turnout we don't even have to worry about people claiming that the apathy vote won.