Saturday, December 9, 2006

Center gaining ground?

An article in the latest issue of The Economist concludes that with a much larger number of presidential candidates than ever before, the center candidates may have more bargaining power with the UMP and Socialists. The article assumes that the far-left and far-right will fracture equally, leaving neither Nicolas Sarkozy nor Segolene Royal at a disadvantage. Yet coming into the runoff, the few candidates who are firmly at the center of the political spectrum, like François Bayrou, will have much greater leverage in deciding to which candidate to pledge their support. Segolene Royal has already made several moves toward the center, and will likely to continue to do so long as she doesn't end up antagonizing her own party. The only question now is when will Mr. Sarkozy begin to show his soft side.

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