Saturday, December 2, 2006

François Bayrou enters race


François Bayrou, the leader of the Union for French Democracy party (UDF), has said that he will officially enter the French presidential race. While his party is the third largest in the national assembly, it is still dwarfed by the UMP and Socialist parties. Many of the UDF party members actually defected to the UMP when it was founded in 2002. Bayrou is attempting to paint himself as an alternative candidate to the two main political parties, although this approach has very little chance of success. In the 2002 presidential election Bayrou received only 6.8% of votes in the first round, and polls from late November give him just 6%.

This all adds up to a rather depressing outlook for Bayrou. Try as he may, French politics has evolved into close to a two party system for the presidential race, with a wild-card Le Pen in for good measure. And because the French election system knocks off all candidates except the top two in the second round, he doesn't even have the chance to spoil the vote for Sarkozy.

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