Friday, January 19, 2007

Hulot's support dampens

French ecological celebrity Nicolas Hulot will have to announce this coming Monday whether or not he will run for the French presidency, and if he is currently harboring doubts, he should. A new poll released today shows that 51% of the French do not want him to run, with only 45% in support of such a move. Not surprisingly, he found his highest support among women and people under 30 years of age, while men and people over age 50 were solidly against his candidacy.

Despite his continuing popularity as a public figure, it is clear that the French are satisfied with the candidates they have now. That could mean that the left simply doesn't want another candidate to split the vote with Segolene Royal, a cynical yet wise judgement after Lionel Jospin spectacular defeat by Jean-Marie Le Pen last election. I would have assumed that the right would be excited about the prospect of a Hulot candidacy in order to damage Royal, although because Hulot appears quite mainstream, his entrance into the race could bring about a host of surprises, and give Francois Bayrou and Le Pen a glimmer of hope.

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