Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Hope is (not) on the way

If Jean-Marie Le Pen and José Bové thought they could ride a wave of frustration in France with the current monoliths of the Socialist Party and UMP, they might be wrong. A new poll taken at the end of January says that 55% of French voters don't even want Le Pen to gather the required 500 signatures of elected officials to be on the presidential ballot. Likewise, 50% don't want Bové to succeed either. Conversely, two fringe left wing candidates, Dominique Voynet and Olivier Besancenot, each received a majority in support.

So what do the French think of this system of sponsorships? They are split 46% to 46%, with some believing it prevents an excess number of candidates and others believing it undermines democracy.

This news should give hope to Sarkozy and Royal, who obviously find these extra candidates an unnecessary nuisance to their showdown in May. On the other hand, it may give the UDF's Francois Bayrou more authority as the only real alternative to Sarkozy and Royal.

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