Thursday, March 15, 2007

38 candidates, but not 38 choices

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As of now there are 38 candidates who have declared their intention to run for the French presidency. This will ultimately narrow by Friday, when all are required to hand in 500 sponsorships to the Constitutional Council, but it is still a rather large number of hopefuls. In 2002 16 candidates entered the first round, which I believe was a record at the time.

Unlike last time, most of the polls show that the votes are heavily concentrated between only 4 candidates, Sarkozy, Royal, Bayrou, and Le Pen. Other candidates are finishing at 2% and below. In the first round of 2002, 5 candidates below the top 4 scored over 4%, and 4 others won 2%-4%.

There is also an incredibel age gap among the declared candidates, with the 25 year old Franck Abed of "National Reconciliation" and the 78 year old Jean-Marie Le Pen of the National Front.

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