Thursday, March 29, 2007

Bayoru's margin of victory declines

UDF candidate Francois Bayrou has officially been stopped in his tracks, and is now back below 20% in many first round polls. Of course with weeks to go, and the experience of 2002, that may mean little at this point in time.

However, one other important number has been rapidly declining, which may affect Bayrou even more than his receding 1st round poll numbers. Much of Bayrou's attraction has come from the fact that all polls showed that he would beat Nicolas Sarkozy by a wide margin in a runoff, much more than Segolene Royal could ever hope to achieve. Yet a 10 point lead (55% - 45%) on just last Tuesday has narrowed to a mere 3% difference (51.5% - 48.5%) today.

This is good news to both major candidates. Firstly, if it does not appear that Bayrou has a much better chance of beating Sarkozy than Royal, some of the purely anti-Sarkozy will go back to Royal, and the political need for his candidacy will disappear. Sarkozy can also rest soundly, knowing that if by chance Bayrou squeaked by into the runoff, it will by no means be the rout that many expected.

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