Friday, March 30, 2007

Riots may help Sarkozy

Since the riot several days ago at the Gare du Nord train station in Paris, UMP candidate Nicolas Sarkozy has taken much of the heat for his alleged failures as Interior Minister, a post he resigned just before the riot.

Yet a new poll from Le Figaro suggests that he might actually gain political support because of them. According to the survey, taken March 28-29, 39% of the French believe that there will be less violence than the type that just occured if Sarkozy is elected president. He is followed by Jean-Marie Le Pen with 38%, Francois Bayrou with 19%, and Segolene Royal will 17%.

Ironically again, the issue of national identity, which generated immediate and widespread criticism after introduced by Sarkozy, may also work in his favor. 30% of the French believe Sarkozy is most credible on the matter, far ahead of 19% Le Pen, 15% Royal, and 8% Bayrou.

Nevertheless, Segolene Royal is also appearing strong in another issue centered poll by BVA. On the topic of unemployment, 44% think Royal would do the best job of reducing it, followed by 42% Sarkozy. The French also believe Royal will follow a just social policy, 57% against Sarkozy's 33%.

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