Friday, April 20, 2007

Le Pen beats Bayrou, SegoSarko near-equal

A final CSA poll taken today shows, if anything, that there are no foregone conclusions in Sunday's vote. In the poll, National Front candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen finished at 16.5%, his highest in the past several months, and .5% above UDF candidate Francois Bayrou, who up until this time has been considered the "third man" of the election. The CSA poll also showed Nicolas Sarkozy near equal with Segolene Royal, finishing 26.5% and 25.5% respectively.

What should we take form this? I'm afraid to say to much, considering it may be proved all wrong on Sunday night, but I think it is pretty safe to say that Bayrou will not present a very great threat to Royal. If common belief holds true, that Sarkozy is overestimated and Le Pen underestimated, there very well may be a three horse race, with both Sego, Sarko, and Le Pen finishing in the low 20%'s.

Another interesting question will be, if Bayoru falls flat, where do his votes go? This could ironically end up helping all three other major candidates, because he has amassed such a diverse coalition of supporters. But anything that helps Le Pen and Sarkozy can only threaten Royal, who for the sake of her party and the mental stability of France, cannot allow a repeat of 2002, when Le Pen beat out Socialist Lionel Jospin to enter the runoff.

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William Miller said...

Hi, just found your site. I am a French citizen following these elections from abroad (China) and therefore I am extremely interested in other people's opinion of what is going on in my country. Indeed, most of us tend to be ego-centered, and it is refreshing to have a third-party vision that allows you to take some distance from the day to day action...

Now, as you say in your commentary, the polls were proved wrong in 2002. So I would be cautious with the polls.

For example, according to what I read (I have no direct access to polling institutes), the actual raw results show Lepen at 6 to 8% and the polling institutes double that figure base on the assumption that Le Pen voters are not eager to confess their choice to a stranger over the phone. So what will be the reality?

Also, you seem to believe that Le Pen is a threat to Royal, which I think is inaccurate. Sarkozy is the man who has been fishing in Le Pen's pond, and if Le Pen reclaims voters, they are going to come from this side. On the other hand, in 2002, the socialist party was not beaten because of Le Pen but because of the marginal far-left parties and other leftist movements who gathered a lot of votes of protest. This is where Segolene's main threat is coming from. If Mr Bove or Mr Besancenot manage to claim 5%, Madame Royal could be in deep deep trouble.

Finally, people seem to forget that 2002 was also a record year for absentention.

2007 seem to be slightly different, with the young people being very focused. This could also influence Le Pen score.

Boz said...

You're right that Royal still needs to worry about the far-left candidates, but what I meant is that a strong showing from Le Pen could make both of their final numbers pretty equal, especially if she is slightly overestimated.

As for French polls, one of the problems is the lack of transparency. The polls give their sample size, but never give a margin of error or percent confidence in the interval. If, for instance, these polls use a 3% to 5% confidence interval instead of 2% to 3%, that could have enormous implications on election day.


Chris Late said...

Hey, Boz...what's your final call for tomorrow?



Boz said...

Haha, you're not going to trap me into that. If forced, I would go with the safe Royal Sarkozy, but I think we might be surprised how well Le Pen or Bayrou do.


winston jamz said...


For the past weeks I have followed your comments on your blog, and it does give another angle to the French Election.

I live in London, and travel to France regularly, and therefore I am interested in the outcome. Less than two weeks ago I was in Paris, but was rather surprised how quiet things were. I expected a lot of flag waving in the streets, but none of that was happening. In fact because it was a very hot day, most of the locals seem to be enjoying the weather.

If I were a French citizen, I would be voting for Royal. I realise she is not the most experienced, but she will learn as she goes along. Sarkosy is too much of a divisive person, and I think he will rob Peter to pay Paul. Bayrou has not convinced me he is the best man for the job. And I would never vote for someone like Le Pen.

We will see what happens. WJ

Boz said...

That's interesting about the lack of public political activity in France...I don't think anyone would ever accuse of the French of being timid in taking political causes to the streets ; ) In the US the biggest clue that an election is about to happen is the little campaign signs posted in seemingly every front yard.

I certainly understand your reasoning for believing Royal would be the best choice; as an American who agrees with much of what Sarkozy says, his comments regarding national identity, immigration, etc. all leave me wondering whether a less divisive president such as Royal would be better suited to making tough reforms than a candidate defined by his divisiveness. No wonder Sarkozy's savvy campaign team picked the word "Ensemble" to lead their campaign slogan!


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