Saturday, April 28, 2007

Too little, too late?

Socialist candidate Segolene Royal has dominated the airwaves in recent days, sidelining Nicolas Sarkozy as she secured the first ever debate between a runoff candidate and a losing candidate, and now winning a plurality of Bayrou's voters (35% compared to 29% for Sarkozy). Not only that, she is attempting to seize the center within the course of several days, walking a political tightrope that risks the alienation many the traditional supporters.

But even if this is allowing her to slowly climb in the polls, it all may be too little too late. According to Ipsos, 85% of the French have made up their minds on for whom to vote and will not alter their decision. This is far higher than the 60% in the days leading up to the first round vote, and leaves little breathing room for Royal to stage a major comeback. Certainly it is enough to get even with Sarkozy before election day, but as of now, it is hard to imagine that this will not continue to be Sarkozy's election to lose. The reverse side of this logic is that it is Royal's election to win, but apparently she has only just realized this.

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