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French Presidential Election

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Post on TSR and win a prize! Find out more... 10-04-2014
  • View Poll Results: Who is your preferred candidate for the French Presidential Election
    Nathalie Arthaud
    0
    0%
    François Bayrou
    7.14%
    Jacques Cheminade
    0
    0%
    Nicolas Dupont-Aignan
    0
    0%
    François Hollande
    32.14%
    Eva Joly
    5.36%
    Marine Le Pen
    16.07%
    Jean-Luc Mélenchon
    16.07%
    Philippe Poutou
    0
    0%
    Nicolas Sarkozy
    23.21%

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    With just over a week to go until the first round of voting for the French Presidential Election, I am eager to find out the opinions of the forum members of their preferred candidate and who they believe will be the winner on May 6 (or, indeed, 22 May).

    There is a real chance in this election of the incumbent President, Nicolas Sarkozy, being ousted by the leader of the Parti Socialiste, François Hollande, with the opinion polls indicating that the latter has a small lead in the first round of voting. In the second round, Hollande's lead appears to increase even more over Sarkozy; however, as the results of the opinion polls have been fluctuating heavily in recent weeks, it is still incredibly difficult to predict who will win.

    BVA carried out a survey yesterday and it suggests that Sarkozy is once again trailing to Hollande in the first round; on top of that, the disparity between the two has been extended to 12%. Although it has never happened, and appears extremely unlikely to occur this year, a candidate would in theory automatically become President if he or she were to garner more than 50% of the votes.

    Nathalie Arthaud (Lutte Ouvrière) - 0.5%

    François Bayrou (Mouvement Démocrate) - 11%

    Jacques Cheminade (Solidarité et Progrès) - 0.5%

    Nicolas Dupont-Aignan (Debout la République) - 0.5% [-0.5%]

    François Hollande (Parti Socialiste) - 30% [+3%]

    Eva Joly (Europe Écologie–Les Verts) - 2% [+0.5%]

    Marine Le Pen (Front National) - 15%

    Jean-Luc Mélenchon (Front de Gauche) - 13% [-4%]

    Philippe Poutou (Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste) - 0.5%

    Nicolas Sarkozy (Union pour un Mouvement Populaire) - 27% [+1%]

    In the second round, BVA reports the opinion of voters as follows:

    François Hollande - 56% [-1%]

    Nicolas Sarkozy - 44% [+1]


    But what would these candidates actually do once in office? The French electoral system attracts candidates from all across the political spectrum, which is reflected through the variegated policies briefly outlined below. Briefly is the key word, as going through the manifestos of all ten candidates is very time-consuming even for someone who follows French politics regularly.

    Nathalie Arthaud
    • Proposes the ban of redundancies in order to bring an end to unemployment.
    • An increase in salaries for the employed, and increases in benefits for the unemployed and retired.
    • The salary for elected politicians will be the equivalent to the average of manual workers.
    • The immediate withdrawal of all French troops from Africa and Afghanistan


    François Bayrou
    • The creation of a "Made in France" industry to support the growth of French companies.
    • An increase of VAT, which he believes will bring in 20 billion euros per year.
    • The introduction of a Ministry of Equality in order to fight discrimination in French society.
    • Fine companies who pay men more money than their female colleagues.


    Jacques Cheminade
    • The creation of a national bank and the nationalisation of the financial organisations who do not co-operate.
    • An increase of 40% of university budgets for research.
    • The exit of France from NATO.
    • A ban on buying and selling goods through virtual means, and a subsequent shift towards cash buying.


    Nicolas Dupont-Aignan
    • Hopes to monetise the national debt, whereby it would be converted into money.
    • An introduction of a 'citizen tax' on French nationals living abroad.
    • Voting in French elections would become mandatory.
    • The creation of a new European currency which would replace the Euro.
    • A 50% reduction of all immigrants arriving in France within five years.


    François Hollande
    • Make those earning 1m euros or above to pay 75% in income tax.
    • Reduce France's share of nuclear power in electricity generation from 75 to 50% in favor of renewable energy sources.
    • Return to a deficit of 0% of GDP in 2017.
    • Become the first nation in Western Europe to acknowledge the state of Palestine.


    Eva Joly
    • The creation of 600,000 jobs in five years through the shift towards a 'green economy'.
    • A tax on financial transactions within the European Union.
    • The introduction of the legalisation of euthanasia.
    • Foreigners living in France for at least five years will be given the ability to vote in elections.


    Marine Le Pen
    • Return to the seven-year terms for the Presidency.
    • The phasing-out of nuclear energy in France.
    • Treaties with Russia and Switzerland as part of a "Pan-European Union" as part of the FN's policies that would remove France from the current format of the European Union.
    • A 95% reduction of the number of immigrants arriving in France within 5 years.


    Jean-Luc Mélenchon
    • The re-establishment of the 35-hour week.
    • Education in schools to become mandatory for all children aged between 3 and 18 years old.
    • A referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, with hopes of the creation of a new treaty.
    • All immigrants in France without the necessary documents would be welcomed as part of the VIème République.


    Philippe Poutou
    • All workers made redundant by their employers will be given a salary until they find a new new job.
    • A referendum for the overseas French territories on whether they wish to remain a part of France.
    • The disarmament of France's nuclear weapons and a drastic cut in the defence budget.
    • A ban will be placed on the use of GMO crops in France.


    Nicolas Sarkozy
    • The withdrawal from the Schengen Agreement within twelve months "if no progress is made".
    • No increase on income tax for residents in France.
    • But Sarkozy proposes to raise up to 3bn euros by tightening profit tax loopholes for big companies.
    • Presidential candidates will no longer need to fifty signatures in order to challenge the incumbent.
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    9 Days until first round voting... I cannot wait to see what happens
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    Anyone but Hollande and Le Penn.
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    Hollande. Not only backing him because I'm a lefty, but also because I find a lot of his policy quite meaty. Recognising Palestine will be an important step, potentially putting France at odds with the US and distancing it from Sarkozy's Atlanticist discourse. It's interesting to see if France can take its own foreign policy line once again. I don't think Hollande will be nearly as intrusive to parliament as Sarkozy has been either. Sure, he'll pick a PM he gets on with, but he'll let his cabinet get on with the legislation making. Not sure what the time scale for his nuclear power proportion reduction is though.

    I find Sarkozy's rightist policy quite frankly scary, he seems to be attracting the FN votes. How the hell is a withdrawal from Schengen in a 12 month scale implementable? Tightening tax loopholes, yeah yeah yeah, had to get a bit of populism in there as well. Not that I think he won't do it, but given the breaks he has given top corporations, it can't be the most pressing area on his agenda.

    Think JLM is a great politician and very shrewd, but I can't see him getting too many votes outside his core.
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    Mélenchon, most definitely. Contrary to what liberals like to think, his programme is well structured and rational. Plus, it includes the active participation of every French who wants to get involved in the writing of the VIth constitution. As a rousseauist, I can only approve of such propositions.

    Sarkozy and Hollande are jokes. They have successively been part of those who put us up to the terrible situation we're having : if they get elected, I'll be really gutted.
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    This Nicolas Dupont fellow thinks he can bring in the creation of a whole new European currency.....? Ok. Good luck to him!
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    ...I realised I didn't actually give a proper opinion :/

    Sarkozy is really trying his hardest to gain back that popularity he had with his proposals, but I think it is a case of too little too late...from what my friends who are capable of voting are saying (they are of course but minor cogs in the machine!) their motto is 'Anyone but Sarkozy!'

    I do think (having not read the manifestos in depth) that Mélenchon does have some good ideas but in my opinion Hollande will pull it out of the bag.
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    I'm interested to see what happens (and the legislatives), I'm able to vote but I'm still reading up on their manifestos
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    I Like the idea of Le Pen's abolishing nuclear energy and the switzerland thing sounds cool
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    Oh aye that's right france have that second balot system don't they. Meh i'd just vote once and hope for the best.
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    (Original post by Stéphane)

    Sarkozy and Hollande are jokes. They have successively been part of those who put us up to the terrible situation we're having : if they get elected, I'll be really guttered.
    It's a bit unfair to criticise Hollande for mistakes that have been committed in the past, because he has had barely any experience of being in the higher echelons of government. I would say that by not featuring in previous administrations, consequently freeing him from blame that may be thrown around, may actually help him in this process.
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    (Original post by Vérité)
    It's a bit unfair to criticise Hollande for mistakes that have been committed in the past, because he has had barely any experience of being in the higher echelons of government. I would say that by not featuring in previous administrations, consequently freeing him from blame that may be thrown around, may actually help him in this process.
    For me never having been in government only enhances his credibility. The media and populace have always been very quick (rightly or wrongly) to point the finger at the cabinet should something go wrong. Someone's in the firing line at least once in their career.
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    Reading that list of policies made me glad I don't live in France. They all have at least one policy that would them completely unelectable here. I don't see any that want to cut spending and cut taxes.
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    (Original post by Made in the USA)
    Reading that list of policies made me glad I don't live in France. They all have at least one policy that would them completely unelectable here. I don't see any that want to cut spending and cut taxes.
    That's France for you. French populism is at odds with that of the United States: big governments are by and large trusted.
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    (Original post by rockrunride)
    That's France for you. French populism is at odds with that of the United States: big governments are by and large trusted.
    This is true but there is too much government if you ask me although I have lived in the UK for a while and here it is feared going to government but in France :lol:
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    I'm surprised to see Melenchon back in fourth place behind Le Pen in the OP, he was in third last week or earlier this week I think? He's so charismatic compared to the others, I can see how he's gained such support, despite some of his policies being far more hardline than Hollande's (e.g. Melenchon's plan for 100% income tax on earnings over 360,000 euros). Either way, he won't come out in the top two in the first round, and I assume most of his supporters will support Hollande then

    The French elections are so much more ineresting than the primaries in the US! I mean, I find most elections interesting and enjoy US coverage, but the French one has so many more varied and interesting people and policies than the primaries could possibly have!
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    I've only just started looking at this election, but I am impressed at the wide variety of choices in terms of policy! Sure, some of the policies I find are absolutely mad, but at least there is an alternative, instead of the slightly different tones of vanilla offered by labour and the Tories in the uk
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    (Original post by rockrunride)
    .

    Think JLM is a great politician and very shrewd, but I can't see him getting too many votes outside his core.
    You never know, I heard there's this so called 'Melanchon-mania' in france. He might pull a Le Pen 2002 on us (although I know it was in different circumstances but one can hope )
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    As someone said above, they all have at least one pointless/irritating/unbelievable/unpleasant policy, so which to choose?

    Probably Sarkozy, he seems to have the least bad ideas
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    Wow, expected more support for Bayrou given he's the only liberal running.

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Updated: April 29, 2012
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