French Presidential Election: Preliminary Result Monday Morning

Marine Le Pen - "Convention présidentiell...
Marine Le Pen - "Convention présidentielle du Front national", 25 février 2007, Lille / France (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is still no final result but here is where the candidates stand this morning according to Election Resources:

  • François Hollande (PS) 28.6% (10,159,385)
  • Nicolas Sarkozy (UMP)  27.1% (9,600,543)
  • Marine Le Pen (FN)  18.0% (6,397,778)
  • Jean-Luc Mélenchon (Left Front)  11.1% (3,951,795)
  • François Bayrou (MoDem)   9.1% (3,229,482)
  • Eva Joly (Green)  2.3% (806,504)
  • Nicolas Dupont-Aignan (Arise the Republic)  1.8% (638,938)
  • Philippe Poutou (New Anti-Capitalist)  1.2% (408,335)
  • Nathalie Arthaud (Workers Struggle)  0.6% (201,425)
  • Jacques Cheminade (Solidarity & Progress) 0.2% (88,115)

It looks like that Sarkozy is closer to Hollande then first suggested by the exit polls. But still, with Hollande on over 10 million votes, it means that Sarkozy will have to work very hard to win over some of the 6 million that voted for Le Pen.

There is no doubt that Marine Le Pen did something historic yesterday, getting both the largest vote for La Front National and ensuring that they will be a loud voice of opposition if Francois Hollande does win the 2nd round on May 6th. She has ensured the the FN will be a force to reckon with in upcoming elections as the smaller parties, especially the Europe Écologie–The Greens who did so well in the 2009 European Parliament elections, failed to garner a significant number of votes for Eva Joly.

It will be a disappointing night also for Jean Luc Mélenchon who hoped to poll better then Le Pen on the night, but his endorsement of Hollande (along with Joly) there is over 3 million extra votes for Hollande.

Francois Bayrou who managed to come third in 2007 is in a disappointing 5th. The long time liberal presidential candidate who’s votes were so important in the last runoff will again be very important this year as both Sarkozy and Hollande attempt to woo them at the centre, while also wooing those at the extremes. It will be a hard balancing act.

French Election Results: Exit Poll

Day 17
Day 17 (Photo credit: Herve Kabla)

The first exit poll results of the French Presidential Election were released at 7pm (8pm CET) this evening and are as follows (there was a ban on reporting exit polls before the close of polls):

  • François Hollande 28.4% (PS)
  • Nicolas Sarkozy 25.5% (UMP)
  • Marine le Pen 20% (FN)
  • Jean-Luc Mélenchon 11.7% (Left Front)
  • François Bayrou 8.5% (MoDem)
  • Eva Joly 2% (Green)
  • Nicolas Dupont-Aignan 1.8% (Arise the Republic)
  • Philippe Poutou 1.2% (New Anti-Capitalist)
  • Nathalie Arthaud 0.8% (Workers Struggle)
  • Jacques Cheminade 0.2% (Solidarity and Progress)

The second round of the voting will be between Socialist Francois Hollande and UMP’s Nicolas Sarkozy on May 6th.

Over the next two weeks they will be fighting for the votes of those who don’t progress.

The big surprise is of course Marine Le Pen’s vote being about 20%. If Sarkozy can capture most of that he could snatch victory on May 6th.

There is some good news for Hollande with both Eva Joly of the Greens and Jean-Luc Mélenchon of the Left Front have both called on their supporters to back Hollande in the second round.

More as the results come in.

French Presidential Election, 2012

Nicolas Sarkozy, a watermark was present that ...
Nicolas Sarkozy, a watermark was present that said « Photo : Jean-Louis Aubert ». (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With so much focus on the US Republican Race we seem to not notice the election over on the mainland that will have more effect on us then the result of that election. I am of course talking about the French Presidential Election. The first round of voting is on April 22nd. The current President, Nicolas Sarkozy, faces 9 opponents in his hope of re-election.

Those running for the Presidency are:

  • Nicolas Sarkozy (Union for a Popular Movement UMP)
  • Francois Hollande (Partie Socialiste PS)
  • Jean-Luc Mélenchon (Left Front)
  • Marine Le Pen (Front National )
  • François Bayrou (Democrat Movement MoDem)
  • Eva Joly (The Greens)
  • Philippe Poutou (New Anticapitalist Party)
  • Nathalie Arthaud (Workers’ Struggle)
  • Jacques Cheminade (Solidarité et progrès)
  • Nicolas Dupont-Aignan (Arise the Republic DLR)

Much of the focus is on the main front runners, President Sarkozy and Francois Hollande. They are the two expected to make it through to the second round on the 6th of May.

The campaign is providing some interesting ideas, with a wealth tax, withdrawal from the Schegen zone and renegotiation of the Fiscal Compact all being brought up despite the financial difficulties that France is in.

France who was recently downgraded from its AAA has a big problem with its public finances. While it is not as in dire straits as Italy or Spain, it is something that it does need to keep an eye on. With its public debt standing at 90% of GDP and public spending reaching 56% GDP, France is trying to have it all without income to support it.

This of course is going to be the big issue facing the next French President. How France can continue to have a Swedish style social welfare system while not bringing in enough taxes due to manufacturing moving abroad due to uncompetitive pricing and while its population continues to show distrust for the free-market.

The next President is going to have to break a lot of promises if they want to avoid France being the cause of the next Euro crisis.

9 EU states want a Financial Transaction Tax

European Union
European Union (Photo credit: ana branca)

Nine Eurozone members want the Danish Presidency of the EU to speed up its work on a directive on a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT). While there is much opposition within the Eurozone and wider EU to such a tax, the nine countries intend to use the community method to allow them to use the EU institutions to set up and administer the tax and allow other countries to join while not holding them back.

The nine countries are:

  • France
  • Germany
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Spain
  • Italy
  • Finland
  • Greece
  • Portugal

The inclusion of Greece and Portugal is interesting as they are in receipt of an IMF/ECB/EU Bailout while Italy and Spain haver been teetering on the edge for some time.

There is opposition to an EU wide tax mainly from the UK and Sweden with Poland and Ireland also voicing unease about the plans, so do not expect these countries to join up any time soon.

The letter comes at a time during the French Presidential Election where Nicolas Sarkozy has placed a lot of faith in such a tax to win votes at home and is of course implementing the tax in France with or without the other eight countries.

Taxation remains an unanimous decision at the Council of Ministers under the Treaty of Lisbon, so even if one country opposes there will not be an EU wide tax on financial transactions.

Bruton For European Council President?

John Bruton For President?
John Bruton For President?

Young Fine Gael is trying to launch a grassroots campaign for John Bruton to be made President of the European Council. I received the following missive from HQ.

Dear Member,

As you may know former Taoiseach and Leader of Fine Gael John Bruton is seeking election as President of the European Council.

Let’s get behind him by using the internet to spread his campaign around Europe.

Please sign and forward the petition link to all your contacts throughout the 27 member states of the EU

Please become a supporter on facebook:

For you hardcore supporters our there… Please use this pic as your profile pic on bebo and facebook

Now while a Facebook Page and Petition might get you some attention in the national media, I do not think it is going to make waves across Europe.

The thinking behind this is a little strange. Campaigns like this rarely work in Ireland, let alone across 27 countries. Would YFG not be better off asking its members to write to the Taoiseach and other EU leaders extolling the virtues of John Bruton? Would they not be better off sending us reason why we should back him? There are a few that I can think of, but why not inform the rest of us. That way we can try and convince our friends rather just blindly following due to fact he used to lead our party.

Why not tell us about all the things he has done since he stopped being a Fine Gael TD? Such as being the EU Ambassodor to the US?

This will also go nowhere due to the fact it is in one language. Why not translate the petition into German and French and maybe other EU languages and maybe also give information about Bruton in those languages so we can convince others.

I don’t think this will make much of a difference to his chances. I don’t think Angela Merkel or Nicolas Sarkozy are going to be looking on facebook for ideas of who to suggest for the poistion of President of the European Council.