Exit polls for the first round of the French elections will be released in a little more than an hour. Here are the simple mean of the fifteen polls conducted during the past week
(Centrist): 18.3%Le Pen
Other / Unsure: 14.9%
The top two advance to the second round, which will take place in a couple of weeks. It is the same system that we have for federal elections in Texas, and for all elections in Louisiana. It is a system that I wish we had in Philadelphia, where our next mayor will be decided by whoever wins 30% in the Democratic primary.
Back in 1995, during my junior year abroad in England, I followed the French elections quite closely. I was rotting for Jospin who, after surprisingly winning the first round, ended up narrowly losing to Chirac a couple of weeks later. I have no particular horse in this race, and have no been following it quite as closely this time around. Royal's campaigns against violence on television, combined with her foreign policy weirdness
, combine with the fact that I am not on the "far left" anymore to make the socialist party no longer a reflexive choice. At the same time, Bayrou seems to be a triangulating, anti-left wing politician of the sort I regularly attack within the Democratic Party. I mean, check out this quote from Bayrou in the New York Times
"I am a democrat, I am a Clintonian, I am a man of the 'third way.'"
So, let's just say that I am not exactly sold on either Bayrou or Royal. I would prefer if the second round were Bayrou vs. Royal, but polling does not make that outcome seem like a reasonable possibility. I'll probably just end up rooting for whichever one of those two makes it to the second round against Sarkozy. Of course, if Le Pen sneaks into the second round again, ala 2002, then obviously I will pull for Sarkozy.
Anyway, this is an open thread on the French elections. I'll post exit polls and results when they are available. Update
: Via commenter island empire, current, but incomplete, exit polls
from Ipsos show Sarkozy and Royal headed to a run-off:
Le Pen: 10.8%
No real surprise. It certainly looks like Royal vs. Sarkozy in the second round. Current polls on that matchup
show the race anywhere from a dead-heat to Sarkozy ahead by 7. Funny how Bayrou, who polled very well in the second round (comfortably ahead of everyone), doesn't have enough hard-core supporters to even make the second round. Ah, the shortcoming of neo-liberal politicians everywhere: comfortable, compromise choices that no one really likes. Also, the 86% turnout is stunning--higher than any other large democracy.Update 2
: Final exit polls
Le Pen: 11.5%
Eight others: 14.0%
So, unless something truly shocking happens, it will be Sarkozy vs. Royal in the second round. Sarkozy will start as the slight favorite.Final update
: More great info from commenter island empire. Based on all four major exit polls
, the French media seems to have all but declared it Sarkozy vs. Royal in the second round (see Le Monde
, Le Figaro
, and Liberation
). The big story seems to be the huge turnout.
As a side note, I am surprised at how easily I find it to read articles about polls and election results in French. I have never taken a single French class in my life, but I think there might be something bordering on a universal political horserace language. I mean, I actually understand these articles (or, at least, I think I understand them).