Sunday, October 9, 2011

Meanwhile in France ...

... the turn-out among Socialists in the first round of voting for their presidential candidate was bigger than expected.
Turnout in the first round of voting for the French Socialist presidential contender to take on Nicolas Sarkozy in 2012 was bigger than expected , when the first open vote in modern French history allowed anyone on the electoral register to have a say. More than 1 million people voted and the party was hoping for 2 million. The Socialists' interim leader, Harlem Désir, deemed it a "huge success". The Socialist leadership hoped the primary race would help shake off their image as elitist, in-fighting and out of touch.
The Socialists elitist, in-fighting and out of touch? Oh surely not.

The favourite seems to be François Hollande, closely challenged by Martine Aubry, the architect, as the Guardian reminds us, of the 35-hour week.
Ségolène Royal, who was defeated by Sarkozy in the last election, is running again, challenged by two outsiders: the young MP Arnaud Montebourg, who has been fighting a hard-left anti-globalisation ticket, and Manuel Valls, an MP and mayor in the Paris suburbs, considered to be on the right of the party. Jean-Michel Baylet, a senator and head of the small, moderate centre-left Radical Party of the Left is also standing.
Second round is next week-end.

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