France votes:Hollande 28.5 %; Sarkozy 27.1%;Le Pen 18.2%;Mélenchon 11.1%;Bayrou 9.1%;Joly 2.3%

France the bastion of democracy has voted in the first round of the Presidential elections. As the polls suggested François Hollande of the Parti socialiste has finished just ahead of the President Nicholas Sarkozy of the UMP. In third place with what is a shocking result is Marine Le Pen, the leader of the Front National, the right wing anti-immigrant party who managed to get almost one in five of all the votes cast. In fourth place with a smaller vote than what polls had suggested  at 11.1  % was Jean -Luc Mélenchon whose vote while substantial was somewhat below what he and his coalition had hoped for. The centrist François Bayrou came fifth with 9.1%, enough votes to be a factor in influencing the final second round outcome. The ecologist Eva Joly scored 2.3% of the vote. Both she and Mèlenchon have made it clear that would like their supporters to vote for Hollande in the second round and expressed their strong opposition to the showing of the far right.

The success of the far right under Marine Le Pen is the result of the neglect of high unemployment in France, particularly among youth and the radicalizing impact this has had on French politics. Austerity is a socially dangerous policy if it is practiced in the midst of an economic depression. This must be the lesson drawn from this election. The European leadership should take this to heart as a warning not to be complacent about unemployment and not to embrace austerity as a policy to solve an economic crisis no matter what the bond market actors may say or demand.

We shall see what the second round delivers as Sarkozy and Hollande go head to head. Hollande for the moment is ahead and seems more likely to win but it may well be closer than some believe. Sarkozy has the dilemma of requiring the votes of  those who voted for the National front in the first round. Not a pleasing prospect to say the least.

For him to win assuming that Hollande captures all of the Joly and Melenchon votes and those of the small left parties plus half of Bayrou’s vote Sarkozy will have to win all of those votes cast for the Gaullist Dupont-Aignan and at least 6 million of the votes cast for Le Pen. Assuming that the remaining 400,000 of those votes were cast for Hollande Sarkozy would end up with 17.8 million votes and Hollande with 17.6 million. This assumes the same number of voters and that none of the Hollande or Sarkozy voters switch in the second round. But its rather doubtful that Sarkozy can win so many Bayrou votes if he moves closer to the Le Pen positions in order to capture the necessary votes from that camp. Furthermore some polls suggest that close to one third of the Le Pen vote will either abstain or vote for Hollande. So it would seem that Hollande has an easier task than Sarkozy in capturing the Presidency in the second round.

Latest Results from the Ministry of the Interior

François  Hollande    10,180,284

Nicholas Sarkozy          9,628,693

Marine Le Pen               6,401,945

Jean-Luc Mélenchon     3,957,677

François Bayrou             3,237,686

Eva Joly                             810,795

Nicholas Dupont-Aignan 639,846

Phillipe Poutou                  408,807

Nathalie Artoud                  201,593

Jacques Cheminade              88,370

Total votes cast and counted   35,555,696 out of 45,225,158 eligible voters.

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About haroldchorneyeconomist

I am Professor of political economy at Concordia university in Montréal, Québec, Canada. I received my B.A.Hons (econ.&poli sci) from the University of Manitoba. I also completed my M.A. degree in economics there. Went on to spend two years at the London School of Economics as a Ph.D. student in economics and then completed my Ph.D. in political economy at the University of Toronto. Was named a John W.Dafoe fellow, a CMHC fellow and a Canada Council fellow. I also was named a Woodrow Wilson fellow in 1968 after completing my first class honours undergraduate degree. Worked as an economist in the area of education, labour economics and as the senior economist with the Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation for the Government of Manitoba from 1972 to 1978. I also have worked as an economic consultant for MDT socio-economic consultants and have been consulted on urban planning, health policy, linguistic duality and public sector finance questions by the governments of Manitoba, Saskatchewan,the cities of Regina and Saskatoon, Ontario and the Federal government of Canada. I have also been consulted by senior leaders of the British Labour party, MPs from the Progressive Conservative party, the Liberal party and the New Democrats on economic policy questions. Members of the Government of France under the Presidency of Francois Mitterand discussed my work on public sector deficits. I have also run for elected office at the municipal level. I first began to write about quantitative easing as a useful policy option during the early 1980s.
This entry was posted in austerity, European unemployment, France politics+economy, Uncategorized, unemployment. Bookmark the permalink.

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