Nicolas Sarkozy promised to give France a good shake - but was Europe shaken by the result of the French elections? Listen to this - had Germans, Italians, Spaniards and Britons had their way - France would now have its first female president. Radio France International's Nick Champeaux sounded out the opinions of European commentators and correspondents in pre-election Paris
In France, the presidential race is still open, and no matter who wins the 6th of May showdown, the 2007 election is likely to change the face of French politics for decades. François Bayrou, the man who came third in the first round last sunday, announced at a press conference this week that he wouldn't tell his seven million supporters how to cast their ballots. The final round pitches conservative Nicolas Sarkozy and socialist candidate Segolene Royal. Fifty five year old Bayrou hinted he finds Royal less distateful than Sarkozy. This matters, because Bayrou's voters will be the king makers of the election. The centrist politician also announced he was creating a new party. Radio France International's Sarah Elzas went o Bayrou's press conference in Paris, and she filed this report.
In France voters will hit the polls this Sunday and the large majority of the electorate is still undecided on who to support. However France's neighbours have been closely following the French election campaign and it seems that Ségolène Royal is their preferred president. Twice as many would prefer the French socialist presidential candidate, compared to her conservative rival Nicolas Sarkozy. That’s the results of a Harris Interactive survey for the Financial Times newspaper canvasing opinions in Germany, Italy, Spain and Britain. Admittedly that’s only four out of twenty seven European member states, and it’s just an opinion poll. Radio France Internationale's Nick Champeaux sounded out the opinions of European correspondents in the French capital.
And we should soon know the outcome of that campaign for the presidential election. The first round of voting is on April the 22d. Opinion polls, for what they're worth, put the right wing candidate, Nicolas Sarkozy, in the lead, followed by socialist Ségolène Royal, centre right François Bayrou, and number four is the far right contender Jean Marie Le Pen. Surveys show that forty per cent of the electorate, 18 million voters, are still undecided. Working class voters often leave it to the last days of the campaign to make up their mind. Blue collar workers account for a quarter of the electorate, so they will be the king-makers so to speak. That's why all the candidates are going out of their way to seduce them. Radio France International's Nick Champeaux reports from Charleville -Mézière, in the Champagne Ardennes region, in the north-east of France.
She's the socialist candidate for april's presidential elections, and has become something of a media darling in the past year, with the papparazzi snapping her with her children and even on holiday in a bikini. Attention her centre right rival, Nicolas Sarkozy can only dream of. The 2 are neck and neck in the polls and Ms Royal represents the first strong chance of a woman winning the French presidency. Surveys show that the French are now prepared to elect a woman president. But this doesn't mean that sexism in France is dead and buried. Ms Royal's critics, sexists and feminists among them, say she's not doing women any favours.
The French presidential elections are two months away, but newspapers and magazines are already trying to say who will win…. Opinion polls abound- almost one a day, pitting the front runners, Nicolas Sarkozy and Segolene Royale against others who are not even on the ballot yet. The official list of candidates won't be firmed up until the end of March. Sarah Elzas looks at the phenomenon of opinion polls that appear constantly on the front pages of French newspapers and magazines.
In France - Money is taboo. In recent weeks, French politicians have lifted the lid on their assets- and in the process, they’ve revealed a bit about French attitudes about wealth. The socialist presidential candidate Segolene Royale forcibly denied being rich as if it were a swear-word. Instead, she said she was just well off. On the right, presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy has called an end to France’s traditional “down with the rich” culture. Radio France International’s Henry Samuel explored the touchy subject with Janine Mossuz-Lavau, a political scientist who has written a book called “L’argent et nous”, money and us. She says money remains one of the most sensitive subjects in France- even more so than sex- something she’s also researched.
There are increasing signals that France is gearing-up for an American style Presidential election campaign. The campaign for next spring's poll is not officially under way, but in fact it started months ago, and that alone, is American. Last week Ségolène Royal was elected candidate for the socialist party after an American style primary campaign, which included three televised debates with her two party opponents. Card members of the ruling centre right UMP party will choose their candidate on the 14th of January. Radio France International's Nick Champeaux zooms in on the two main political figures in France, Ségolène Royal and Nicolas Sarkozy, and attempts to find out who is the most American.
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