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French Polls: Hollande-Sarkozy Runoff, Far Right Leader in 3rd Place

French Polls: Hollande-Sarkozy Runoff, Far Right Leader in 3rd Place

Socialist Francois Hollande has won the most votes in the first round of France’s presidential election, according to early estimates. Hollande won 28 percent of the vote, placing ahead of the 26 percent won by center-right incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy. Far right leader Marine Le Pen was third, winning a shocking 20 percent of the vote and thereby besting the 17 percent her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, won in 2002, a percentage which led him to a second-round runoff.

Leftist candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who has the support of the Communist Party, came in fourth with 12 percent. Centrist Francois Bayrou received 9 percent. There were nine candidates in all in Sunday’s election and turnout was 80 percent of 44.5 million, a decline from 1974, when 84 percent voted in the presidential election.

The runoff election will be held on May 6. Early polls for the second round gave Hollande 58 percent and Sarkozy 42 percent: Should Hollande win, he will be France’s first left-wing president since Francois Mitterrand, who was twice elected to seven-year terms between 1981 and 1995. Sarkozy, who has been president since 2007, would then become the first incumbent president not to win the second round since Valéry Giscard d’Estaing in 1981.

Hollande and Sarkozy have been sharply in dispute over economic issues. With unemployment at a 12-year-high in France, Hollande has called for higher taxes on the wealthy, including a 75 percent top tax rate on those whose income is more than 1 million euros ($1.32 million). He also wants to raise the minimum wage, hire 60,000 more teachers and lower the retirement age for some professions from 62 to 60 years. His critics have pointed out that Hollande represents the rural Corrèze, the most debt-ridden of France’s provinces. According to the Guardian, Corrèze was some 363 million euros (about $480 million) in debt in 2011 and needed an “exceptional” infusion of 11 million euros (about $14.5 million) from the French government.

The surprising results for Le Pen, leader of the far right, anti-immigration National Front party founded by her father, suggests the extent of disillusionment with the main parties. As the Guardian observes, her platform of “patriotism, protectionism, state regulation and the re-industrialization of France” won her broad support in the country’s northern industrial regions, where many blue collar workers are unemployed. Le Pen also stated that she would pull France out of the euro zone and reduce legal immigration to only 10,000 people a year. A poll taken before the election said that 48 percent of her supporters would vote for Sarkozy and 24 percent for Hollande.

Sarkozy has been forced to shift his positions towards the right to combat Le Pen; he has said he will impose tighter restrictions on immigration and more protection for French industries. He has also “mocked” Hollande for his promises of generous stimulus funds.

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34 comments

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8:35PM PDT on May 4, 2012

RIGHT WING EXTREMISTS, BE GONE!!!

8:34PM PDT on May 4, 2012

RIGHT WING EXTREMISTS, BE GONE!!!

5:07AM PDT on May 2, 2012

for french speaking readers :
http://www.mediapart.fr/content/immigration-trois-films-danimation-contre-les-idees-recues

I wish some day humans can understand we are one nation on earth. Before the greed and cupidity of the one percent turns the planet into an unbearable poisoned hell; I wish the 1% wakes up and change before destruction.

for the 99%
V.
some quotes of Mahatma Gandhi to refresh our souls:

°There is enough for everybody's need, but not enough for anybody's greed"
°I think it would be a good idea.
(when asked for his opinion of western civilization)
°Be the change you want to see in this world.
Mahatma Gandhi

5:05AM PDT on May 2, 2012

for french speaking readers :
http://www.mediapart.fr/content/immigration-trois-films-danimation-contre-les-idees-recues

I wish some day humans can understand we are one nation on earth. Before the greed and cupidity of the one percent turns the planet into an unbearable poisoned hell; I wish the 1% wakes up and change before destruction.

for the 99%
V.
some quotes of Mahatma Gandhi to refresh our souls:

°There is enough for everybody's need, but not enough for anybody's greed"
°I think it would be a good idea.
(when asked for his opinion of western civilization)
°Be the change you want to see in this world.
Mahatma Gandhi

4:50AM PDT on Apr 26, 2012

keep the valium up dear valentine!
happy day!

1:52PM PDT on Apr 24, 2012

suite : et placent leur fric dans les paradis fiscaux. Big shame;

Sharing is the key. and please stop shouting in block letters . MERCI

1:50PM PDT on Apr 24, 2012

to Berny : you're saying :
"you don't have to live in France if you have money" !!!! you mean, put all the money in Switzerland, or elsewhere, and then complain about the state deficit ??? belle mentalité !
I never thought I could read such a dispising comment on the care 2 community ! it's quite shocking.
Well, even if I become rich as hell,I'll stay and pay,I love my country and the spirit it had for decades, although I know the majority is conservative, and half of the population was working for, or silently obey the nazi government, in the 40s...but we had the Conseil National de la Résistance, and thanx to them and the mesures they imposed at the end of the war, we lived 60 years of social justice. (now distroyed by Sarko's gvt)

You point immigration !! immigrants are in no way the problem; they work a lot, without obtaining the papers their claim for, if they are in our country it's because we invited them in, and if not, people will always strive , and struggle for life, and move to better countries to avoid misery.
As human beings we all should be in a legal situation on the whole planet.What is permitted, free circulation, for money, is not for people...

et défendre les "intérêts" de la France c'est reprendre le contrôle sur la finance, les obliger à prêter à l'état à 1%, et lutter contre la fuite des capitaux des riches, qui ont autant de sens civique que vous et place leur fric

6:47AM PDT on Apr 24, 2012

C'est facile de diriger un pays quand il n'y a pas la crise et le vent est en poupe.... ...cependant quand le pays dépends de l'environnement international encore plus maintenant qu'il y a 20 ans... ...il faut que le président ait les épaules assez larges pour ne pas se faire marcher sur les pays par les autres pays et défendre les intérêts de la France....

6:06AM PDT on Apr 24, 2012

SARKOZY OR NOT....THE FRENCH ARE GOING TO PAY FOR PREVIOUS GOVERNMENTS....DE GAUCHE ET DE DROITE....THERE IS NOT A POT OF GOLD AT THE BOTTOM OF THE GARDEN..DESPITE WHAT SOME PEOPLE WOULD LIKE THE ..MASSE TO BELIEVE!!

6:02AM PDT on Apr 24, 2012

MAY BE THE LEADER SHOULD ASK THEM SELF WHY MARINE LE PEN HAD SO MUCH VOTE.......EASY ANSWER....PEOPLE ARE FED UP PAYING FOR THE ILLEGALS IMMIGRANTS AND...FOR THE LEGAL ONE WHO COMES WITH THEIR 4 WIFES AND THEIR VERY VERY LARGE FAMILIES!!

THERE IS NO EASY SOLUTION FOR FRANCE OR FOR THE OTHER COUNTRIES...YOU SPENT TO MUCH OVER THE YEARS...RIGHT AND LEFT PARTIES TOO.....
SO NOW YOU HAVE TO PAY..

TAX THE RICH...WHY NOT...BUT OF COURSE WHEN YOU ARE RICH YOU CAN EMPLOY GOOD LAWERS WHO WILL SHOW YOU HOW TO AVOID TAXES....AND IF THAT DOES NOT WORK...WELL...YOU CAN MOVE ABROAD.....

YOU DONT HAVE TO LIVE IN FRANCE IF YOU HAVE MONEY!!

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