Saturday, April 28, 2007

Royal + Bayrou = ?????

By Michael J.W. Stickings

As I mentioned in a few days ago, François Bayrou, the centrist who finished a strong third in last weekend's first round of France's presidential election, has declined to endorse either neo-liberal Nicolas Sarkozy or neo-socialist Ségolène Royal. I suggested, however, that he seemed to be leaning to Royal. Well, he and Royal may be closer than previously thought:

French presidential hopeful Segolene Royal and defeated candidate Francois Bayrou have held a televised debate in which they vowed to seek common ground.

But both ruled out working more closely together before the final vote next month, stressing their differences.

This is very good news -- for those of us who support Royal. Although Sarkozy continues to lead in the polls, and will almost certainly be the favourite going into next Sunday's run-off, the race is close enough that it could end up being decided by how Bayrou's 6.8 million voters cast their second-round votes -- even without a formal endorsement from Bayrou.

Royal, it seems, had been looking for "a possible centre-left alliance," which is what led to the debate. Bayrou has clearly ruled out a formal alliance, but informal support, of the kind expressed here (seeking "common ground"), looks like more and more of a possibility.

In other words, though he may not wish to align himself or even work closely with Royal, Bayrou seems to have given his voters a cue, an indication of his preference in the second round. Hopefully his voters will pick up on it and push Royal over the top.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share


  • I am skeptical that Bayrou could sway the votes Royal needs even if he made an explicit endorsement.

    It's hard for me to see how Royal can win without around two thirds of Bayrou's voters, and that seems unlikely. Not impossible, but a stretch.

    More on this theme at F&V.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:40 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home