Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Polls

Harris, IFOP, and Ipsos all have new polling results today, but there are no dramatic changes, and the fluctuations look like statistical noise rather than any change in the fundamental situation, which is: virtual dead heat in round 1 followed by a clear Hollande victory in round 2. The Mélenchon "surge" is confirmed, but it's not clear where his strength is coming from. As I put it the other day, he has wiped out the extreme left: Poutou is at 0.5% and Arthaud at 0! Eva Joly is also au ras des pâquerettes. Bayrou continues to poke along, in some polls above Mélenchon, in others below. With Marine Le Pen, those two constitute the second tier of candidates. And there you have it. A roughly 60/40 split in the electorate between the mainstream and those who would prefer something completely different--except that, when push comes to shove, they probably wouldn't want things to change too much.

A few years ago, the historian Perry Anderson ended a brilliant if rather splenetic article about France with the remark, "Ce peuple est encore dangereux." I don't think so. Which is not to say that the next few years may not witness considerable unrest. About which more on another occasion.

2 comments:

Louis said...

"And there you have it. A roughly 60/40 split in the electorate between the mainstream and those who would prefer something completely different--except that, when push comes to shove, they probably wouldn't want things to change too much."

I wouldn't put that any better. "Revolution" in France is a rhetorical tool that will get you voters, not a program you might implement.

Kirk said...

I think what is interesting is that this shows that the only reason people voted for Lutte Ouvriere and NPA - and whatever it was called before - was because of the personalities of their candidates. Arlette has been around forever, and the postman was a good talker, and somehow got appreciated by people who haven't the slightest idea what his politics were.

I think this is a Good Thing, though, that people realize that there is no point voting for these extremist parties on the left. For a long time, the Socialists allied themselves with these parties - more or less - ignoring the fact that their ideas are nearly as extremist as those of the Front National. Maybe now the Socialists have grown up, and will not bow down to the extremists on the left.