Friday, October 25, 2013

The Left's Best Shot in 2017?

Who is the candidate on the left most likely to defeat the Right in the 2017 presidential election? According to a recent poll (I know, I know, the election is 3 1/2 years away, etc. etc.), the winner, by a large margin, is Manuel Valls (and the biggest loser is François Hollande). On the other hand, the poll respondents don't really believe that Valls will be a candidate of the Left: he belongs, it sesems, to a new category, la droite bis:
Autre information concernant Manuel Valls, les avis sont également partagés sur le fait de savoir s’il est « de droite » (53 %) ou simplement « pas de gauche » (42 %). Il est « incroyablement dynamique et certainement pas socialiste » pour 71 %, « vraiment bien de droite, sait où il va, pas à gauche en tout cas» (63 % des personnes interrogées).
Take if for what it's worth, folks (not very much, probably).

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

This sort of speculation is not worth much 3½ years before an election but one thing is for sure: if Hollande does not double his 'côte de popularité' between now and then - i.e. raise it to the high 40s at least - he's toast in '17.

Arun

Mitch Guthman said...

Hollande and his presidency seem to be following very much the path as Sarkozy and his presidency. He is essentially hitching his wagon to Merkel and hoping for that the economy hit bottom in time for a rebound to save him. At the same time, he is making a lot of small-bore, symbolic gestures to the right on immigration, the Roma and Islam.

I think the problem with moving the PS to the right is that every square inch of territory there is already occupied by far more authentic parties of the center and center-right (several of which would quite capable of accommodating disaffected PS voters). You can only successfully triangulate against the base of your own party if the alternative is too horrible to contemplate. That's simply not the case in France (unless it's MLP in the second round, in which case we are in uncharted waters).

Mitch Guthman said...

@ Arun,

I agree with you but it seems to me that the key to improving Hollande's polling numbers is through"works" and not "faith." His popularity is in the toilet because he hasn't done very much since winning.

My guess is that by the time Merkel gives him permission to try and improve the French economy, it will be too late for him but just in time for Sarkozy to benefit when he takes office again.

Silly gestures to the right aren't going to be nearly enough. I have my doubts if there's enough time left but, in any case, Hollande needs to get busy making the case for stimulus and he needs to lay down an ultimatum to Germany and the ECB that if they won't allow France, Italy and Spain to do what is necessary to get out of this depression, he will lead France out of both the euro and, if necessary, the EU and probably take Italy and Spain with him.

Hollande has already squandered too much time and too many precious opportunity. If he can't do bring himself to do what is necessary, he should get out of the way of those who can (regardless of party).

bernard said...

At the risk of appearing to oversimplify, a ruling politician's popularity is a function of economic growth (+) and of the unemployment rate (-). The rest is discourse and not backed by science (ask Angela Merkel). There are relationships well captured by quantitative models of politics (Art, you've got one right next to you, at the MIT if I recall well).

My prognosis for what happens over the coming three years: economic growth will improve and the unemployment rate will decrease. The only questions of course are, will it have improved enough and will it have decreased enough. Everyone should hope so.

Anonymous said...

What's with quoting Le Gorafi as a reliable source? Its the French Onion!
"À PROPOS
Entre The Onion et Le Figaro, votre meilleure source d’information de la journée.

Le Gorafi est né après un conflit d’intérêts avec les créateurs du Figaro en 1826.

Jean-René Buissière, journaliste dyslexique, tente alors de créer son propre journal, transformant Le Figaro en Le Garofi. Mais, dyslexique, il écrit « Gorafi ». La faute est restée et est entrée dans l’Histoire.

Le Gorafi se veut impartial et irréprochable.

Tous les articles relatés ici sont faux (jusqu’à preuve du contraire) et rédigés dans un but humoristique. L’utilisation de noms de personnalités ou d’entreprises est ici à but purement satirique.

All items here are recounted fake (until proven otherwise) and written in a humorous purpose. The use of names of persons or companies is purely satirical here. "

Art Goldhammer said...

I was waiting to see how long it would take for someone to notice that.

Mitch Guthman said...

Le Garofi was previously unknown to me. Just gave the article a quick glance and it seemed very sensible to me. Still does. Regrettably I didn't look at the banner, though I wish I had.

I think we've learned that either my powers of analysis are laughable or satire is dead.

Anonymous said...

sometimes humor is able to pierce through and lay bare reality much better than the tools of objective reasoning. The Onion is very good at doing that.

bernard said...

I guess you took me in. I should have checked the poll link! A sign of the times I suppose. Well done!