Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Another Useless Poll

Until the field is sorted out, it's difficult to do meaningful presidential polling in France, with its multiparty system, two-round voting, and primarying required of some candidates but not others. So the pollsters resort to asking people which political personalities they have a good, mediocre, or bad opinion of. Paris Match just published one. Alain Juppé, who should be called the Venerable Juppé, not only because of his age but also because of his rebirth as a quasi-saintly figure who stands, de Gaulle-like, above the political fray, tops the charts. He is followed, naturally, by three names who benefit from being literally out of the fray: Bayrou, Raffarin, and Aubry. And then come the surprises: Mélenchon followed by Fillon. Mélenchon apparently enjoys a high rating among those working-class voters who have deserted the left for Marine Le Pen. Not surprising. JLM has been working hard to bring them back. Hollande? He's well back in the peloton, behind Brice Hortefeux (!) and Stéphane Le Foll (!!). How much more bizarre can a poll get. If you don't like Hollande, what would you see in his long-time toady Le Foll? A head of hair and an impressive physique?

But fear not. Hollande is ready!


5 comments:

brent said...

Granted the imprecision of the data, Mélenchon's level of approval should nonetheless turn some heads. It's notable that he draws on considerable support from the PS and center-rightists as well as his own base in the gauche radicale. Might this turn into a Bernie Sanders moment, where the improbable candidate--another grumpy (but impeccably honest) old man--breaks out because all the probable ones are so very bad? Will JLM turn out to be the vote utile to avert a right/far right 2nd round?

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Mitch Guthman said...

I saw the cover, was relieved that Hollande was finally stepping aside, but didn't read the article. I gather from this post that I was mistaken in my assumptions. Hollande is obviously ready to do something but it seems equally obvious that it won't be the right thing. Can’t say that I’m surprised.

I still haven't read the article but I'm guessing that whatever Hollande is planning on doing, it’s something totally divorced from reality. It's unfortunate that M. Flanby isn't finally ready to stop killing the Parti socialiste.

Mitch Guthman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mitch Guthman said...

Brent,

It's hard to say. I think much depends on what happens in the primaries of the two major parties. I don't see Mélenchon winning the PS primary or the second round but if Hollande steps aside and someone closer to the center-left runs, Mélenchon could well make the difference by throwing his support behind that person. But, no, I don't see him as a French Bernie Sanders.

I think the best that Mélenchon can do is perhaps push the PS back to its roots in a "socialism of the possible.” That wouldn’t do the PS much good in this election but it might stop the bleeding and would position the party for future success. But I don’t believe there’s any possibility that the PS will be a real factor in the election.

In my mind, the whole situation in France is frozen until we know whether Juppé can get on the ballot. If he can, he will be the next president——almost by acclamation. But if Sarkozy can somehow win the UMP primary, there will be total chaos. French politics will be a game of “52 Card Pickup”.