Saturday, January 7, 2017

Polls, Polls

Thanks to Arun Kapil, I bring to your attention two recent polls. The first brings the surprising news that if the stars align just right, Emmanuel Macron could edge past Marine Le Pen to confront François Fillon in the second round. The stars that need to align include: 1) a Montebourg victory in the left primary and 2) a decision by Bayrou not to run. Unfortunately for 1), this poll shows Valls running well ahead in the left primary. But the first debate (scheduled for Jan 12) hasn't even taken place yet. So a lot could change.


5 comments:

Ellie said...

Is there any reason French polling should be considered any better than all the other polling that's ended up so à côté de la plaque in the past year?

Mitch Guthman said...

I'm not sure how accurate polls are especially given recent failures but the poll showing Valls running ahead in the left primary is consistent with some long term polling in Le Figaro, Le Monde, Paris Match and on the TNS-Sofres website about the popularity of different politicians. For reasons that I don't understand, Valls has consistently been someone the PS members respect, want to see participate more and who the members would support even though the center-left policies that Valls opposes command as much or greater support. So, it's confusing and I'm very hesitant to prognosticate and, as Art says, it's early days yet.

Nevertheless, Valls does seem to be recovering well from the shock of not being unanimously proclaimed the candidate and is getting his political act together. He has the advantage of being at least nominally in control of whatever's left of the party's apparatus that Hollande hasn't managed to destroy. And he is surprisingly popular among the left, especially within the PS.

And Montebourg, his main competitor within the PS, strikes a lot of people (including me) as a shallow and shameless opportunist, who will quite possibly pull a Hollande if, by some miracle, he actually becomes president. Out of all the candidates in the left primary, I think Montebourg is the left trustworthy.

(Although, of course, I think Emmanuel Macron is probably the least trustworthy man in France today.)

Mitch Guthman said...

A very minor but related update: According to Europe 1, Fillion will not negotiate with Bayrou---whatever that means. I think it means that François Fillon is an arrogant fool who has thrown away his shot at the presidency but perhaps it also means that Bayrou will either run or turn to his last remaining kindred sprit, namely, Valls. So perhaps if Valls unities the left somewhat and Le Pen and Fillion split the extreme right (with Le Pen having a slight edge), it could be that Valls makes the second round. Miracle of miracles!

Mitch Guthman said...

A very minor but related update: According to Europe 1, Fillion will not negotiate with Bayrou---whatever that means. I think it means that François Fillon is an arrogant fool who has thrown away his shot at the presidency but perhaps it also means that Bayrou will either run or turn to his last remaining kindred sprit, namely, Valls. So perhaps if Valls unities the left somewhat and Le Pen and Fillion split the extreme right (with Le Pen having a slight edge), it could be that Valls makes the second round. Miracle of miracles!

Alexandra Marshall said...

@Mitch curious why you say that about Macron over, say, Valls, whose abrupt reversals are really things of beauty to watch. (And don't seem to be finding a ton of takers.) Or Fillon, who has surprised the pundits by sticking by his primary-era declared intention to cut the civil service by half a million. (Everyone registering shock that he'd stand by a controversial proposal doesn't speak too well to people's expectations of their politicians. Which are often justified.) I am one of those who thinks Macron has some good ideas, and is reassured by his social liberalism, though I'm agnostic on his personal character. (I also wonder how much of that, outside the obvious, can ever really be known.) Sorry for the Rumsfeldian construction, here: I don't have a ton of faith in his backbone but I don't not as well. To me, a lot remains to be seen. Anyway, curious about what stands out for you. I don't put a lot of faith in "he's a Judas to the PS." Voters don't care and backstabbing is how about 75% of politicians advance their careers, the lovable scamps.