Saturday, February 11, 2017

Fillon: "Les remontées du terrain ne sont pas bonnes."

It's not looking good for François Fillon. For the moment he has cowed the party's top leadership into sticking with him as candidate, but out in the provinces--the heartland of his traditionalist campaign--party militants are themselves disgusted and are reporting that voters are deserting in droves. A mayor who is offered a total of €500 to cover his expenses and gives €50 of that to his assistant finds it difficult to understand how Fillon could have compensated his wife and children quite so handsomely. His campaign, predicated from the beginning on his "character," is therefore in tatters in the very places that supported him most strongly. The crisis can only grow worse. There is no way out, even if Les Républicains have yet to acknowledge this.

12 comments:

bernard said...

It's what I said on day 1. Honest Fillon can't let go, it would be an admission of guilt. He will be staying in. Furthermore, he's the one who has all the cash for the elections (presidential and parliament) through his micro party. In other words he is holding them by the cojones and they have realized last week-end.

Squiggle said...

I'd very much like to see an article about what you think a Macron-Schulz Europe might look like.

Passerby said...

You know that your campaign is headed downward when Balkany takes down your campaign posters because you're too disreputable...

Mitch Guthman said...

Bernard,

It is the same dynamic we saw play out with Hollande. Fillon would gain nothing by leaving and he would lose nothing by staying. There's one open spot in the second round and it almost certainly will go to the candidate of the UMP. At which point, it a binary choice between him and Le Pen.

Admittedly, it's an open question who has more baggage and who's baggage smells worse but even so it's his only chance to be president so why not take it? If he quits, he's got no chance.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I'm now not sure the second spot will go to whoever is ump. People can't get over the fact he ran as squeaky clean honest and had stolen one million comibg from 'public money's IE., their taxes, and then on top of it he wanted 'blood and tears'for all. You bet it's not going down well on the right.
One issue many people I've talked to have, is Macron's lack of a platform or even clear proposals. They're dubious about Hamon's proposals, but like he stuck his neck out and don't really think he'll make Universal Income a reality in the upcoming five years, so they are mostly interested in figuring out if it'll help them or 'random welfare leeches' (personal translation - irony intended.)
At this point I give Hamon a better chance of making it to the second round than Dillon, because Fillon's base is disillusioned.
Macron has a lot of 'fans' and for sure he intrigues but now people want more from him if they're to consider him for a real candidate.

Bernard said...

Considering he is likely to be charged this coming week you are very wrong. Macron is the next president. The British and American press who desperately hope some other nation would either choose to shoot itself in both feet or choose to elect an insane man like they chose to do fail to understand that the french eletorate's reaction is to protect our European Union and to elect a clean, safe pair of hands. As for the French press and pollsters, they are desperate to inject some uncertainty where there is actually none. MLP has been polling the same way give or take 1% for months and every single poll shows her trounced in a second round with anyone, just like happened in the recent regional elections. The fear mongering in the international press is becoming as ridiculous as a press conference at the WH.

bert said...

http://election.princeton.edu/2016/11/06/is-99-a-reasonable-probability/

Passerby said...

@Bernard: I agree with you, I don't think for a second that MLP will win the second round this year.

But since the sandal broke, whether Fillon makes it tot he second round (which seems more and more unlikely), or Macron, we would end up with a president that has been elected to stand-up against FN, not for his program. This will play once again in favor of the FN's propaganda. And who knows how the opision will be in 2022.

bernard said...

@passerby

I know I'll be damned in the long run, but can I perhaps sin some more in the short run...

bernard said...

@bert

are you possibly talking about the guy who ate a bug? Me, I thought since early 2016 that the Donald would win, as did the LA Times polls. I do quantitative for a living and my view is that this is a done deal save for unforeseeable events: Macron trend is up, Fillon trend is down, MLP trend is flat, Hamon is flattening at 15% + 2% if no Jadot, Melenchon is flat at 10% as usual. In fact there is nothing really new in this election save for the fact that LR fielded just about the worse candidate they could have thought of (more on that this coming week).

bert said...

He did eat a bug, didn't he.
Does that make him always and forevermore a figure of fun?
The link is to a post three days before the election, disagreeing with Nate Silver's outlier assessment that Trump's chances were a bit worse than one-in-three. He gave a sober quantitative analysis, embossed with the Ivy League brand of quality, to the effect that a Hillary presidency was 99% certain. Quote: ”It is basically settled. Therefore it is a more worthwhile proposition to work in Senate or House campaigns.”

I understand the argument you're making. Most importantly, the rules that structure the election have an important effect on the result. With Trump, the electoral college gave him a fat victory margin (306-232) on a minority of votes cast. With MLP, the runoff favours the candidate who can put together a broad coalition out of the remnants of defeated rivals' campaigns. That favours an anti-FN standardbearer, as we've seen in previous races.

If I was sure that this election would be a familiar left-right contest, I would be a lot more comfortable sharing your view. MLP would need to squeeze the centrist (Macron, in your scenario) by taking votes from both flanks, a difficult trick to pull off. But I think the tone of politics has shifted. You don't need to talk about Trump or Erdogan or Putin. Just look at our comfortable corner of western Europe. Right now there are very ugly noises coming out of the Dutch election, which it would be foolish to ignore. If the electorate divides along populist lines, Macron suddenly looks far more vulnerable.

I'll save my thoughts on how the FN populist campaign might use the EU as a galvanising issue. I'll test your patience with that another time. Instead, a final point: I think you're wrong that there's any enthusiasm in the US or the UK to see France shit the bed. Obviously there are the familiar europhobic outlets who believe success for MLP will bring on the Downfall of continental tyranny (I believe the German word is ”Durchfall”). But far more widespread is a painful memory of the morning of June 24th, or November 10th. The bugeater wasn't the only one with a bad taste in his mouth.

Edouard said...

Meanwhile, Macron gets a Turkish embrace :-)

https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/macron-le-pen-french-election-by-kemal-dervis-2017-02