Friday, June 8, 2012

The Right and the Poor

Andrew Gelman sets out to debunk a myth about the US electorate but in the process demonstrates that France is an anomaly. The myth is that blue-collar workers vote for the right in the US, and Gelman claims that this is false. Of course his evidence compares voters in the upper third of the income distribution with those in the lower third, which is not necessarily identical with blue-collar. But what interests me is not whether Gelman is right or wrong but rather the place of France in the middle graph below:

As you can see, France is an outlier, a country with high GDP per capita in which the poorest third of the population is more likely to vote for the Right than for the Left. I wish I knew the source of the data on which these graphs are based.

The Feminization of the FN

Like the party's base, the FN's candidates are younger and more of them are women than in the past. All the dynamism on the right is with the FN. With Copé as leader of the UMP and a series of scandals likely to plague the party in the press for years to come, the UMP risks being ringardisé as the FN gains strength. Could the next few years bring a party realignment in France? It's not out of the question.