Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Bayrou: Will He or Won't He?

François Bayrou has been giving signals that he might run. He's also been telling François Fillon to drop out because he's too tainted by "the money power" to stay in the race. Presumably he feels the same way about Macron, the former banker, but as Macron made his money without proven impropriety, Bayrou has held his peace on that point.

If he gets in the race one can expect him to be more outspoken. His presence would of course plunge everything back into turmoil. He'd draw votes from Macron, and he'd draw votes from any Plan B successor to Fillon, or from Fillon himself if he stays in. It's hard to even guess at what the split might be in the middle of the spectrum. All bets would be off. In a 5- or 6-way contest with Bayrou in, Hamon could squeak by, or even Mélenchon. Macron is likely to have the advantage over Bayrou in the middle because he's been in the field for a while now and is a new face, but Bayrou would definitely hurt him. The waters would become incredibly muddied.

I think the odds are about 50-50 he goes for it.


baronniesereinedecaux said...

Or could he do a deal with Macron? There is a lot of potential variable geometry in the race. I am agreeing however with the emerging thesis that Fillon is toast/pain grillé/pain perdu. I live in a fairly bellweather village and can detect no support for him here. Beyrou hasn't much pulling power and is a yesterday figure. I do detect support for Le Pen (I'm guessing she'll get close to 40% here in round 1)and Hamon (maybe 15%). Few here know what to make of Macron except that he seems weird, geeky and except for the gloss of Justin Trudeau style modernity and metrosexuality, oddly represents continuity with Hollande (will attempt reforms, but sacred EU and Germany-first policy continue). I am thinking FN can get very close to 50% here in round 2, under some envisionable circumstances.

maxdaddy said...

It seems there are two big issues here. Are they possibly interconnected? Many people have been wondering whether Bayrou would enter, splitting up the center. Fewer have been wondering whether Melenchon will find a way to team up with Hamon.

But if Bayrou enters, does that increase the left's prospects to get into the second round? And aren't those prospects immeasurably increased if Melenchon and Hamon arrive at sone kind of modus vivendi. Surely that's what the simple math of recent polling data suggests. So, in short, would Bayrou entering put a lot of pressure on Melanchon to do a deal to unify the left? Or, in this topsy-turvy year, might Melenchon's supporters, even if Melenchon himself might shun it, see this opportunity and run with it--or better, towards it?