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Sarkozy’s UMP to lose in regional elections

This past Sunday March 14 featured the 1st round in voting in French regional elections. The second round is March 21 and should be tight.

According to BBC News, French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s center-right party UMP is headed for a defeat in these elections. While this does not in theory have a negative consequence on national representation at the central government level, it will likely have an effect on some of Sarkozy’s appointees and certainly undermine a part of the influence of his party in the regions:

Exit polls from the French regional elections indicate that President Nicolas Sarkozy’s centre-right UMP party is heading for a defeat.

The polls gave the Socialists up to 30% of the vote against 26.5% for the UMP. However, turnout appeared to be low. It is the last nationwide vote before presidential and parliamentary elections due in 2012.

The far-right National Front looks to have done better than expected, with up to 12% of the vote.

President Sarkozy’s poll ratings have plunged in opinion polls as unemployment has risen to 10%.
The BBC’s Emma Jane-Kirby, in Paris, says that although the election is meant to be about regional issues, voters are bound to use this opportunity to punish the central government.
However, the abstention rate of Sunday’s first round was put at some 52%, a record for a regional election.

FRANCE’S ELECTORAL CALENDAR
May-June 2007: Presidential and parliamentary elections see Sarkozy elected president and UMP victory
March 2010: Regional elections provide key half-term test
May-June 2012: Next presidential and parliamentary elections

Sarkozy’s party faces drubbing
Mr Sarkozy has sought to play down the importance of the vote, saying it would have no impact on his reform drive.
But the socialists are expected to forge alliances with Green and other left-wing parties ahead of next Sunday’s second round.

The leading parties will then go forward to a conclusive vote which will decide who runs France’s 26 regions.
The Socialist Party is deeply divided at national level, but remains strong in regions.
Analysts say party leader Martine Aubry, who has been criticised by rivals, is hoping a good result in the current polls will boost her chances to become the socialist candidate in the 2012 presidential election.

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  1. March 27th, 2010 at 12:55 | #1

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