January 22, 2017

THE LONG WAR IS OVER:

French Socialists battle for relevance in Socialist primary (AFP, 22 January 2017)
   
The odds will be stacked against the victor, with many polls showing the Socialist candidate will be eliminated in the first round of the presidential election on April 23.
   
Current projections suggest the election is shaping up as a three-way battle between conservative ex-premier Francois Fillon, far-right leader Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron, a 39-year-old ex-economy minister who has also served in the governing Socialist government.
   
Macron, a relative newcomer to politics who resigned from the government in August to found his own centrist movement, has stolen a march on his Socialist rivals over the past two weeks with speeches packed to capacity.
   
A poll published Thursday gave Macron between 17 and 21 percent of the vote in the first round of the election.
   
"The Macron effect is real," said political analyst Stephane Rozes.
   
Some Socialist heavyweights have hinted they could support him over their party's nominee if he looks to have a better chance against Le Pen. Asked during a televised debate Thursday whether they would contemplate stepping back and supporting Macron, Valls, Montebourg and Hamon all demurred.
   
"He's a Tony Blair of 20 years ago," Hamon said dismissively.

High praise.  We'll see if it's warranted.
Posted by at January 22, 2017 8:27 AM

  

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