The polls are out and:
French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s allies won a large majority in parliamentary elections on Sunday but fell short of the predicted landslide after talk of a sales tax hike appeared to cost them votes.
When voting ended, leading polling institutes projected Sarkozy’s centre-right allies would win 341-350 seats in the National Assembly, well below some pre-vote estimates that they could win up to 470 deputies.
The pollsters also projected that the Socialists would win between 202-210 seats in the 577-seat legislature.
[Image de Le Figaro.fr]
The surprise results were a relative setback for the president, who had urged voters to give him a decisive victory to underpin his program of sweeping tax and labor reforms.
Sarkozy’s Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) and allies had 359 seats in the outgoing legislature.
The Socialists and affiliates, who had 149 deputies in the outgoing parliament, appeared to have been buoyed by a row over government plans to hike a value-added tax.
“The blue wave that had been announced…has not taken place,” said Socialist leader Francois Hollande, who has been under fire since Sarkozy’s presidential victory in May
Sarkozy Majority Unexpectedly Shrinks, Estimates Show (Update3)
Bloomberg – 38 minutes ago
By Helene Fouquet June 17 (Bloomberg) — French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s parliamentary majority unexpectedly narrowed in legislative elections as Socialist attacks against the prospect of higher sales taxes paid off, estimates by polling companies .
“The tax issue really played against the UMP,” Etienne Schweisguth, a senior fellow at the Institute for Political Studies in Paris, said. “It mobilized Socialists to vote and it may even have scared off some center-right voters.”
The election results mark the first setback for Sarkozy a month after he took office and may harden opposition to an 11- billion euro ($14.6 billion) tax-cut package that the Cabinet is set to approve this week. After the June 10 first round indicated a UMP win in the parliamentary vote, Socialists stepped up an offensive against a possible increase in the value-added sales tax and health-reimbursement curbs.
L’UMP ravi d’avoir “une majorité claire”, le PS soulagé [UMP, happy of having a “clear majority” and reaffirms its will to follow its policy after the victory in the legislatives. Socialists are happy because the “vague bleue” has not taken place].
TV 5 – Il y a 42 minutes
L’UMP s’est félicitée dimanche soir de disposer d’une “majorité claire” pour gouverner et a réaffirmé sa volonté de poursuivre l’ouverture après sa victoire aux législatives, les socialistes se réjouissant que la “vague bleue” attendue n’ait pas eu …
Sursaut de la gauche au second tour des législatives nouvelobs.com
Sursaut de la gauche aux législatives en France Journal Chrétien
24 heures – Boursier.com – Radio-Canada – Le Figaro
184 autres articles >>
However, the opposition Socialist party performed more strongly than expected and seemed set to increase its representation in the National Assembly. Early exit polls suggested the ruling centre-right UMP party and its allies would have a reduced majority of about 340 in the 577-seat National Assembly, with the Socialists and its allies winning 233 seats.
Nevertheless, this would be the first time since 1978 that a sitting government has been returned to office, reflecting the electoral appeal of Mr Sarkozy.
French left faces landslide defeat and identity crisis Sydney Morning Herald
Mr Sarkozy has almost free rein to change France, while the Socialists are mired in division and despair. The party is paralysed by the vaudevillian squabbling over the leadership between its chairman, Francois Hollande, and his partner, the presidential candidate Segolene Royale. But there is a bigger failure, too.
The Socialist Party is the last substantial left-wing party in the West. But with its vote lower than in any election, bar one, since the foundation of the Fifth Republic in 1958, the old socialist-style left is breathing its last. When the Socialists regain power one day, the odds are it will be a different party.
The French left is furiously debating its future. It must see globalisation as a positive as well as a negative force, said a former Socialist minister, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who wants to make the party social democratic.
Alain Juppé, battu à Bordeaux, démissionne du gouvernement
Seniorplanet.fr – Il y a 25 minutes
Le ministre de l’Ecologie Alain Juppé a annoncé dimanche sa démission du gouvernement après avoir été battu au second tour des législatives dans la 2ème circonscription de Gironde avec, selon la mairie, 49,07% des voix face à la candidate socialiste …
Alain Juppé présentera lundi sa démission du gouvernement nouvelobs.com
Alain Juppé, battu, va démissionner du gouvernement La Tribune.fr
Culturefemme.com – Le Figaro – France 3 – Journal Chrétien
55 autres articles >>
Senior minister Alain Juppe said he intended to resign from French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s government after he was beaten Sunday in parliamentary elections.
Juppe’s defeat is a severe blow to Sarkozy, who had ruled that ministers would have to leave his government if they lost. Juppe is a former prime minister and had been in charge of the environment and energy, among other policy areas, in the month-old government Sarkozy put together after his May 6 presidential election victory.
Juppe’s defeat was also a huge personal setback just as he was recovering politically from a conviction in a party financing scandal. His appointment to government had marked a comeback to national politics following a period in the wilderness that followed his conviction.
Juppe said he would tender his resignation Monday. If accepted, that will doubtless mean a shake up for Sarkozy’s fledgling government.
UPDATE: Le Figaro: the UMP candidate Sylvie Noachovitch (photo, below), has been aggressed. She confronted Dominic Strauss-Khan.
Arrivé en tête du premier tour dans la circonscription de Dominique Strauss-Kahn (37,37 % contre 37 %), la candidate UMP vient chercher les voix qui lui permettront de siéger à l’Assemblée nationale. Alors qu’elle attend son équipe avant de s’engouffrer au milieu des étals, une dizaine de personnes – « exclusivement des Noirs », selon Victor Curiel son suppléant – s’approche pour engager la conversation avec elle. Soudain, un homme au visage masqué par un sweat à capuche fonce sur elle, lui attrape violemment le cou avant de la mettre à terre et de lui jeter de la viande au visage. Une affaire révélée par le site internet de 20 minutes.
Approx. 12 people surrounded her and in that moment, a man with a mask on his face, caught her by the neck, before throwing her on the floor and then throwing meat to her face.
Both the préfet and the prosecutor has backed her.
Dominic Strauss-Kahn’s speaker has condemned the attack.
Results by location: right.
UPDATE: definitive results -> UMP: 345 (a little wave), Socialist: 206 (a good suprise for the Socialists), Modem (Barou): 4 (the great loser, totally isolated), Front National: no seat, Communistes: 18 seats, the Greens: 4. h/t: The Right Nation: Adieu, Bayrou.
Anyway, the difference continues to be great: 345 (UMP) vs. 206+4+18+4=232 (opposition).
UPDATE 2: Ségoléne Royal announces that she splits from François Hollande, her companion during 30 years. At the same time, she maintains she is going to conitnue in the political race for the control of PS. What would the effect of her move?