Nicolas Sarkozy will face Ségolène Royal in the second round of the French presidential election, on 6 May. Sarkozy, of the Union for a Popular Movement Party (UMP) scored 31.1%, ahead of Royal of the Socialist Party (SP), who scored 25.8%. Centrist candidate François Bayrou of the Union for French Democracy (UDF) polled 18.6%, followed by National Front (FN) leader Jean-Marie Le Pen. Voter participation was a massive 84.6%, the highest in over 40 years.
Sarkozy enters the second round as favorite; however, his campaign has so far tended to attract voters from the right, and it is no surprise that the FN vote was some way down on the 15% or so which it has managed at the last three elections. Sarkozy will now need to woo voters from the centre, who backed Bayrou in the first round.
Royal can count on the support of voters who backed the several small far-left parties who fielded candidates in the first round, including the Revolutionary Communist League (4.1%), the French Communist Party (1.9%), as well as the Greens (1.5%); however, she too will need to appeal to the centre, if she is to be elected France's first female head of state.
23 April 2007