Who’s afraid of the big red wolf?

Jean-Luc Mélanchon will not be President of the Republic next month. In fact, he won’t make it past Sunday’s first round of the election. The final opinion polls show the Front de gauche candidate finishing fourth, just behind the far-right leader Marine Le Pen. But it is Mélenchon who has come closest to setting this otherwise dreary campaign alight, with his revivalist campaign rallies and his incendiary attacks on international finance. He has cast a long shadow which could extend well beyond the now-likely installation of François Hollande as president on 15 May.

Polls point to decisive Socialist win

Nicolas Sarkozy et François Hollande toujours au coude à coude dans les sondages. Two new polls show Socialist candidate François Hollande heading for a crushing victory in the French presidential election over Nicholas Sarkozy. A CSA poll (carried out 16-17 April) shows Hollande leading the president by 29% to 24% in the first round, and by a whopping 58% to 42% in the second round run-off. The BVA survey, conducted on the same days, gives Hollande a two-point first round lead (29.5% to 27.5%) and a 12-point margin (56% to 44%) in the second round. Both polls show Front National leader Marine Le Pen regaining a distant third place (14% and 17%) from the Front de Gauche candidate Jean-Luc Mélanchon.

Further details from Libération’s Boîte à Sondages (in French)

Hue turns a paler shade of red

Robert HueVeteran communist Robert Hue has thrown his weight behind Socialist candidate François Hollande for the French presidential election, rejecting the ‘false radicalism’ of Front de Gauche candidate Jean-Luc Mélanchon. Hue’s backing is a boost for Hollande, whose frontrunner status has been dented by the far-left Mélanchon’s strong performance in recent polls.

Speaking at a rally for Hollande in the industrial city of Clermont-Ferrand (Auvergne), Hue, who lead the French communist party from 1994 to 2002, evoked memories of the broad left coalition (la gauche plurielle) that brought François Mitterrand to power in 1981. ‘The left can only win when united,’ he said. ‘The true radicalism is to give ourselves the certainty of beating Sarkozy.’

Photo: Parti Socialiste