Tight French presidential election leaves left-wing voters with few options

Voters in the nation of France headed to the polls today in what is being considered the most volatile election since 2017 and possibly in the history of the French Republic.

France, unlike Panem, uses a popular vote system that employs a runoff if the top candidate does not reach the majority marker. This year, the only certain thing has been that France was to elect a new president; the outcome has been nothing that is easily predicted.

The race began last year with the announcement of former President Matthieu Sicard that he would seek to reclaim his former office. Sicard, a Socialist, lost by a large margin to outgoing President Solange Delacroix, who is not eligible for reelection to a third consecutive term. Before long, the entire slate of candidates had assembled itself, detailed further below. Only five qualified under France’s stringent standards.

  • Matthieu Sicard (Socialist Party): Sicard running is considered a major win for the embattled Socialist Party. Sicard is the only candidate polls well from the party, mainly due to the lack of talent due to the ascent of Nouvelle Française and Liberal Democracy, a far-left party that arose due to discontent with liberal options. However, Sicard left under a string of scandals, a terrible economy, and dwindling French influence due to his isolationist policies. His anti-Panem stance is widely unattractive as well, but could pick up steam with the Greek conflict.
  • Serephin Favre (Nouvelle Française): Favre was the chosen successor of President Delacroix. Serving as justice minister under Prime Minister Yannick Olivier, Favre emerged as the favorite following Olivier declining a run for the presidency. Favre is popular, but she currently does not reflect the popularity of Delacroix or Olivier. It currently appears that Favre remains the pollsters’ favorite to end up in a second round, but it would be a resounding defeat for the President should Favre be excluded from a second round. 
  • Antonin Dupond (Les Républicains): The Republicans, having not won the presidency since Manuel Dufort won two terms prior to Sicard’s presidency, is itching for a win after two straight losses and not making the runoff last election. As such, they have drafted former LR Prime Minister Antonin Dupond to run, a political heavyweight who ran to succeed Dufort but lost to Sicard. This could easily lead to a Sicard-Dupond runoff once again, and as Sicard knows, second time is the charm on some occasions.
  • Simone Perrault (Liberal Democracy): During the early days of this most recent French Republic, a party arose named Liberal Democracy. However, this is not that party- this one is much farther left. Simone Perrault has a very loyal following, one that she is struggling to compete with Sicard for- and if she can manage to get enough voters, she may be able to find herself in a position in the second round. However, like Tailler, Perrault’s extreme policies may be a bit too much to stomach for centrist and right-wing voters, who would flock to a more mainstream candidate.
  • Léonard Tailler (Reclaim France): The nationalists of France still remain after many years, despite repeated rejections by the voters of the Le Pen family and those nominated after them. However, with the polls the way they are, Tallier has a real shot at getting a place in the second round. However, that doesn’t mean he will end up in Elysee Palace. His far-right policies likely will alienate voters in a second round.

The main issues of the election have bounced around, with the Greek conflict, French-Panem relations, and infrastructure taking the largest roles. Likewise, polls have bounced around; when the candidates were confirmed, it appeared that Favre would make the runoff with no issue and the second spot was up for grabs. Now, it appears that Favre may barely eek out a spot in the runoff with the other four hot on her heels. Obviously, this race is far too close to call at this time.

UPDATE: We can now officially report the final results of the first round of the French presidential election.

In a photo finish, Serephin Favre (NF) and Antonin Dupond (LR) will be heading to the runoff election in two weeks.

Serephin Favre (Nouvelle Française): 20.78 percent
Antonin Dupond (Les Républicains): 20.23 percent
Matthieu Sicard (Socialist Party): 20.18 percent
Léonard Tailler (Reclaim France): 19.83 percent
Simone Perrault (Liberal Democracy): 18.98 percent

Former President Sicard barely missed the runoff by .05 of a percentage point, something that he has claimed as a victory for his party. He declined to comment for this story, and also he has declined to seek a recount.

Above is a image of the first round by department. As shown, Favre was popular on the west coast, some of the area around Paris, Paris itself, and especially overseas. However, her new second-round opponent Dupond is especially popular in the center of the country. The biggest battle now is over the areas won by the other candidates. Tallier was the winner in the north and on around half of the east coast, much needed areas that may tend to swing towards Dupond. However, on the other hand, Favre could gain over the areas won by Perrault and Sicard, which encompass quite a bit of the country and may be able to deliver a win in the runoff. With that scenario occurring, a potential map for the second round may be akin to this:

Such a win would be around 60 percent for Favre and 40 percent for Dupond.

However, in the event that Dupond campaigns well and manages to appeal to the center of French politics, he may be able to secure some of NF’s and the Socialists’ supporters. In this scenario, this would be reflected like this:

As shown, Dupond would have managed to pick up most of the areas that barely broke for Perrault and some of those that voted for Sicard. This would be reflected more in a popular vote percentage of 51 percent for Favre and 49 percent for Dupond- a statistical dead heat.

In the event that Favre is not endorsed by Perrault, Sicard, or both, this could result in a win for Dupond, especially if he is endorsed by Sicard. It’s well known that while the Socialists and the Republicans have major ideological differences that Dupond is at least friendly with Sicard. Favre, on the other hand, has been trading barbs with Sicard the entire campaign, leading many to believe that Sicard may not endorse Favre for a second round. Likewise, Favre’s attacks on Perrault were harsh and sometimes personal; without Perrault’s endorsement, it’s anyone’s guess as to how the vote will break down. A map for this scenario is shown below.

In this particular popular vote scenario, it would be around 63 percent for Dupond and 37 percent for Favre. However, in the worst case scenario that Perrault does not endorse and Sicard decides to make a historic endorsement of Dupond, the popular vote would be around 71 percent for Dupond and 29 percent for Favre.

UPDATE 2: Former President Matthieu Sicard has chosen to withhold his endorsement, stating:

“While I wish the best to my good friend Antonin Dupond, I cannot endorse him as that would be a betrayal to the voters who voted for me. They would not support my decision as that does not reflect what they voted for. However, I cannot bring myself to support Serephin Favre either. While we share some viewpoints, I find that she went far beyond what was appropriate during this campaign, and I find her utterly unpresidential. I hope that the voters of France will elect a good president. However, in this matter, I must remain neutral.”

Simone Perrault, the candidate of Liberal Democracy, decided to endorse Serephin Favre despite the previous spat between the two.

“For all that is good and wonderful in this world, I implore every single voter in France to vote for Serephin Favre. While I much would have rathered me in that runoff, Serephin is the only candidate that will actually represent the people. Dupond is of the old guard, the one that set our rights back decades and spiraling us into crisis financially. We cannot afford to return to those days. Instead, we must bond together- compromise, do what you must. We cannot afford to let Serephin lose. What was said in the past. We must move forward together for a better France and for a better future for us and for our children.”

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