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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-22-2007, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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France votes for schizophrenia

France opts for left-right battle
BBC

Voters now faced a clear choice, Mr Sarkozy told supporters

Centre-right candidate Nicolas Sarkozy will face Socialist Segolene Royal in the run-off of France's presidential election on 6 May. With all the votes counted in Sunday's first round, Mr Sarkozy had 31%. Ms Royal, bidding to be France's first woman leader, got nearly 26%.

Centrist Francois Bayrou had 18%, and far-right Jean-Marie Le Pen almost 11%.

Voting reached near-record levels, with turnout put at almost 85% - the highest for nearly 50 years.

Disillusionment with politicians and their promises did not translate into apathy, reports the BBC's Caroline Wyatt in Paris.

Instead, young and old alike queued at the polling booths at schools and town halls, although in their choices they remained as divided as ever.


FIRST ROUND RESULTS
Nicolas Sarkozy - 31.1%
Segolene Royal - 25.8%
Francois Bayrou - 18.6%
Jean-Marie Le Pen - 10.5%

Voters turned out in such high numbers that the authorities decided to allow more time for people who were still queueing.

Of the main candidates, Mr Sarkozy, a former interior minister, promised a "rupture" with the past and real economic reform, while Ms Royal has pledged a fairer society.

Both are controversial figures who have divided the French.

Mr Sarkozy is hated by the left as a reformer who many fear would change the French way of life by making the nation work harder and longer and by cutting back on its generous welfare state.

Ms Royal is also regarded with suspicion, seen as too authoritarian and conservative by some Socialists.

Addressing a cheering crowd at his election headquarters, Mr Sarkozy said France had chosen to have a real debate between two different types of politics.

"The debate should be a real debate of ideas," he said.

He went on to appeal to all voters, saying: "I invite all French people, whatever their origin, whatever their beliefs, whatever their party to unite with me."

Ms Royal also stressed that voters now had a clear choice on 6 May.

She represented those who wanted to "reform France without brutalising it", she told supporters.

"You have given me the responsibility of continuing the fight for change in order that France rises up."

Centre ground

The centrist Francois Bayrou, who said he would bring together left and right in a government of national unity, failed to capitalise on early hopes.

But Mr Sarkozy and Ms Royal will be bidding to win over the political centre that he energised well enough to turn the election briefly into a three-way race.

Several million French people had opted for change, Mr Bayrou told his supporters.

"From this evening, French politics have changed and will never be as before," he said.

Observers said it was a disappointing result for 78-year-old Mr Le Pen - whose prediction that he would win through to the second round, as he did in 2002, failed to materialise.

The far-right leader has, however, seen many of his ideas on patriotism and immigration filter into the mainstream campaigns.

Mr Le Pen blamed the media for his defeat and said he would announce on 1 May his position for the second round.

Together Mr Bayrou and Mr Le Pen accounted for some 30% of the votes. Six other left-wing candidates won a total of about 10%, while two other conservative candidates together picked up more than 3.5% of the vote.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-22-2007, 09:49 PM
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If it wasn't for the misnomer that France is somehow elite, she would be doomed to oblivion.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-22-2007, 09:57 PM
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Election results = Royal with Cheese.

Last edited by Zeitgeist; 04-22-2007 at 09:59 PM.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-22-2007, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Zeitgeist
Election results = Royal with Cheese.
That robot is a better actor than Travolta plus he doesn't have the added stigma of once being Vinnie Barbarino. Who am I kidding, That was the best movie ever made,.... but you still have to try and find A 1000 Clowns with Jason Robards....a contender.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-22-2007, 10:23 PM
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Real change? Real laughs. Is Bot trying to tells us something here? Maybe that voting is like choosing between a nail through your foot or a hack saw slicing through your leg. Either way you lose, but yet it does still make a difference how you vote. Imagine that.

Just keep watching sports and ignoring who pays money and time getting the guys who control you elected. NBA finals are on!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-22-2007, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Shane
Real change? Real laughs. Is Bot trying to tells us something here? Maybe that voting is like choosing between a nail through your foot or a hack saw slicing through your leg. Either way you lose, but yet it does still make a difference how you vote. Imagine that.

Just keep watching sports and ignoring who pays money and time getting the guys who control you elected. NBA finals are on!
Soma: The, "Don't worry, be happy" drug!
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-23-2007, 12:06 AM
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Ignore the dude behind the curtain!
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