Election Preview: France’s left-wing primaries 2011

Left-wing open primary elections (primaires citoyennes) will be held in France on October 9 and 16, 2011. These open primaries will nominate the candidate of the opposition Socialist Party (PS) and its small vassal, the Left Radicals (PRG), for the April 22 and May 6, 2012 presidential elections. These are the first open primaries on such an ambitious scale in France. In the past, in 1995 and 2006, the PS had nominated its candidate through closed primaries where only party members were eligible to vote. In these primaries, anybody can vote provided he/she pays a symbolic fee of €1 and signs a declaration of adherence to left-wing values (and is a registered, eligible voter). These primaries are not organized by the state or any public authorities, rather they are entirely organized by the party which must – especially in municipalities governed by the right – find its own voting locations often separate from traditional voting locations. These first open primaries were seen by the PS as a tool to overcome divisions, motivate voters by enabling them to participate (in the mode of the 2008 Democratic primaries in the US) and giving more legitimacy to the PS candidate in a crucial election for them like 2012.

Candidates needed to receive the endorsement of at least 5% of the PS’ parliamentarians, leadership, regional and general councillors in at least 10 departments and/or 4 regions and PS mayors in large cities in at least four regions. All left-wing parties were theoretically invited to primaries which are officially not PS primaries but rather open left-wing primaries, but only the PS and its tiny perennial ally, the PRG, participated. Candidacies needed to be deposited between June 28 and July 13, 2011. In the end, six candidates received sufficient endorsements to participate.

Up until May 15, the favourite for these primaries and the top-ranking potential candidate, then-IMF director Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK) was arrested in New York City on counts of sexual aggression in a hotel room. Strauss-Kahn was released on bail on July 1 and criminal charges against him were dropped on August 23 (and allowed to return to France), but in both cases it was either impossible or too late for him to return to France to announce his candidacy. In an interview upon his return to France, Strauss-Kahn more or less openly confirmed that he would have been candidate in these primaries. His de-facto withdrawal on May 15 totally changed the dynamics of the race and threw the field wide open. Up until then, it was widely assumed that DSK would run and that he would rather easily win the primaries. He was the runaway favourite and he was also, at that point, the early favourite in the presidential race against President Nicolas Sarkozy. With their frontrunner out of the race, the left needed to find another candidate. For many voters on the left, their main criteria in choosing a candidate will be his or her ability to defeat Nicolas Sarkozy in 2012.

In terms of policy, the PS itself has already adopted its program of sorts (most of it are general priorities) and candidates in the primaries (besides one) are tied to it. In terms of public rhetoric, all criticize Sarkozy’s economic policies and criticize banks for speculating on debt. All oppose the right’s tough immigration policies and are in favour of case-by-case regularization of illegals.

The Contenders

The top two contenders are François Hollande, president of the general council of Corrèze, deputy (MP) and former secretary-general of the PS; and Martine Aubry, Mayor of Lille and secretary-general of the PS since 2008. The other candidates are Ségolène Royal, 2007 candidate and the president of the regional council of Poitou-Charentes; Arnaud Montebourg, president of the general council of Saône-et-Loire and deputy; Manuel Valls, deputy and mayor of Evry; and Jean-Michel Baylet, senator, president of the general council of Tarn-et-Garonne and leader of the PRG.

François Hollande is the frontrunner and the favourite of the primaries. Hollande, who is 57, served as the party’s secretary-general between 1997 and 2008. He has been the deputy (MP) for Corrèze’s 1st constituency since 1997 (and before that between 1988 and 1993) and has been president of the general council of his department since 2008. He was mayor of Tulle between 2001 and 2008. A rarity among presidential candidates, he has never been a cabinet minister and, if elected, would be the first President of the Fifth Republic to never have served in any cabinet. Hollande’s tenure at the helm of the party between 1997 and 2008 has been criticized by some of his opponents, but in general it was rather successful: he won the 1999 and 2004 European elections, won a landslide in the 2004 regional and cantonal elections and saved face in the 2002 and 2007 legislative election. He was weakened by the defeat of the EU Constitution in the 2005 referendum, when his leadership backed a ‘yes’ vote against the will of part of the PS leaders and voters. In his leadership, he was perceived as generally weak-willed and with little drive, ambition or deep political talent.

Hollande announced his candidacy following his reelection as president of the general council in his department in March 2011, and overcame weak polling numbers to become DSK’s main rival in the primary field. Polls right before the DSK affair exploded on May 15 showed that Hollande had managed to significantly narrow the gap with DSK. Following his withdrawal, he surged to become the frontrunner in the field and has held the advantage in the field since then with the exception of late June and early July. He has a lead of at least ten points and oftentimes over 15 over his closest opponent, Martine Aubry.

Hollande’s success, which might surprise given his past image as a cute but ineffective gadfly, stems from his ability to incarnate himself as the “normal president” – first in contrast to the media-savvy world-traveling DSK and now in contrast to the bling-bling elitist Sarkozy. Shedding some weight, he is seen as a sincere, competent and ‘normal’ by voters. Even his lack of ministerial experience is now an asset when presenting himself to voters, as he is not as associated to “those corrupt career politicians” and those perennial cabinet ministers. Perhaps slightly amusing given his past at the helm of the PS for eleven years, he is also more or less the ‘grassroots’ candidate opposed to the candidate of the party hierarchy and leadership. He is popular with PS voters at the grassroots level, and his popularity is wider with those more likely to vote in the primaries: the older voters and the PS members (rather than all self-IDed left-wingers).

When Hollande was secretary-general, he was generally opposed from his left (Laurent Fabius, Henri Emmanuelli, Arnaud Montebourg) and generally aligned with the centrist/moderate ‘barons’. He can be seen as a reformist social democrat, not exactly on the party’s right-wing but certainly not on the party’s left. His main priorities in this campaign, policy-wise, are fiscal reform and his ‘contracts of generation’. His top fiscal measure is to merge the income tax with a social tax (CSG) to create a universal, progressive income tax paid by everybody in full equality. He is tougher than Aubry on debt reduction, and while he opposes the government’s proposed golden rule amendment, he proposes some tougher measures to reduce France’s public debt and promises to balance the books by a set date (2017). He has shown himself favourable to a regulated bank bailout if needed, on condition that the state enters the bank’s board of directors. His other main proposal is the controversial contrats de génération (contracts of generation) which is a plan to create 200,000 jobs for youths (and maintain them for seniors) through fiscal incentives for businesses. He has also proposed to re-hire over five years the 60-70k education positions abolished since 2007. He opposes the government’s policy of not replacing half of retiring public employees in education.

Polling shows that Hollande is the strongest PS candidate against Sarkozy, with 28-30% in the first round and a breezy victory in the runoff over Sarkozy with about 55% support. Of the primary candidates, Hollande is the candidate with the strongest ability to gather centrist, moderate and even centre-right voters in the first or second rounds. This might become even more important as the centre-right finds itself devoid of a candidate after Jean-Louis Borloo’s surprise withdrawal.

Hollande is backed by most of the ‘moderates’ within the party including Pierre Moscovici (a former strauss-kahnian) and a lot of equally moderate provincial or local barons such as Jean-Yves Le Drian, Alain Rousset,  François Patriat, Michel Sapin, André Vallini, Jean-Marc Ayrault, Gérard Collomb, François Rebsamen or Roland Ries. Some of them such as Collomb and Rebsamen had supported Royal in 2008 when she was more moderate, others had supported the flopped Delanoë motion then. His support, in general, both by the sections of the party elites and the left-wing base of voters, seems more provincial than Aubry’s support and also more populaire, that is, more popular with the unemployed  and employees, but also retirees (who are good voters in terms of turnout).

Martine Aubry is Hollande’s longshot rival and the First-Secretary of the PS since 2008 (temporarily replaced during the campaign by Harlem Désir). Aubry is the daughter of Jacques Delors, the former European commissioner and finance minister between 1981 and 1985. Delors, a moderate pro-European social democrat, had been the party’s favourite in the 1995 presidential election but he ended up not running. Aubry is, like Hollande and Royal, an énarque and a former public administrator. Her political career began when she became Minister of Labour, Employment and Professional Formation in the Cresson government in 1991. As the left won power in 1997, Aubry completed her political implantation in Lille (Nord) with her victory in a suburban constituency. In the Jospin government, she served as Minister of Labour and Solidarity until 2000. Her tenure in office is most famous for the 35-hour workweek, a controversial measure which has since associated Aubry with the party’s left though she is not a natural or traditional member of the party’s traditional left-wing. She was elected mayor of Lille in 2001, an office she has held since. However, she was defeated for reelection in her constituency in 2002 by a young right-winger. Her 2002 defeat made headlines when Aubry cried upon hearing the results.

Fresh from a landslide reelection in 2008, Aubry ran for the party’s leadership at the tumultuous Reims Congress. Though her motion finished third in the motions vote, narrowly behind Delanoë’s motion, she received support from most of Delanoë’s old guard base to run for the elected position of first-secretary. She defeated Royal by 102 votes in the runoff ballot, in an election marred by potential irregularities on both sides. Her leadership was feeble in 2009, especially after the disastrous European elections, but the PS victory in the 2010 and 2011 mid-term elections cemented her leadership and boosted her potential presidential candidacy.

Aubry announced her candidacy on June 28. She enjoyed a short-lived surge in support after her announcement, but this edge over Hollande soon dissipated and turned into a large deficit by the end of the summer. Aubry could have seized the advantage presented to her by her enviable position at the heart of the party, and, while holding the support of the party’s left and non-PS (PCF, Green and so forth) voters slowly moving to the centre. But Aubry is far more of a technocrat than a charismatic politician, and she is unable to convey warmth or energy. Thus her campaign has been poorly managed and overall has been boring and stale. Unlike Hollande, who can cultivate warmth with voters on the ground with talk of a “normal President”, Aubry cannot as she appears distant, cold and somewhat elitist. She is also seen much more as a “candidate by default” than as a candidate by conviction. She ran because she needed to do so after DSK’s arrest on May 15. DSK, in his record-breaking interview upon his return from the US declared that Aubry and him had indeed been party to a ‘pact’ in which Aubry had pledged not to run if DSK ran.

Aubry has usually been seen as more to the left of the party, and she is undoubtedly to Hollande’s left. The ideological differences between Hollande and Aubry are not wide, as in most PS infightings, the feud between Hollande and Aubry is personal rather than deeply ideological though the feud has pushed her to the left. Aubry also pledges to reduce France’s deficit to under 3% of the GDP by 2013 but unlike Hollande refuses to set a date for a balanced budget (Hollande has said 2017). Aubry wishes to drastically cut France’s many niches fiscales (tax loopholes or tax exemptions) which she estimates costs the state 50 billion euros. Opposed to Hollande’s contrats de génération she promises 300,000 new ‘future jobs’ over the course of the five-year term. On environmental issues, she is ‘greener’ than Hollande. While Hollande only wants to cut France’s dependence on nuclear energy from 75% to 50%, Aubry supports an eventual withdrawal from nuclear energy.

Aubry performs only a few points less than Hollande in polls and she would still defeat Sarkozy by a somewhat closer margin in a runoff today. She does not really have Hollande’s ability to win over centrist voters. In contrast, she is probably more popular than Hollande is with the wider left-wing

As party leader, Aubry is very much the establishment candidate, supported by those closest to the party’s incumbent leadership. Aubry has a very weak political base within the party, and in her 2008 election she depended very much on the support of Laurent Fabius’ far more influential faction (20% of the PS or so). Since then, she has also allied closely with the party’s left (most notably Benoît Hamon, the spokesperson of the PS who in Reims led the party’s left), the more left-leaning of the strauss-kahnians, a few moderates and some close allies of Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoë. Her supporters include Fabius, Delanoë, Claude Bartolone (Fabius’ lieutenant),  Jean-Christophe Cambadélis (a close ally of DSK), Jack Lang, Henri Emmanuelli, Marie-Noëlle Lienemann and Jean-Paul Huchon.

Ségolène Royal was the PS’ 2007 standard bearer and fell 102 votes short of becoming first-secretary in 2008, but since then her fall from the top echelons of politics has been painful. She is at best a distant third now, and perhaps even fourth. Royal was Hollande’s life partner between the late 1970s and 2007, but since then relations between the two have been apparently very poor. Royal, always something of an oddball or maverick in terms of background and policies within the PS, was a young cabinet minister Bérégovoy and Jospin before being elected to the regional presidency in the Poitou-Charentes in 2004. Her victory in then-Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin’s native region was significant and boosted her political profile significantly in the run-up to the 2007 presidential election. Royal has no long-standing affiliation with any of the PS’s “historic” factions and her supporters within the party have been all over the place, from ‘moderates’ to left-wingers. Her 2006 primary victory (closed primary, which she won with over 60%) was caused not by her platform’s depth but rather by her standing as a refreshing, charismatic and populist outsider in a contest which pitted her against the old guardsmen Fabius and DSK. The fact that polls showed that she was the most likely to defeat Sarkozy in 2007 didn’t hurt, to say the least.

During her 2007 campaign and since then, Royal has been criticized for her utter lack of coherent political ideas and her half-bizarre/half-crazy attitude in general. In 2007, she made various gaffes on foreign policy and beyond that crafted a program which flirted with the traditionalist right on issues such as security or the family while her idea of “participatory democracy” contrasted in practice with her authoritarian style of governance in Poitou. In the runoff debate, her (pathetic) outburst of staged anger was the first sign of a bizarre erratic character which would become commonplace for her in 2008 and 2009. At times, it appeared as if she was more some sort of religious sect leader rather than a politician. Because of her populist posturing as a maverick outsider and because of her erratic populist behaviour in general, she is the enemy of most of the party’s old guard and hierarchy since at least 2007. She entertains horrible relations with Aubry, Delanoë, Fabius, Jospin and probably Hollande and DSK. To call her ‘anti-establishment’ is only half correct, however, as until 2008 she still enjoyed significant support from members of the PS’ regional establishment: Collomb, Bianco, Guérini or Queyranne.

Royal announced her candidacy in November 2010, nearly a year before the primaries. Throughout the campaign she has never been in a position where she could stand a realistic chance of winning or qualify for a potential runoff. Of the three major candidates in the primaries, she is the one who would perform the worst against Sarkozy – so badly in fact that, if she was to be the candidate, a second April 21, 2002 scenario would be a real possibility. Her erratic, opportunistic and populist half-crazy behaviour in recent years has alienated a large part of her original supporters, who no longer she in her the charismatic refreshing outsider they saw in her in 2006 but rather a crazy old politician who has no coherent ideas of her own.

To think that Royal ever had coherent political ideas is being crazy. She, as a pure opportunist, has shifted her rhetoric to adapt to the crowd and the times. In 2008, when she almost became party leader, she was rather centrist and moderate in her rhetoric with ideas such as an alliance with the centre. This year, however, she has clearly positioned herself on the leaderless left of the party as a sort of left-populist candidate with a syncretic mix of outdated socialism and weird old right traditionalism. Her economic policies include price freezes, guaranteeing lifelong minimal pay raise for workers, nationalizations in all but name for some companies and a constitutional ban mass layoffs. As in 2007, she cultivates a more law-and-order image on security and families. In 2007, she favoured military training for young offenders and talked of the family in rather traditionalist terms.

Since 2008, Royal has been crippled by the departure of most of her bigwig allies. Collomb, her close ally in Reims in 2008, supports Hollande. Guérini the crooked party boss supports Aubry. Valls is running himself. She is left with a base of unconditional ‘royalists’ including Jean-Louis Bianco, Edith Cresson, Jean-Jack Queyranne, Maxime Bono, Guillaume Garot and Delphine Batho.

Arnaud Montebourg is something of the PS’ young maverick and could be the surprise of the primaries if he outpolls Royal for third. Montebourg, who is 48, is a former lawyer who has been deputy for the Saône-et-Loire since 1997 and president of the general council of Saône-et-Loire since 2008. Montebourg, who is starkly on the party’s left, is a charismatic outsider known for his support of a Sixth Republic and his anti-corruption battle notably against then-President Jacques Chirac in 2001. Montebourg supported the NPS faction in the 2005 Le Mans Congress, but then contributed to the NPS’ slow collapse after he rallied Royal in 2006 before backing Aubry in 2008. Montebourg, an extremely media savvy and camera-craving politician, is deeply ambitious and hopes to become a leading figure in the party in coming years. His candidacy is a way of increasing his profile in national politics.

Like Royal, Montebourg announced his candidacy back in November 2010. Montebourg, a longtime standard bearer for the party’s left, is the most left-wing of the 6 candidates. He is supporter of what he calls démondialisation (deglobalization) and some sort of ‘European protectionism’. His economic policies include this aforementioned ‘European protectionism’ consisting of erecting trade barriers to protect Europe from worldwide market competition, notably from China. Domestically, he supports a ‘green reindustrialization’ of France’s economy through a ‘green industrial revolution’, wants to put banks under supervision and also talks of nationalization in all but name. Besides those policies, he supports the creation of a parliamentary Sixth Republic (an old project of his) and is the top anti-corruption candidate. Montebourg has long been popular for his positions against corrupt politicians and gained points in the second debate with his virulent attacks on Jean-Noël Guérini, the embattled corrupt president of the general council of the Bouches-du-Rhône and a thorn in Aubry’s side (he backs Aubry).

Montebourg has little high-profile supporters beside from a few deputies and senators on the party’s left. His top-ranking supporter is 2002 PRG presidential candidate and Guyanese deputy Christiane Taubira.

Manuel Valls is the party’s other “young lion” in this election and hopes to raise his political profile ahead of the next presidential elections in this primary. Valls is deputy and mayor of Evry, a rather low-income planned suburb of Paris in the Essonne department. Manuel Valls, who strongly supported Royal in 2008, gives the image of a young reformist outsider, shunned by his party’s top brass. With reason too: Valls is a critical voice within the party, questioning the party’s dogma on sacrosanct things such as the 35-hour workweek. His political future as a potential ‘rising star’ within the party is constantly checked by his controversial reformist positions on party dogma.

Valls announced his candidacy following DSK’s ‘withdrawal’ of sorts in May. His candidacy never hoped to take DSK’s place on the centre and right of the party, but rather hoped to raise the name recognition and media image of the young mayor of Evry who will certainly try another run at the top executive post. In a campaign which he says aims to “talk truth to voters”, Valls is the most right-wing of all the candidates. He is quite critical the old-style statism of Montebourg and Royal as irresponsible populism. In the past, he has called for a liberalization of the 35-hour workweek, which is very much a holy grail which cannot be touched within the party. He says his main priority would be to combat the debt and public deficit, and pledges to not undertake any new spending without first compensating for new spending by similar cuts elsewhere. He opposes overtaxation of businesses but has made clear that he sees ‘responsible’ tax increases as a necessity to lower the deficit. His economic policies were good enough for The Economist, which praised him as the most responsible of the candidates on economic and fiscal policy – while scolding the others for their overblown left-wing rhetoric. Valls has historically been an advocate of majorly reforming the PS, including changing the party’s name.

Valls’ right-wing positions by party standards might make him popular with right-wing voters, but within the party he aims for a small base which has never gathered more than 10% support in internal contests. Some observers have compared him to Michel Rocard, a moderate pragmatic centrist leader within the PS, but Valls is closer ideologically to Jean-Marie Bockel, the former standard bearer of the ‘social-liberal’ minority within the PS before joining the presidential majority in 2007.

Valls has very little grassroots support, an effect both of his position on the party’s small right-wing and his low name recognition; and low establishment support. Only a handful of parliamentarians back him.

Jean-Michel Baylet is the “nobody” candidate whom nobody knows why he’s actually running. Baylet is not a member of the PS: he is the leader of the Left Radicals (PRG), a small social-liberal party which is little more than a vassal of the PS in actual terms. Baylet is also a PRG Senator, president of the general council of the Tarn-et-Garonne and a businessman/newspaper baron. Nobody really knows who he is outside of his zone of influence in the southwest through his newspaper, the Dépêche du Midi. Baylet has little charisma and is the dictionary definition of an old Radical notable with a local business and political network but lacking the skills which make a national politician.

Baylet is running because it is the best way for his little party, the PRG, to gain a little media coverage and, in the eyes of the PS, still appear relevant and as an ally to be respected when the PS is increasingly being pulled by the Greens to give the far more electorally important Greens a larger role in internal dealings, ahead of the 2012 legislative election. Baylet’s goal seems to be to make sure that the PS still treats him as a loyal ally and gives the PRG a good number of constituencies in 2012 and not give in entirely to the Greens’ and the Left Front’s demands. Policy wise, the only thing which people know about his policy is that he supports legalizing cannabis. Besides that, he is rather moderate and overall to the right of the field. He is concerned, like Valls, about spending levels in relation to France’s deficit and he wants a federal Europe to spearhead economic reform.

He is supported by the PRG’s caucus and a few overseas deputies. He is also backed by Génération écologie (GE), an old but very small centre-right green party. Nobody knows Baylet and he has absolutely no base with those who will vote in bigger numbers (PS members), therefore he will perform very poorly.

Polling

It is hard to poll primaries in Europe, France included, because there is no widespread party registration like in the United States where it easier to identify registered partisans and independents. Polling an open primary with a wider electorate which is not limited only to party members is, however, easier and more accurate. Pollsters nowadays include two samples in their polls: leftists and socialists, sometimes expanding it to include smaller (and thus more shaky) subsamples of leftists and socialists ‘likely to vote’.  The most recent poll is from Ifop, which polled on different days between September 15 and 30 and identified 1434 leftists including 782 socialists. The breakdown I give is as follows: % among leftists/% among leftists likely to vote/% among socialists. Beware of small samples.

François Hollande 42% / 46% / 51%
Martine Aubry 27% / 26% / 26%
Ségolène Royal 11% / 11% / 9%
Arnaud Montebourg 8% / 7% / 5%
Manuel Valls 5% / 5% / 5%
Jean-Michel Baylet 1% / 1% / 1%
NOTA 5% / 2% / 2%
Undecided 1% / 2% / 1%

Ipsos between September 21 and 26 polled those likely to vote in the primary:

François Hollande 44%
Martine Aubry 27%
Ségolène Royal 13%
Arnaud Montebourg 10%
Manuel Valls 5%
Jean-Michel Baylet 1%

A Harris poll between September 28 and 29, so entirely after the second debate, said (% among leftists/% among socialists)

François Hollande 40% / 49%
Martine Aubry 28% / 26%
Arnaud Montebourg 12% / 9%
Ségolène Royal 6% / 6%
Manuel Valls 4% / 5%
Jean-Michel Baylet 1% / 0%
NOTA 9% / 5%

The guiding principle when looking at these polls should be caution and more caution. Primaries like these are new in France to hard and treacherous to poll. While Hollande is undoubtedly the favourite and will come out on top – all pollsters agree at least on this point – his performance on October 9 will affect how the runoff is played off on October 16. If he ends up polling as strongly as he polls with only PS primary voters, then he will either win outright by October 9 or he will head into October 16 as the pretty much unbeatable candidate. If, however, he polls only 40% or even, less likely, falls below 40% while Aubry manages to break 30%, the whole game could be altered pretty significantly. While recent polls on a Hollande/Aubry runoff give Hollande a big edge there too, if he enters this runoff with a weak October 9 performance he could be vulnerable to attacks from Aubry and a change in voter mobilization. Furthermore, Aubry can count on a slightly larger of potential runoff voters from first-round Royal and Montebourg voters while Hollande’s most likely sources of runoff transfers are pretty weak (Valls and Baylet). Hollande is the favourite, but given the unpredictable nature of such affairs, don’t be shocked if the polls blow this pretty badly.

Open primaries will be much less open to vote manipulation, backroom deals and unorthodox tactics on the ground than closed primaries or internal PS party business is. Party machines and the ‘big federations’ will not have as much sway over the results in an open primary, where the electorate is much wider and, for a lot probably, not tied to the power of the bosses of the big federations. While I expect the patterns to be similar to internal PS party business, with Aubry polling strongly in the Nord and in Fabiusian fiefs such as his native Seine-Maritime, it is unlikely that, like in the 2008 first-secretary runoff, the shady and unorthodox party bosses in their federations will be able to control the results. Royal has expressed concern about the power of the unorthodox party bosses, but that’s mostly because she has lost all of their support, because in 2008 she didn’t raise much concerns about the heavy-handed and behind-the-scenes manipulations of one Jean-Noël Guérini who had delivered his big federation to her with a huge (77%) majority… Beyond manipulations and unsavoury voting shenanigans, Aubry’s campaign is pretty terrible but her campaign team includes old weathered apparatchiks who could be an asset in a closely fought runoff battle: people like Claude Bartolone, Jean-Christophe Cambadélis, David Assouline or Laurent Fabius.

For those who read French, I strongly recommend you to read the new Sondages 2012 blog, written by a good friend of mine who has some much more interesting analysis on all things 2012.

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Posted on October 5, 2011, in France, Primaries, leadership contests or internal party votes. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Good overview of the race and the different candidates (as usual). ;)

    This has been a pretty interesting race, despite the – expected and understandable – lack of substance. I’m a realist and I know the chances for Aubry are close to 0, but I’ll still be hoping for a miracle tomorrow…

  1. Pingback: France 2012: PS open primaries 2011 (first round) « World Elections

  2. Pingback: France 2012: PS open primaries (runoff) « World Elections

  3. Pingback: Election Preview: France 2012 « World Elections

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