Election Preview: France 2012

Presidential elections will be held in France on April 22 and May 6, 2012. The President of France, who holds significant powers granted that he controls a parliamentary majority, is elected for a five-year term, renewable once. France uses a traditional runoff system, where a candidate must win 50%+1 of the votes in the first round to be elected outright, or else the top two candidates in the first round proceed to a runoff held two weeks later. France has held eight direct presidential elections since 1965, and in none of these eight contests has a candidate ever won an absolute majority of the votes cast in the first round.

In the runup to this election, World Elections opens to ground to any questions by interested readers on the topic of French politics and the 2012 elections. All types of questions, ranging from general questions about the candidates and their parties to more specific questions about the impact of this election, the polls, runoff prospects, the trends, the background, the political history of France, voting patterns and voter behaviour or electoral geography are acceptable. Please post your questions in the comments section below, tweet them to me (@welections) or email them to me. In due time – that is, before April 21 – all these questions will be answered in a thorough and accessible manner in this post.

In the meantime, you can read some background to this election by reading these posts on recent elections in France since 2009 or about French political history in general:

2011 Presidential primaries

2011 Senatorial elections

2011 cantonal elections

2010 Regional elections

2009 European elections

Political analysis and relevant history

Post all your questions below!

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Posted on April 13, 2012, in Election Preview, France. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. What explains Melenchon’s rather sudden surge in support?

  2. According to the Guardian Le-Pen’s FN is leading among young voters, but considering that most French Muslims would not be voting for him and among youths Muslims and other minorities is higher in proportion than among the population generally, how many “native” French youths are supporting Le Pen?

  3. Also 1) how are French Protestants voting in this election and 2) how are Harkis (Algerian native loyalists) voting?

  4. (Not a question about the coming election): In the political geography of France, we see that unlike in most English-Speaking countries, you don’t have much of an urban-rural divide, rather both left and right have strongholds in both the city and the country. It is also my impression (unverified) that politics are a lot less regional than in other countries. Is this true, and if so why?

  5. here’s the question that’s been tormenting me for quite sometime:
    if (and i realize it’s a HUGE if) Melenchon manages to go to the runoff on April 22nd:
    1- Can he win whether it’s against Sarkozy or Hollande?
    2- What does that mean in connection to the Greek elections that are being held on May 6th (same day as French runoff)?
    3- Is it possible to see a MLP vs. JLM on May 6th?

    By the way, you do a great job on your blog. I discovered it a few days ago and already bookmarked it. I cant imagine it’s one person behind all these informations, so I guess my congrats go to all of you behind this blog. Keep it up!

  6. Bolivia Newton-John

    Hi, could you give some information about the political or personal platforms of the lower tier of candidates? (ie not Hollande/Sarko/JLM/MLP/Bayrou)
    Why are they standing and who votes for them?
    I’m particularly interested in Jacques Cheminade as even detailed accounts of the candidates do not elaborate on him, or even (sometimes) mention him. I have heard he is the Lyndon LaRouche affiliated candidate but what does that mean in terms of French politics and demographics?

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