Wednesday 25 April 2012


Compared with the exquisite excitement and relentless razzamatazz which surrounds our local council elections next week the French Presidential election a couple of days later (they vote on Sunday - these secular republicans have no truck with sabbatarian strictures) is a slight affair but for all that I quirkily find it interesting.

In the first eliminator round 1 in every 3 French citizens voted for the fascist or communist candidates, presumably out of nostalgia for the Vichy and Soviet dictatorships respectively, and now the remaining two candidates have to scrabble around to get these voters' support, not an edifying spectacle.

Everybody has written off President Nicolas Sarkozy but I'm not so sure and might put a bet on (if the odds are long enough) as I feel that he could yet steal it. The maths for me are that Sarko should keep his current 27% and add 12 of the quite-glamorous-but-fascist Marine le Pen's 18% (not all 18 because she's not backing him) plus half the centrist Bayrou's 10% plus half the remaining 12% making 50%. His socialist rival Francois Hollande will keep his 29% and take 10 of communist firebrand Melenchon's 11% plus half the centrist's 10% plus half the remaining 12%, also making 50%. BUT everybody agrees that the French vote "romantically" in the first round but in a cool, cautious and materialist bourgeois manner in the second, surely favouring the diminutive incumbent.

You may doubt me but let me remind you that Seabass was placed (third) in the Grand National as I tipped here.

You will also note that I have scrupulously avoided any stereotyping here ("Hollande hops into the lead" etc), more than can be said for former French Prime Minister Édith Cresson who famously opined that Englishmen are not interested in women and 25% of them are "tous homosexuels". She didn't explain what the remaining 75% were interested in - cricket perhaps?.

Incidentally Ms le Pen is no more ethnically French than the minorities which she and her nasty party beat up on. In fact she is (wait for it) Welsh - well, Breton but it's the same thing. She comes from Brittany and her name means "head" like in Welsh and presumably she, and her disagreeable holocaust-denying father, see their name as apposite because they both wanted to run France.

Stop Press: Ladbrokes are offering 4/1 on Sarko - not really long enough but still tempting...