The front-runner for the socialists (on 49% – via) is currently thought to be Segolene Royal – who would become France’s first female president if she gets all the way to the top – although being a bit of a moderate there is the possibility that the extreme left of the party may launch a last-minute counter-offensive to avoid the risk of having a female Blair in charge.
If Royal doesn’t get the nomination today thanks to left-wing stubbornness (remember the last Presidential election, when the socialists were beaten to the final round by Jean Marie Le Pen’s fascists, giving the washed-up Chirac a free run to another term?), then Sarkozy is a shoe-in. Assuming, of course, that barking idiot Chirac doesn’t decide to go for a third term in office.
Still, if she does win the nomination, according to the latest polls she’d be in by far the best position to take on Sarkozy, steadily gaining ground on him over the last couple of months. The two most likely candidates are currently neck and neck – meaning that the run-up to the election itself at the end of April is likely to be an intriguing one. Whoever wins, it should mark a major shift in the make up of European politics.
Time to start getting to grips with the issues, methinks… Anyone know of any good English language sites on French domestic politics?