The clock’s ticking, it’s still very tight, and deals are being proposed left, right and centre, important issues are being avoided, and the English language press is struggling to explain it all (and sometimes being deconstructed in the process – even the usually reliable Economist and Financial Times).
One of the best roundups of the current standing I’ve seen is over at Deutsche Welle, which stresses again just how utterly unpredictable the whole situation is (once again, a reminder: as many as 42% of French voters have supposedly not made up their minds, and polling for French elections is in addition extremely unreliable – making Nicholas Sarkozy’s apparent 3 to 6 point lead over Segolene Royal, and her 5 to 6 point lead over Francois Bayrou, well within the margin for error…). The Independent is also surprisingly good, in the first of a series of reports they’ll be running on the elections this week.
There’ll no doubt be more from me on this as the week progresses, and likely also on the rather paltry anti-Putin protests in Russia, if they continue. There could be something more than I’m currently expecting behind the things, after all (more from the Washington Post and New York Times). Maybe Berezovsky has more support in Russia than previously thought?
So that’s Centrist Bayrou on a 48% match, then a second place tie (with a 40% match) between Socialist Segolene Royal, Communist Marie-Georges Buffet and the significantly more fringe Frederic Nihous of the centre-right “Hunting, Fishing, Nature, Tradition” party. Then Green candidate Dominique Voynet and right-winger Philippe de Villiers each on 32%, then “Revolutionary Communist” Olivier Besancenot and centre-right frontrunner Nicholas Sarkozy jointly on 28%, with nutty fascist Jean Marie Le Pen claiming the penultimate spot with 20%, ahead of yet another nutty communist, Arlette Laguiller, on 16%. A far more interesting field than we’re likely to get in any British or American elections any time soon, it must be said…