Hollande, the Socialist front runner, won the first round ballot of the French Presidential election. Along with Sarkozy, who finished second, he goes into the final round in two weeks time; many expect Hollande to become the first Socialist President since Mitterrand.
The biggest story of the night was the rise of Le Pen and the Front Nationale. 20% was the vote received by the far right; the best for a nationalist party since the 1930s. Her significant vote share means Hollande and Sarkozy will have to court her – even though the Socialists have guaranteed support from other left wing parties and, possibly, the liberals.
Sarkozy said the Front Nationale voters have genuine concerns; UMP are set to appeal to far right voters in order to gain a second term. Because of this, we are desperate for Hollande to win. Yes, he is a socialists and I disagree with his views but a President, backed by the far right, is a disaster for Europe and Britain. A fare worse prospect than a socialist.
Hollande promises to enshrine secularism in the French Constitution and, unlike Sarkozy, has no intention of running a platform of fear to win an election. Both candidates are equally against my politics, but I’d prefer a Hollande than a Front Nationale backed Sarkozy.
This is one occasion, and probably the last, where I shall back a socialist to win.