If Segolene Royal was confident of securing her Socialist party’s nomination for France’s presidential election she was not showing it. She gave little away after casting her ballot in elections pitting her against two other stalwarts of the party. Polls portray her as the people’s choice but Dominique Strauss-Kahn will be hoping that the analysts’ view that they do not tell the whole story is true. No surveys have been taken of opinion within the party membership. Both he and the other candidate, Laurent Fabius, have been trailing in the polls for months.
If none of the contenders gets more than 50 percent there will be a run-off election. It is not just the personalities who are attracting attention. The campaign has been more like an American primary election with three hopefuls going head to head in televised debates. Whoever emerges as the eventual winner the party will be expecting a better showing than in the previous presidential – the Socialists candidate came in third behind the far-right in the first round ballot.