Whilst other national governments reel from a drubbing in the polls, Nicolas Sarkozy and his ruling Conservative party, (the UMP – Union for a Popular Movement) have triumphed, winning 28.3% of the vote.The Socialists, already weakened by in-fighting polled 17.5% of the vote, whilst an environmental coalition came third with 14.8%, while centrist leader Francois Bayrou only managed to poll 8.7%. Sarkozy’s win is not however a vote of confidence in him but rather a reflection of the splintered nature of the opposition. Taken together the left wing polled far more than Sarkozy but as is often the case with the left in French politics, is unable to mobilise as the centre left and the extreme left struggle for dominance. Turnout was in the region of 40%.
Sarkozy wins against the tide