The bruising campaign to choose the leader of the French Socialists is being played out to the last. Party members failed to elect an outright winner last night, so they will do it again tonight.
Segolene Royal won the lion’s share with more than 42 per cent, but not an outright majority. Now she goes head-to-head with the former minister Martine Aubry who won nearly 35 per cent, but is still well-placed to emerge victorious nonetheless.
And that is because the third-placed candidate who dropped out after yesterday’s ballot, is urging his supporters to switch to Aubry. Benoit Hamon’s 23 per cent could easily swing things her way.
The fact that the contest has dragged on to the last possible stage is testament to the depth of division in the Socialist Party. Only two things are certain before this evening’s final vote. The Socialists will get their first ever female leader, and she will have a lot of patching up to do.