Sarkozy Courts Far Right

The first round vote of the French presidential election has been completed and it seems likely that France’s president and UMP party candidate for the 2012 presidential elections Nicolas Sarkozy is on course to become the first French president to lose a bid for re-election in more than 30 years. Center-right leader Sarkozy lost, trailing Socialist challenger Francois Hollande ahead of a May 6 run-off, after a record showing in the first round election by the National Front made them potential kingmakers.

In Sunday’s 10 candidate run-off Hollande knocked out Sarkozy by 28.6 percent to 27.2 percent, however National Front leader Marine Le Pen stole the lime-light by managing 17.9 percent which is the biggest tally a far-right candidate could ever get. Her performance reflects the views of the anti-establishment Euro-skeptical populists as the euro zone’s debt crisis deepens the anger over government spending cuts and unemployment. Sarkozy, the most unpopular candidate, faces a balancing act to attract both the far-right and centrist voters to retain his presidency. His weak performance has spooked investors who are already nervous about the European government’s ability to service their debts leading to the French stocks and bonds to dip lower.


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