November 2016 – FRANCE – Nicolas Sarkozy has conceded defeat in the French rightwing primary vote. The former French president had attempted to stage a comeback for the 2017 elections but was forced to concede after Sunday’s votes saw him slipping further behind his fellow candidates. The country’s former prime ministers Francois Fillon and Alain Juppe were seen qualifying for a second round runoff of France’s conservative primaries on Sunday, first partial results of the vote showed.
The men are now the favorites to go head to head in the US-style voting system on November 27 – with the winner likely to win next May’s election. With votes counted from more than half of polling stations, Fillon was seen to receive 43.5 per cent of the votes, Juppe collecting 27.6 per cent and Sarkozy just 22.1 per cent.
In his concession speech, Sarkozy said: “I was not able to convince the voters… but I respect the result.” The 61-year-old added: “I have no bitterness, I have no sadness, and I wish the best for my country.” He said he would now vote for Fillon – who won the initial vote in a landslide victory. The news came after polls put Marine Le Pen ahead of Nicolas Sarkozy as preferred leader in the latest French presidential election polls. The far-right leader took 29 per cent of the vote when pitted against Les Républicains’ former president, with Nicolas Sarkozy eight points behind. The Ipsos poll saw the strong leader edging further ahead as French conservative voters turned out on Sunday to choose their candidate for next year’s presidential elections. –Sun
France’s Rise of the Right: The conservative candidate’s main challenger may turn out to be far-right leader Marine Le Pen, who is hoping anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and anti-establishment sentiment can propel her to the presidency. Le Pen, official candidate of her once-pariah National Front party, did not take part in the conservative primary. The conservatives’ campaign has focused on immigration and security concerns following recent attacks by Islamic extremists.
Islam is, of course, Le Pen’s strong suit — meaning she’s against its encroachment into Christian Europe, as is every patriotic Frenchmen and responsible European. Polls had already shown le Pen clobbering Sarkozy and she’s like to be able to defeat Fillon as well. Juppe had been tipped as le Pen’s strongest rival, but his second-place finish (which ensures him a runoff against Fillon) doesn’t bode well. –PJ Media
Au Nom Du Peuple (In name of the people): The American Revolution was said to have inspired the French Revolution. Will American populism inspire French populism for an outsider candidate? French National Front leader, Marine Le Pen (representing the Far-right), is rising in the polls. A victory for a candidate from the far-right in France would’ve been unthinkable just a decade ago.
Polls cannot be trusted: France begins voting in April next year in an election that could be an early litmus test of the momentum of nationalist movements. National Front leader Marine Le Pen is believed to now have a serious shot at the presidency with the Socialist Prime Minister Manuel Valls saying Mr. Trump’s victory had boosted her chances. The polls proved wrong in the recent U.S. presidential election, favoring Clinton, and to no one’s surprise; they were wrong again in the French election Sunday – showing Alain Juppe with a comfortable lead over his political rivals.
High unemployment, immigration and terrorism has helped increase the popularity of Le Pen’s party, while at the same time Socialist President Francois Hollande is hugely unpopular. But Ms Le Pen will have tough competition if she makes it through to the presidential run-off. The centre right-wing party Les Republicains is holding American-style primaries to choose a candidate, narrowing the choice to former Prime Ministers, Alain Juppe and Francois Fillon. –ABC